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Q How many years did you study for it? Did you pass on the first attempt?

A I studied directly for this exam either for 4 months or, if you accept my premise above, for the approximately 36 years of my life before taking the exam. Or, since I spent basically Nike Tracksuit Womens Black And White

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A Q with Master Sommelier Larry Stone

A This question is like asking Mozart how much time he spent to write "The Marriage of Figaro." On one hand, there is a number that would satisfy the immediate question but the answer doesn't take into consideration that from the time Mozart was born he was preparing to write these masterpieces and all the other major and minor pieces that make up his oeuvre.

A I believe it will help show the adventure of the journey to becoming a master sommelier (and) reveal some of the camaraderie that develops around the quest to attain the knowledge and expertise required. If there is anything negative that comes out of this documentary, then as long as it is truthful I welcome it. I think that people get too wrapped up in passing or rather in the fear of failing the exam rather than in the eminently enjoyable process of learning.

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Stone is the only American ever to win France's Grand Prix de Sopexa competition (better known as the "Best Sommelier in the World Specializing in French Wine and Spirits").

But I acquired my knowledge over many years of travel and education abroad. If you add all this up, basically everything that I ever earned plus contributions from the Fulbright scholarship and subsidies from family were spent on my education which included finally passing the Master Sommelier exam after a period of direct study for the exam of 4 months.

three years preparing intensively for the competition in France, you could use that figure.

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Q How much money did you spend to prepare for the master sommelier exam?

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I would say likewise, I was preparing from the time that I first became interested in food and wine, around the age of 7, walking through the Pike Place market in Seattle with my father, through the period in which I experimented with making wine in the storage locker in my apartment at age 14 and whiskey in a chemistry lab at age 16, to my college years when I lived in Vienna with my uncle and had access to his wine cellar with beautiful wines from Burgundy, the Rhone and Wachau. Along the way I cooked and paired wines for dinners with friends.

Q What are your hopes for "Somm"? What do you hope the film reveals about the journey to become a master sommelier?

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When I first began to buy wine professionally as a sommelier and spent all my disposable income on tasting the benchmarks for great wines eight years before I passed the exam my more intense training began. Everything I have ever earned and everything that I have ever spent have in a way contributed to my success not only in becoming a master sommelier but in my professional life since then. Probably the amount of money I spent directly was a pittance compared to what people are spending today, perhaps a few thousand dollars altogether for the master sommelier exam and the precursor to the Grand Prix de Sopexa competition for which I studied assiduously for three and a half years, and won a few months after I attained the Master Sommelier degree.

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A There can be nothing negative about having passion about one's profession and Nike Black Tracksuit Womens the determination and drive to attain excellence in service and education. Also, the process of teaching and testing the sommeliers is one that the Court struggles with all the time. If the candidates utter sincere criticisms Nike Jackets

Q Did you have to make any sacrifices in your personal life during that year of preparation?

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Stone recently accepted a post as co dean of Wine Studies with master sommelier Scott Carney at the International Culinary Center, which has campuses in Campbell and New York City. We caught up with Stone via email to talk about the film and his own experiences in studying for and passing the exam, which he did in an astonishing four months.

didn't have to sacrifice anything except the many bottles of wine that I needed to explore for my education. Learning about wine isn't painful. I suppose the fear of failing the test could cause grief. I enjoyed every minute of my training and didn't worry if I should pass or fail. In fact I really didn't think that I could pass it on the first attempt.

Q Are you concerned that the film will show the governing Court of Master Sommeliers or the exam in a negative light?

The best part of the story lies not in hardship or heartbreak, but in the lifelong friendships that have been made among all of us who share this love of wine, food, education, humanity and service in "restauration." I do hope that this sense of community and love of all aspects of wine and wine service will come out in the film.

of the court due to the difficulty of the exam or because of the types of questions that are asked, it can only help our organization to become better.

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