LifeFood and Drink


Uncorked: A Newsy Investigation Of The U.S. Wine Elite

Our investigation uncovered new, deeper problems at the top of America's most elite wine organization.
Posted at 11:23 AM, Sep 11, 2019

A Newsy investigation has uncovered new internal documents from the governing board of American master sommeliers that raise questions about what really happened in the biggest crisis ever to hit the nation's elite world of wine.

One year ago, a cheating scandal rocked the group when a member of the board of directors of the Court of Master Sommeliers shared answers to a wine tasting the morning of an exam with an unknown number of candidates. The organization stripped 23 people of their new titles, including many it never accused of cheating.

Now, multiple current master sommeliers have come forward for the first time to critique what appears to be a brief three-day investigation the Court's board did of itself, without hiring an independent investigator.   Instead of opting for transparency after the scandal, Newsy discovered the board amended a confidential code of ethics to threaten any master sommelier with potential termination of membership if they spoke any "utterance" that "could be construed" as detrimental to the Court's good name. To view Newsy's complete investigation, visit