16 new MWs. Do we care?

The MW marketing/PR operation would not be doing its job properly if it wasn’t bigging up this year’s graduates. And as a wine journalist you wouldn’t be doing yours if you weren’t hooked into the network and on the receiving end of all the online chatter.
Fair points. I am not keen on listening to organisations and companies bigging themselves up, and for that reason I have been increasingly trying to tune out that aspect of social media. Thus, the MW news this year managed to pass me by completely and I would have remained quiet about it too - until Tom mentioned it, and I bit.

On the subject of trolling your own forum (and me biting), I think it is common practice for forum owners to provoke discussion and debate, and I see little harm in it. Trolling is such a nasty word :)

Edit: On reflection, old-school trolling done skillfully was not so bad either. It kept people on their toes, and could be a source of fun. You don't see much of that now
 
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As an (ex) MW also with a D.Phil, I must add a penn’orth to this debate. The MW is the gold-standard qualification in the international wine trade. MW’s are not, as some French still think, glorified sommeliers. The qualification process requires a deep knowledge of viticulture and wine-making. This has enabled many MWs to help wineries improve their offering. For example, Angela Muir spent considerable time and effort advising co-operatives producing mediocre stuff in southern Europe how to up their game and make their wines of saleable quality in the UK. This transformed the sector. Others have provided similar input elsewhere. MWs are not ‘know-alls’ but have credible, firmly-grounded and peer-assessed knowledge which they disseminate globally to the benefit of the international wine community. That may not interest many consumers, but deserves acknowledgement and respect.
 
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As an (ex) MW also with a D.Phil, I must add a penn’orth to this debate. The MW is the gold-standard qualification in the international wine trade. MW’s are not, as some French still think, glorified sommeliers. The qualification process requires a deep knowledge of viticulture and wine-making. This has enabled many MWs to help wineries improve their offering. For example, Angela Muir spent considerable time and effort advising co-operatives producing mediocre stuff in southern Europe how to up their game and make their wines of saleable quality in the UK. This transformed the sector. Others have provided similar input elsewhere. MWs are not ‘know-alls’ but have credible, firmly-grounded and peer-assessed knowledge which they disseminate globally to the benefit of the international wine community. That may not interest many consumers, but deserves acknowledgement and respect.
...and another has written an inspirational book on my favourite region and the world wide spread of its wonderful and extraordinary varieties.
 
As an (ex) MW also with a D.Phil, I must add a penn’orth to this debate. The MW is the gold-standard qualification in the international wine trade. MW’s are not, as some French still think, glorified sommeliers. The qualification process requires a deep knowledge of viticulture and wine-making. This has enabled many MWs to help wineries improve their offering. For example, Angela Muir spent considerable time and effort advising co-operatives producing mediocre stuff in southern Europe how to up their game and make their wines of saleable quality in the UK. This transformed the sector. Others have provided similar input elsewhere. MWs are not ‘know-alls’ but have credible, firmly-grounded and peer-assessed knowledge which they disseminate globally to the benefit of the international wine community. That may not interest many consumers, but deserves acknowledgement and respect.
How does one become an ex-MW?
 
Bit of a sour and ungenerous OP.
Well gosh, I've never been called that before.
Must have been a bad bottle.

Oh. OP, not DP. :D

I'm sure all the new MWs have worked very hard.
How relevant the qualification is, is a bit of a red herring. I can confidently say that my PhD has absolutely no relevance to anyone reading this.

Is the MW harder or easier now, or just as difficult as it ever was?

I suppose one difference, which is why we see the announcements that set Tom off, is that there is (I think?) a single awarding body, and as we're interested in wine, we follow them and a number of MW on social media and on forums like this. I would think that the vast majority of the public outside our geeky circle would not have a clue what a MW is, or that 16 new ones have just been awarded.
 
How does one become an ex-MW?
Only guessing, but perhaps one stops paying the subscription!
MW is far to general for me. I’d be hard pressed to find the enthusiasm to taste all of those non-sparklers.
I think it's that breadth that is one of the most demanding aspects; it takes barely any effort at all to learn about things by which one is enthralled. The other stuff needs real discipline.
 
Didn't think Tom's OP was unpleasant - he just said "meh" to open a discussion he was interested in.

Any semi-mythical status was surely due to the extremely limited membership - Matthew says fewer than had been to space? As each year goes by and another score or also added, becomes less prestigious I guess.

Add to that the suggestion above that many MWs work in less prestigious areas of the market - a nobel laureate designing perfumes for disinfectant has to lose some cachet - and it's no surprise if the response is more muted than when there were only 6 MWs and all of them were Jancis Robinson.
 
Sorry I was reacting to the comparison rather than doing it myself, but there are similarities, particularly in the depth of original research for the 3rd stage
Yes, I brought the subject up. See my original post for the points of comparison I made. As it is already apparently more controversial than I intended, I'm going to leave it at that
 
Sorry I was reacting to the comparison rather than doing it myself, but there are similarities, particularly in the depth of original research for the 3rd stage
I seriously doubt that. The ones I have read have been of the quality and research level of a good undergraduate thesis. I’ve done a PhD and they are absolutely no where near that sort of detail or depth.
 
Anecdata suggests that old fashioned rigour and a lack of institutional academic oversight makes the MW qualification rather harder to obtain than its academic equivalents. As with life in general, however, it is certainly not and never should become a competition.
 
that’s THE Remington Norman and author of books on Burgundy, Rhône and has probably forgotten more than you know.
I know. I was just curious about how you stop being an MW. It was a genuine question. No need to be so rude. And please don’t even try and make personal comments about me when you don’t even know me. Gosh you are easily irritable.
 
I feel like I am in a Kafka novel. If any of the irrate and irritable want to go all the way back to my initial post in this thread, it might be worth actually reading it this time rather than going in off the deep end.

Talk about a thread having a life of its own. This one in some sort of parallel universe....

And to think it was only a few weeks ago you were extolling the virtues of thread drift...
 
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