Turkey's first Master of Wine welcomes 'big life change'

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  • Monday 9 September 2013

Turkey's first Master of Wine, Dilek Caner, has said she wants to do more to help Turkish wines on the international stage.

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Caner, who was one of eight new Masters of Wine (MW) announced late last week, told decanter.com that passing the notoriously tough set of exams represents ‘a big life change’.

There are now 312 MWs across 24 countries, according to the Institute of Masters of Wine, which is this year celebrating its 60th anniversary.

‘I am very happy that Turkey can now claim an MW,’ said Caner, who is currently a full-time wine educator in Dallas, Texas in the US, and previously worked as a sommelier at Restaurant Alain Ducasse.

‘There are now very dedicated producers and wine enthusiasts in the country,’ she said. ‘Of course, one of my first steps will be to try and become more involved with Turkish wine, [to] see if I can help in any way. Hopefully we'll also see more Turkish MWs in the coming years.’

Caner, who did her MW dissertation on US consumer and trade perspectives around Washington State Syrah, and who also holds a PhD in economics from New York University, added that she has a couple of other projects in the pipeline. Teaching, though, will remain a major part of her work.

She was modest about the blind tasting part of the MW exam. ‘I am not one of those 'blind tasting geniuses, which makes it all the more fascinating to me.

‘I see it as an amazing game that combines knowledge, experience, physical ability, deductive reasoning and the necessity of a calm state of mind.’

Of the other seven MWs announced last week, six are based in the UK and one in the US.

They are: Demetri Walters, sales manager for private wine events at Berry Bros & Rudd; Anne McHale, a wine education specialist at Berry Bros & Rudd’s wine school; Jon Pepper, MD of UK importer Buckingham Schenk; Matthew Hemming, fine wine specialist at Averys Wine Merchants in Bristol; Barry Dick, UK wine development director for Accolade Wines; James Davis, senior buyer for retailer, pub owner and brewer Greene King; Amy Christine, of Kermit Lynch, a boutique Burgundy and Bordeaux importer in Berkeley, California, US.

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