Fri. Feb 3rd, 2023

Sommeliers

On Wednesday, The Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas (CMS-A) announced its new elected board of directors.

Last month, the outgoing board announced it would resign en masse, following a string of high profile scandals, including accusations of racial discrimination and sexual harassment within the organization.

According to a press release, the CMS-A is looking to add four additional external (non-Master Sommelier) board members, and will also hire a full-time CEO to “contribute new leadership and perspectives to help guide the organization as it begins this next chapter.”

Seven of the 11 elected new board directors are white men, according to The New York Times. Three of the remaining four are women; two identify as gay; and two as Asian-American, The Times reports.

Out of the 159 Master Sommeliers eligible to vote for the new board of directors, 137 did so. Eleven suspended members of the CMS-A, who are currently subject

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The accusations against male master sommeliers and the organization that awarded their credentials have continued to pile up over the last week, making the questions around the organization’s future feel all the more urgent.

All 15 board members of the Court of Master Sommeliers’ American chapter have stepped down, in response to many public calls for their resignation — including a petition with about 1,200 signatures. And three of the most prominent women master sommeliers in the country, Alpana Singh, Pascaline Lepeltier and Laura Maniec Fiorvanti, have distanced themselves from the court, relinquishing the titles they fought so hard to earn. That leaves only 25 women with the title.

The wave of resignations could imperil the future of this prestigious, exclusive organization that has risen to near-celebrity status over the past decade. If more of its own members continue to denounce it, can it remain relevant in the world of

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