It all begins with a simple appreciation for wine, the thirst of wanting to know more about the subject, and the broadening of one's horizons in this field.

Then usually one would go and start a wine seminar, depending on what type of subject you wanna delve into, there are numerous workshops and courses available.

At the 9th MW Symposium in Logroño (Photo: Lotte Gabrovits)

One name that you might have come across for sure is the WSET, the Wines and Spirit Education Trust, which has its origins in the UK and offers several levels from level one, which is most often focussing on the local market and its wines of the country it is held in, continued by level 2 & 3 that gives a global understanding for that subject in a global context.

If you love wine, earning a Diploma can help you become a sommelier, buyer, or sales consultant in the industry. Completing this certification will open many opportunities for you in the wine world. The wine world has many possibilities for you once you complete this certification.

If you constantly seek new challenges in your personal and professional life, you may feel the need to do more. This urge to do more can drive you to seek out new opportunities and push yourself beyond your comfort zone. Embracing these challenges can lead to personal growth and development in both your personal and professional life.

This is the point where you are thinking of doing a PhD, of course only if you get a kick out of science or the other option is doing the MW at the Institute of Masters of Wine.

This is the juncture where we aim to probe a bit more into what this entails.

Once you have decided to do the MW program it is not that easy to enter the institute. To qualify, you'll need a WSET Diploma or a similar wine qualification, plus at least 3 years of experience in the wine trade. The application includes theory and practical assessments, along with a reference letter from a wine expert. Of course, the IMW's introductory courses are available for everyone to attend to gain valuable insights and practice for the entrance exams.

Having been accepted? Well done! You have managed the first milestone.

IMW Stage One, a glance into the world you enter

And now? Stage One is about to kick off which delves deeper, with a five-day residential seminar and additional course days.

Students can submit up to six pieces of work for feedback from a Master of Wine throughout the year. This stage concludes with the Stage One Assessment (S1A) in June, requiring a blind tasting of 12 wines and two written essays. Passing the S1A is crucial for progressing to Stage Two.

Many people struggle to pass the first step because it is a tough exam. However, Stage One gives you an idea of what to expect in Stage Two.

Glasses are readily prepared for the exams (Photo: Lotte Gabrovits)

IMW Stage Two, the biggest hurdle begins

Stage Two is where the real challenge begins. You'll attend another five-day residential seminar and additional course days to solidify your knowledge. Throughout the year, submit at least six pieces of work for feedback from a Master of Wine, ensuring you're exam-ready.

The year comes to an end with the closed-book theory and practical exams in June. Passing both is essential to progress to the final hurdle: the Research Paper.

IMW Stage Three, almost there

The prestigious Master of Wine program culminates in Stage Three, focused on the demanding Research Paper (RP). This 6,000-10,000 word solo project can be written about any wine-related topic, allowing you to explore your passion within the vast world of wine. The IMW offers workshops and a dedicated pool of MW advisors to guide you through the process. Completing this stage, along with Stage One and Two exams, grants you entry into the esteemed Institute of Masters of Wine and the coveted title of Master of Wine (MW).

Interested? Go and have a look at their webpage.

But for now we at VinoVoss are crossing all our fingers and toes and wish the best of luck to all MW students, and especially all our VinoVoss wine experts, who have to face their exams this week with Stage 1 applicants sitting their exams Monday and Stage Two candidates the rest of the week.

As said before, eight exams in four days are not only mentally but physically a huge challenge, but we are sure you all gonna rock.

And for everyone else, keep on enjoying wine and stay with us for more updates and news on


Lotte Gabrovits

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