For four years in a row, The Little Nell has proudly played host to the annual Master Sommelier exam presented by the Court of Master Sommeliers. With ten Master Somms who have come through The Little Nell since its inception, and Aspen resident Jay Fletcher, MS, as an integral member of the program who helps coordinate the exam, it’s a natural match for the exam to take place at the hotel.
The 2015 class included 62 candidates from all over the country and Canada, vying for the highest distinction in the wine industry. As a welcome, The Little Nell’s wine director, Carlton McCoy, MS, surprised each guest with a bottle of housemade Vermouth in their room with a note of encouragement.
Brahm Callahan, Grill 23 & Bar (Boston, MA)
William Costello, The Mandarin Oriental (Las Vegas, NV)
Elyse Lambert, Maison Boulud (Montreal, QC, Canada)
Jack Mason, Marta (New York, NY)
Michael Meagher, Jackson Family Wines (Groton, MA)
Kevin Reilly, Cyrus (Healdsburg, CA)
June Rodil, Maguire Moorman Hospitality Group (Austin, TX)
With these new additions, as of May 2015, there are now 147 professionals who have earned the title Master Sommelier in North America. Of those, 129 are men and 30 are women. There are 234 professionals worldwide who have received the title of Master Sommelier since the first Master Sommelier Diploma Exam.
The Court of Master Sommeliers was established to encourage improved standards of beverage knowledge and service in hotels and restaurants. Education was then, and remains today, the Court’s charter. The first successful Master Sommelier examination was held in the United Kingdom in 1969. By April 1977, the Court of Master Sommeliers was established as the premier international examining body. Learn more about the Court on their website.