Master Sommelier Video: What it Takes to be a Restaurant Wine Expert

In the video below, Scott Carney, Director of Wine Education at the International Culinary Center, shares his insights on the education and training required to become a Master Sommelier. As well:

How is the Master Sommelier different from the Master of Wine?

What makes your approach to teaching wine different from other schools?

Why is it important for chefs to know about wine if they’re not going to be sommeliers?

What are the three most important traits of an excellent sommelier?

What trends and changes are you seeing in the sommelier field?

We’ll post part two of our conversation in the next couple days, stay tuned …

About Scott:

Scott Carney was born in Boston and, after graduating from Connecticut College, satisfied his curiosity about wine by taking a sommelier position at the Bay Tower Room in Boston’s financial district. As his curiosity grew into a passion, Scott moved on to a full-time sommelier position at the venerable Harvest Restaurant in Harvard Square where he also began a career in restaurant management. Recognizing a need to further his business skills, Scott enrolled in the Stern School of Business at New York University and after a stage in France, graduated with an MBA in Finance.

Scott joined the Gotham Bar & Grill as business manager and spent 10 years overseeing affairs as the restaurant earned three consecutive three-star reviews from the New York Times. It was during his tenure at Gotham that Scott began his study for the title of Master Sommelier, which he earned in 1991.

Since leaving Gotham Bar & Grill, Scott has worked in operations, beverage, and finance with a number of Manhattan’s leading restaurant groups, including The Glazier Group, Jean-Georges Management, and Les Halles Group. In 1998, he built and operated The Tonic in Chelsea, later selling his shares to his partner. He also consulted for such notable New York venues as Picholine and Tocqueville, and he oversaw the reopening of the famed Russian Team Room in 2006.

The International Culinary Center


Scott’s Summer Wine Pick:

2011 Seifried Riesling, New Zealand
Dry and flinty with pretty white floral aromas. Mouth-watering and lovely. Drink: 2012 – 2016 989541 13% D 750 ml $17.95 Score: 90/100




You may also enjoy these video chats:

Rex Pickett, mega-hit book/movie Sideways: Why did pinot noir sales skyrocket and merlot plummet after the movie? How did the author learn about wine to write the book?

Biodynamic and organic wines: do they taste better? Healthier? We chat with winemaker Ann Sperling, Southbrook Vineyards

Price of wines: how are they set? Is expensive always better? John Skinner, Painted Rock Winery

See all wine video chats here.

Is there someone else with a fascinating wine story whom you think I should interview? Please e-mail me:



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