About David Forer, MW
The Master of Wine qualification signifies the pinnacle of tasting ability and knowledge about the global wine trade. Becoming a Master of Wine requires an extremely in depth knowledge of the entire world of wine, in particular the wines of the worlds most prestigious regions. Currently there are just 369 Masters of Wine in the world.
I feel my close proximity to Napa valley was critical to becoming a Master of Wine. To be able to visit a region with such high quality wines and knowledgeable winemakers enhanced my palate and also my understanding of wine. I still visit frequently – Napa has become a home away from home! I know every side road and every small up and coming future cult wine! I can’t wait to show you the best of Napa!
What is a Master of Wine?
With a tour guide who has achieved the Master of Wine credential you will be guided by one of the world’s foremost experts in wine. Becoming an MW involves passing three different challenges: four days of closed-book Theory exams, three days of blind Tasting exams, and also a comprehensive Research Paper.
The four day Theory exam consists of 13 essays spanning from viticulture to vinification – all aspects of wine aging, handling and QC – the business of wine – and contemporary issues. The exam does not test memorization skill, rather it tests the ability to understand and communicate about the complex highly segmented world of wine. Example questions are: “What practical options does a viticulturist have at his or her disposal to address long term changes in climate in an established vineyard?”; “Which is more important in wine: tradition or innovation?”
The Tasting exam spans three days, each one consisting of 12 wines tasted blind. With long form writing, MW candidates are asked to analyze each wine, with typical questions being to argue what the origin is (often down to appellation), what the grape variety is, style and quality, and commercial potential.
Once the Theory and Tasting exams are passed (which can take many attempts), there is then a Research Paper phase, which is a year-long endeavor to show ability to perform comprehensive and in-depth analysis on a topic of original research. My Research Paper was titled “An analysis of the impact of declining farm labor immigration on vineyard operations in Sonoma and Napa counties of the last decade”.
But achieving the MW has been more than just passing blind tastings and closed book theory exams and a research paper. Ultimately, preparing for and passing MW has provided me with the palate and knowledge to know great wine from merely good wine. Who better to give you access to and guide you to the most elite wineries in Napa!