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Nov 5, 2020

What is a Master of Wine? In this podcast we chat with Dermot Nolan MW to find out.

Masters of Wine (commonly referred to as MW's) have passed a rigorous set of blind tasting and theory exams. In addition, they have completed a written and original research paper on a wine related subject, usually technical. Make no mistake, passing the MW examination is an extraordinary achievement!

So, pass an exam and become an MW. Is that it? Not quite. The Master of Wine title is awarded by the Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW) based in London.  Successful candidates are required to sign a Code of Conduct and among many expectations are expected,'to abstain from any behaviour which may discredit the IMW' and 'to use every opportunity to share their understanding of wine with others'. A rigourous and broad brief!

When Dermot passed the exam back in 1997 the trade here referred to him as 'Ireland's First Master of Wine'. What we really meant was that someone working in the Irish trade had (finally) managed to pass the damn thing! That meant a lot. It gave us a sense of developing maturity and brought with it a great deal of confidence. Dermot is very keen to remind us, though, that other Irish people preceeded him. It's true they may not have ever worked in Ireland, or they may have moved here after becoming an MW, but they were/are still Irish! 

I still can't get it out of my head that Dermot was our first. 

Anyhow, Dermot has kindly sent us the following list. Lucky us. We have a stack of fine MW's working in Ireland now. Or perhaps the collective term might be a Cellar of MW's or maybe a Case of ....

date = Passed the MW examination

Worked or is working in The Republic:

Dermot Nolan  1987

Alan Crowley  1993

Martin Moran  1994

Lynne Coyle  2015

Barbara Boyle  2016

Mick O'Connell  2016

Harriet Tindal  2019

Roisin Curley  2020

Worked or is working in the North of Ireland:

Jane Boyce  2000

Worked or is working in the UK or elsewhere:

Aileen Trew RIP  1979

Robin Kinahan  1990

Carmel Kilcline  2005

Fergal Tynan  2005

Rod Smith  2006

Mary Gorman-McAdams  2011

Anne McHale  2013

Barry Dick  2013

Ray O'Connor 2020