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Court of Master Sommeliers to Host Educational Program and Exam at 500 Seneca Street

Winkler and Samuels Wine Purveyors and 500 Seneca Street are proud to be hosting the Court of Masters Sommeliers Introductory Sommelier Course and Examination in the Atrium at 500 Seneca Street on February 3rd and 4th, 2018. This will be the first time the Court of Master Sommeliers has hosted an event in Buffalo.

Candidates will undergo the first of four steps to become a Master Sommelier: a two day intensive review of the world’s wine producing regions, be educated in the Court of Master Sommeliers Deductive Tasting Method, and shown elements of classic wine service. Currently there are only 149 Master Sommeliers in North America, and a total of 236 worldwide.

Following the educational seminars and tastings, Candidates will complete an examination to receive their Introductory Certification. If a Candidate is skilled enough to pass, they will have just three years to complete their next level (Certified Sommelier.) If a Candidate does not pass their Certified within those three years, they must being the entire process over again.

Master Sommelier Christopher Bates from the Dundee, NY will be presiding over the course and examination. Christopher owns and operates the Fingerlakes Hospitality Group based around Seneca Lake: The FLX Weinery in Dundee is billed as “High End Low Brow Food” with a deceptively elaborate wine and beer list. If you want a fancy Burgundy with your kimchi burger, this is the place to do it. Recently, his FLX Table in Geneva won the Readers Choice Best New Restaurant in USA Today for 2016. He also owns and operates Element Winery in Arkport, NY producing Riesling, Chardonnay, Syrah, and Cabernet Franc’s. Please visit for more info.

Winkler and Samuels Owner and Sommelier Melissa Winkler is proud to be working with Master Sommelier Christopher Bates (whom she is currently studying with to pursue the Advanced Certification and third level of the Court of Master Sommeliers) to bring this unique event to Buffalo. “Demand and interest in wine knowledge and education has been increasing as people want to know more about what they’re actually drinking. The trend of seeing farm to table, where food is sourced and how it’s grown is no different than the wine making process,” said Sommelier Melissa Winkler.

“Our store is proud to focus on smaller producers and family run wineries from around the world that focus on traditional techniques, and minimal intervention in the wine making process to produce quality wines that represent the best each region has to offer at all price points. More than half our inventory is under $15.00/bottle, and we’re so passionate about quality wines, we have an on site climate controlled cellar with monthly locker rental for members to properly store and age their collections.” Winkler and Samuels Cellar Members also receive in store retail and educational class discounts. For more information about Winkler and Samuels Wine Purveyors, please visit or on Facebook at Winkler and Samuels.

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. For more information about the Court of Master Sommeliers and the Introduction Examination, please visit

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

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