Kathryn Morgan became a Master Sommelier last week. This honor,
distinction, achievement caps several years of effort in which she
sought the highest rank of her profession. She is now the first M.S. in
the Washington, D.C., area, though hopefully not the last, as we have a
talented group vying for the same honor. She is also only the 16th woman
in North America to crack the ranks of this British-led organization.
That’s very elite company.
I’ve known Kathy for several years. A few years ago, I participated
briefly in a group of somms that met at her apartment each Sunday
morning, amid hangovers and anecdotes of troublesome customers from the
past week, to taste several wines and quiz each other as if they were
taking the Master Sommelier exams. For a civilian like myself, it was an
eye-opening exercise. (Note to anyone studying for an MS: Don’t forget
to mention whether the wine is red or white – take nothing for granted!)
When I took a turn choosing the wines, it was fun and enlightening to
watch these professionals as they tried to figure out the curve balls I
was tossing their way. Kathy took a big swing at one of these, and while
she may not have knocked it out of the park, she came close. It was a
Jackson Triggs Chardonnay from the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia.
The somms were all over the map in trying to figure this one out, but
Kathy zeroed in on a cool-climate chardonnay from the New World, with
moderate use of new oak. No, she didn’t pinpoint Okanagan Valley, but
give her time …
Here’s a link to the Court of Master Sommeliers press release.
Way to go, Kathy!
This photo, provided by Michael Birchenall of Foodservice Monthly, shows Kathy and me judging at the 2009 Atlantic Seaboard Wine Competition. And no, I was not trying to peek at her notes. At least, that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!