The Court

The Court of Master Sommeliers sets the global standard of excellence for beverage service within the hospitality industry with integrity, exemplary knowledge, and humility.

The Court of Master Sommeliers elevates the quality of beverage service throughout the hospitality industry with our peerless credentials. We expand the rich heritage of our organization through mentorship, rigorous preparation and examination. We chart the course for current and future Master Sommeliers worldwide.

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Latest Happenings

  • CMS Announcement to our Community

    The Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas announces the results of an external, independent investigation led by Margaret C. Bell of Lagasse Branch Bell + Kinkead on sexual harassment allegations regarding select members of the organization, as reported in October 2020. Ms. Bell delivered her report on the investigation to the CMS-A's Ethics and Professional Responsibility Committee in September 2021. Over the past two months the committee reviewed the evidence from each of the twenty-two individual cases, working alongside RALIANCE — a group that partners with a wide range of organizations to improve their cultures and create environments free from sexual harassment, misconduct, and abuse. Based on the investigation’s findings and the committee’s individual review of each case, the CMS-A has moved to terminate the membership of Bob Bath, Fred Dame, Fred Dexheimer, Drew Hendricks, Joseph Linder, and Matt Stamp, pending a hearing within thirty days according to the process required by law and the organization’s bylaws. In addition, the board voted to prohibit Geoff Kruth, who resigned from the organization in 2020, from ever applying for reinstatement. The investigation’s findings did not support further action in some cases, and those members have been removed from suspension effective immediately. For the remainder of the cases, the CMS-A worked with the RALIANCE team to develop varying levels of rehabilitative education to allow members to take accountability and then return in good standing.

    For the survivors, the CMS-A will offer dedicated, individualized support as facilitated by the RALIANCE team, which has more than 300 cumulative years of relevant expertise, rooted in the experiences of survivors.

  • Open Letter from the Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas to Survivors of Sexual Misconduct, Harassment or Abuse

    We acknowledge that we will never fully understand the pain, trauma, and negative impact that the actions of select members of our organization caused you; we also acknowledge that our organization did not have the proper safeguards in place to ensure a safe and equitable learning environment. For this, we are deeply, deeply sorry. Our commitment to you is that no other person will have to experience what you went through in our organization.

    Over the last year, it has been our mission to change the structure and culture of the Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas. We understand that our organization still has much work to do on this front, and we will continue to show our commitment to change through positive and progressive actions.

    Thank you for your bravery in sharing your stories.

    If you feel that you need support, CMS-A is offering dedicated, individualized support facilitated by RALIANCE, an organization with more than 300 cumulative years of relevant expertise, rooted in the experiences of survivors. RALIANCE is connected to a national network of experts, dedicated to supporting survivors. To receive support from one of these experts, please contact Tori at

    Yours In Service,

    Emily Wines, MS
    Chair, Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas

    Kathryn Morgan, MS
    Vice Chair, Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas

    Christopher Bates, MS           Joshua Nadel, MS
    Robert Bigelow, MS              Sabato Sagaria, MS
    Brahm Callahan, MS            Mia Van de Water, MS
    Keith Goldston, MS              David Yoshida, MS
    Michael Meagher, MS