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* Hospitality and Tourism Management

November 6, 2007

Hospitality, tourism management students learn master wine skills

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Thirty Purdue University students will learn the finer points of selecting wine from three world-class wine experts in an intensive two-day program Thursday and Friday (Nov. 8 and 9) at the Holiday Inn Select, Lafayette.

Kelly Phelan, a doctoral student in Purdue's Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, is coordinating the program. Phelan, of Las Vegas, said students learn about wine production, service standards, and food and wine pairings from Master Sommeliers.

"Students will learn how to open and present wine, how it's made and how to identify descriptors such as oak, citrus, fruit and depth," she said. "At the conclusion of the nearly 17-hour course, students have the opportunity to take the examination that is the first of three exams required to become Master Sommeliers."

Ray Kavanaugh, hospitality and tourism management professor and department head, said the course is generally not offered at universities. Purdue was host to the nation's first on-campus Master Sommelier class in 2001.

"The Master Sommelier class is a critical component of the hospitality and tourism curriculum," Kavanaugh said. "Our students have proven their capabilities over and over again by earning the same grades in this first test as self-study professionals."

The Master Sommeliers who will teach the program are Matt Citriglia from Ohio, Larry O'Brien from Las Vegas and Brian Cronin from San Francisco.

The first Master Sommelier examination was held in the United Kingdom in 1969. By 1977, the Court of Master Sommeliers was established as the premier international examining body. During the two decades since the Master Sommelier Court's first examination was held, 125 candidates have earned the Master Sommelier diploma.

The Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management recently celebrated the future Marriott Hall, a new $12 million building that will upgrade all areas of Purdue's hospitality programs. Its undergraduate offerings are already ranked No. 1 in the nation by the two most recent surveys of programs of their kind.

Writer: Maggie Morris, (765) 494-2432,

Sources: Kelly Phelan, (765) 443-527-1725,

Ray Kavanaugh, (765) 494-4643,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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