One For The Girls

By / Magazine / February 28th, 2011 / 1

Tidings congratulates Jennifer Huether for making history. She has just become a Master Sommelier, the first woman ever to attain that level of expertise in Canada.


Huether joins a league of only 180 Master Sommeliers worldwide and is only the third Canadian to receive the title. Master Sommelier marks the highest recognition of wine and spirits knowledge, beverage service abilities and professionalism in the hospitality trade. The coveted designation is granted after several years of intense training and rigorous exams that include a practical service component, theoretical knowledge examination and blind tastings. Thirty candidates attempted the invitation-only examination in Irving, Texas, and Huether was among only six recipients of the designation.

In her role as Head Sommelier for Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment and Toronto’s newest restaurant, e11even at Maple Leaf Square, Huether oversees an extensive and challenging wine program. She was instrumental in developing the extensive wine list at e11even, which includes 4,000 bottles and more than 600 labels from regions around the world.

The examination was one of the most challenging experiences Huether has ever encountered, she admitted. “You have to be able to perform all the required tasks under pressure, so understanding how to keep that in check was crucial for me,” she said. Huether acknowledged other Master Sommeliers for her victory. “The Master Sommeliers who mentored me through this process were invaluable in giving me advice about how to develop my own skills and deal with the anxiety of the exam itself. I am truly grateful for their guidance and support.”

Huether’s achievement comes after a 10-year career in hospitality. After graduating top of her class from the International Sommelier Guild in 2000, she went on to gain the Diploma of Wine and Spirits from Wine and Spirit Education Trust in 2003. Huether was accepted into the Advanced Sommelier Program from the Court of Master Sommeliers and gained accreditation in the first round of testing in 2004.

Come back tomorrow to find out who won Gold at the Gold Medal Plates Grande Finale Championship!

Looking at the small things that make life great and the people who create them.

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