This engaging documentary follows six fellows who are prepping for the prestigious Master Sommelier exam. Less than 200 candidates have passed this test since it began in 1969; it has one of the lowest pass rates of any exam in the world.

Our 2013 Seattle International Film Festival screening audience was interested, entertained and invested in the outcome. We each had our personal favorites and were appropriately anxious as the test day neared.

Award-winning Director Jason Wise has accumulated wonderful interviews with articulate, funny, intelligent (and ambitious!) candidates. Many of them have photographic memories and when you learn all the minutiae that they must master, it would seem that ONLY candidates with photo- graphic memories could compete! The scope of their education (and those flash-cards) is mind-boggling.

It's fun to get acquainted with the candidates, their wives and girlfriends, other Master Sommeliers, and interested professionals. One father said his son gravitated to this profession because he is very competitive AND wine is an intoxicant. Several wives had some pretty emphatic things to say about that disgusting spit bucket that has become a part of their lives. Sommeliers don't DRINK all that wine, they sniff it, sample it, taste it, analyze it, then spit it out and continue on.

The sequence of wine glasses being destroyed between segments becomes a character itself! The audience would laugh out loud as each glass is broken a bit more.
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This sip was provided by SIFF:
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