The Tasting Panel magazine

May 2014

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34  /  the tasting panel  /  may 2014 A LONE STAR LIFE W hen we last left Melissa Monosoff, at TexSom in Dallas last August (above), she was—to say the least—excited about her new life in the Lone Star State. As a Master Somm and a Certified Cicerone hailing from Philly, she became a Texan when she became Director of Wine & Education Pioneer Wine Company in Dallas. But life got really busy after she assumed the position of Associate Examination Director of the Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas. • For a while there, I thought I was going to do both. But no way. I definitely don't have time for both jobs full-time anymore. I'm more of a consultant now for Pioneer, but it keeps me up to date. • The Court is really exciting right now. We're launching and changing pretty much every program at every level. We're especially honing in on what's important for the Level One students and how we get it across—because there is such a wide range of student knowledge out there. The response from the students and candidates has been overwhelmingly positive. • With the help of a team of people, I'm rewriting and re-organizing entry-level edits in PowerPoint and uploading those to the introductory course program. I also help organize, put on, and create the tests of all the high level exams. My baby is truly the Intro, but I can tell my new baby is becoming the Level 3, the Advanced. • PowerPoint is really tedious. • I don't think I've adjusted my techniques from when I "taught" in a restaurant and when I'm teaching now. The whole idea is always to be approachable, so someone can ask me any question they want and not feel intimidated. That's not changed. • We just launched our Level 3 Advanced Course. That's been a new thing for me. It was a great success, but the logistical side of it was also pretty advanced. • I still feel like the restaurant is my natural habitat. • It's been really upsetting to me because I've not been able to study or put (my Cicerone training) into action at all. When I first started this job, I thought I could study and taste beer and start teaching beer classes. No way. But I am going to apply for 2015 Master Cicerone, for sure. An Educated Life DALLAS-BASED MELISSA MONOSOFF, MS AND CERTIFIED CICERONE, SHARES SOME OBSERVATIONS AND OPINIONS FROM HER POST AS ASSOCIATE EXAMINATION DIRECTOR FOR THE COURT OF MASTER SOMMELIERS, AMERICAS interview by Anthony Head / photo by Kirk Weddle Melissa Monosoff is determined to keep both beer and wine in her life. TP0514_034-71.indd 34 4/24/14 11:02 PM

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