Chris Ramelb was named Hawaii’s fourth master sommelier today, earning the top level of certification in wine knowledge and service.
The Court of Master Sommeliers this morning announced a list of 24 masters who passed the Master Sommelier Diploma Examination held Monday and Tuesday in St. Louis, Mo.
Reached by phone in St. Louis, Ramelb said he was celebrating with other successful candidates – drinking beer.
The sommelier exam has three parts — theory, service and blind tasting. Ramelb passed the theory section in July and the other two this week. “It was so hard,” he said.
Now that it’s over he’s looking forward to a return to normalcy. He had to give up eating dairy, spices and gluten for a month to keep his palate fresh for the exam. “I’m very excited to be a human being again.”
Ramelb, a sales support manager at Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits in Honolulu, was one of 141 candidates who sat for the exam, held twice yearly. A 2006 graduate of Kapaa High School on Kauai, he earned a degree in computer science at the University of Hawaii-Manoa. He worked for Vino Italian Tapas & Wine Bar and Alan Wong’s restaurant, then became sommelier for Senia restaurant.
Hawaii’s other master sommeliers are Chuck Furuya, Roberto Viernes and Patrick Okubo.