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Heritage Wine Cellar's James Bube Passes The First Stage Of The Master Sommelier Exam

By John Lenart in Food on Mar 3, 2015 9:40PM

James Bube (via Facebook)
Earlier this week six Chicagoans were among 105 wine industry professionals who began their journey to becoming Master Sommeliers, widely considered the pinnacle of wine professional accreditation, administered by the Court of Master Sommeliers. It may be one of the most difficult tests on any topic, anywhere in the world, to pass. Only 220 people have earned the title of Master Sommelier in history.

The test is given in three parts and starts with an oral theory examination. Only after passing the theory exam can candidates move on to the practical examinations on service and salesmanship and blind tasting. To become a Master Sommelier one must pass all three exams. The theory exam has a pass percentage of approximately 10 percent, according to the Court of Master Sommeliers. This year 20 of the 105 candidates sitting for the exam passed.

Of the six very talented Chicagoans sitting, James Bube, Director of Education at Heritage Wine Cellars, has passed. He will now go on to take the remaining two parts of the exam in May and hopefully become Chicago's next Master Sommelier.

The other Chicago area wine professionals, Richard Hanuaer, Parag Lalit, Blake Leja, Michael Matonte and Dan Pilkey, who took yesterday’s theory exam, put forth strong efforts but will have to wait until 2016 to retake this exam before moving forward.