On opening night, theater superstition forbids actors to wish each other good luck, so they pass along their good wishes by saying, "Break a leg." At The FCI, when our wine students are entering their exams for their "big break" as certified sommeliers, in the same vein, we might wish them to "Pop a cork!"
Just as theater folk don’t want their cast members to actually break their legs, we don't want out students to actually pop their corks. (They would actually lose points on their test for that!) Proper removal of a cork should always be a quiet process. As you can see from the photo there have been a lot of bottles uncorked in practice leading to up to the exam.
Wine students of the Intensive Sommelier Training program are seeking the prized pin classifying them as an industry recognized certified sommelier. To accomplish this certification, they will have to pass two levels of examination, which are conducted by the Court of Master Sommeliers®: Level 1 Introductory Sommelier Exam and the Level 2 Certified Sommelier Exam.
Introductory Sommelier Course, Level 1 consists of an introduction to the Court, fast-paced lectures on such things as wine regions, wine law, and wine styles, and a theory based exam. Certified Sommelier Exam, Level 2 involves a one-day exam with three components: blind tasting, written theory, and practical service. The service portion can be either Champagne or wine decanting, and students won’t know which they will be expected to do until they are tested.
It's an exciting accomplishment to earn this coveted pin. We would like to wish all of our students the best of luck on their exams this week. —Royce Dove, associate marketing manager, International Culinary Center California