What they have encountered is very different. Twenty-one women told The New York Times that they have been sexually harassed, manipulated or assaulted by male master sommeliers. They, and other current and former members of the court, say the abuse is a continuing problem of which its leadership has long been aware.
This is truly horrifying to read. I have met lady sommeliers who have forgotten more about wine than I will ever learn; to read how their career prospects and personal goals are limited by the usual cabal of old white men shows how deep the toxicity of our industry has reached. These are people who will never experience any hindrances in life in their quest for booze and sex and the vast majority of them need to suffer both civil consequences and for those who have commited assaults, criminal charges.
I’ve read stories of rock stars who have been more respectful even at the nadir of their personal lives— and they are people who sing about sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll.
Those who control the Court of Master Sommeliers all need to quit or be forced out, new leadership brought in and new rules implemented to prevent people in power from forcing situations and relationships on those who just want to learn more.
This sadly feels like just another stop in the #MeToo journey but here is hoping it will bring about lasting change.