Wine Tasting Tips with MS Tim Gaiser: Establishing a Routine

There are a little over 200 Master Sommeliers in the world and Tim Gaiser is one of them. Want to learn how to taste wine like a Master Sommelier or simply learn a little more about the art of tasting wine? Well watch and learn. Tim Gaiser is one of the best wine tasters in the world and in this wine video he is teaching us a few simple tricks to tasting wine like a genius. What does it take to be the best? Whether you want to be the next Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan or Tim Gaiser, any expert will tell you practice makes perfect and when it comes to becoming a Master Sommelier wine tasting is no different.

Becoming a Master

A little over 200 people have passed the Master Sommelier’s exam since it was established in 1977.  It is hands down the hardest wine test to take in the world, no questions asked. The exam is broken down into three sections: theory, service and blind tasting. Gaiser and other candidates agree the tasting portion is the hardest to swallow. Most will retake the wine tasting portion of the test several times before getting handed their MS diploma. Test takers have three years to pass all three parts. If they don’t succeed within three years they have to start over again with all three sections.

MS candidates need to know every wine region, village and district in the world. Candidates also need to know which years were better than others for each region. In the blind tasting portion of the test, they have to correctly identify six wines: know the grape varietal, the region it came from and the year it was made. During the service portion of the exam, they have to suggest food and wine pairings, talk about spirits, sake, and aperitifs and in addition to being skilled in distilled spirits.

Tim Gaiser Bio

Tim Gaiser is an internationally renowned wine expert and lecturer. He is one of 202 individuals worldwide to ever attain the elite Master Sommelier wine title and is currently the Director of Education for the American Chapter of the Court of Master Sommeliers Americas. He is also an adjunct professor for the Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in Napa Valley.

Over his 25-plus year career Tim has taught thousands of students in wines and spirits classes at every level as well as developing wine education programs for restaurants, winery schools and wine distributors. He has experience in all phases of the wine industry – online, wholesale, retail, winery, and restaurant – including stints at Heitz Wine Cellars in the Napa Valley and Bix and Cypress Club restaurants in San Francisco, and Virtual Vineyards/the original His client list includes Fosters Global Wines, Diageo, American Express, Evian, Pepsico International, Fiduciary Trust, Franklin-Templeton, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo.

Tim has written for a number of publications including Fine Cooking Magazine and Sommelier Journal. He also writes for numerous wine and spirits clients including Champagne Perrier Jöuet, Wines of Germany and the Portuguese Cork Quality Association. Gaiser has served as the author and lead judge for the Best Young Sommelier Competition and the TopSomm Competition, the two major American sommelier competitions. Considered one of the leading wine tasters and educators, Gaiser was recently featured in the Think like a Genius Wine Master training product, created by the Everyday Genius Institute.

In addition to his role as Education Director, Tim is now focused on a large scale project involving the use of behavioral and neuro sciences to teach and improve olfactory and palate memory and synesthesia as they apply not only to wine, but to other industries including spirits, coffee, tea, olive oil, and perfumes. His cutting edge research in this area is increasing the awareness of how our minds recognize and code smells and tastes. He is using this new information to change how people teach wine tasting and other disciplines that involve the use of sensory evaluation.

Prior to developing his wine expertise, Tim received an M.A. in Classical Music. He played classical trumpet as a freelance professional and as an extra with the San Francisco Opera until 1988. Tim travels the world for his work and lives with his family in San Francisco.

Thank you to Fifth Floor Restaurant in San Francisco for letting us use their lounge and dinning room for this Wine Oh TV video.

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