Court of Master Sommeliers Welcomes Four New Masters To Its Prestigious Ranks

Years of preparation finally pay off for the four newest members of the Court of Master Sommeliers

ASPEN, CO—(May 23, 2012) –Today, the Court of Master Sommeliers welcomes four new members to the prestigious organization: Dennis Kelly (The French Laundry, Napa, CA), Roland Micu (San Francisco, CA), Sabato Sagaria, (The Little Nell, Aspen, CO), and Thomas Price (The Metropolitan Grill, Seattle, WA).

The Master Sommelier Diploma is considered the highest distinction a professional can attain in the fine wine and beverage industry, and to achieve the title of Master Sommelier is no easy feat. Candidates must have successfully passed the other three stages of the Court’s educational programs: the Introductory, Certified and Advanced Exams. As the final stage, the invitation-only Master Sommelier Diploma Exam consists of three sections, including a theory examination, blind tasting and practical service component, and candidates must receive passing scores in each category in order to earn the highly coveted title of Master Sommelier.

Held at The Little Nell in Aspen, Colorado and jointly sponsored by the Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas and the Court of Master Sommeliers, Europe, the by-invitation exam was attempted by more than 63 individuals, each of whom has dedicated years of study to this pursuit of excellence.

“On behalf of the Court, it is my privilege to welcome the newest Masters to our organization. This was an extraordinary group and we are all excited with the results,” stated Greg Harrington, Chairman of the Court of Master Sommeliers Americas. “Master Sommeliers represent the pinnacle of wine expertise, tasting ability, and exemplary service and we look forward to this group’s future contributions to the Court and the wine industry as a whole.”

About the Court of Master Sommeliers
The Court of Master Sommeliers was established in England in 1977 to encourage improved standards of beverage knowledge and service in hotels and restaurants. The first Master Sommelier Diploma Exam to be held in the United States was in 1987. The title Master Sommelier marks the highest recognition of wine and spirits knowledge, beverage service abilities, and professionalism in the hospitality trade. Education was then, and remains today, the Court’s charter. There are four stages involved in attaining the top qualifications of Master Sommelier: 1) Introductory Sommelier Course; 2) Certified Sommelier Exam; 3) Advanced Sommelier Course; and 4) Master Sommelier Diploma. There are 122 professionals who have earned the title of Master Sommelier as part of the Americas chapter since the organization’s inception. Of those, 105 are men and 17 are women. There are 210 professionals worldwide who have received the title of Master Sommelier since the first Master Sommelier Diploma Exam. For more information, please visit