MWWC 21: Perfect Pairings to the Perfect Pairings


I’m not skint, but I’m not exactly feeling flush either. A year after leaving gainful employment to join the wine industry and things have gone pretty well. I’m feeling a lot less like an amateur having a go, and a bit more like I know what I’m doing and what I’m talking about. Well, to an extent anyway. But as with any start up business, you don’t exactly get a shed load of money back out initially. So the belt needs tightening here and there. 

A slight snag with that is the WSET Diploma. Not only does it cost the best part of two grand for each of the two years, but the extra costs can be a bit on the tough side. For my recent Fortified Wine unit I had to practice for the tasting, and ended up going out and buying 12 bottles of fortified wines to taste through. When you think that includes having to taste Vintage Port, then it gets a bit on the punchy side. But I passed, and I guess you can say it was worth it in the end.

Now a few of us on the course are trying to work out what to do next. We’ve still got a year to go, but when do you start that year? It was full on, especially round exam time, and year 2 is meant to get nuts, especially when it gets to Unit 3, which they reckon should take at least 300 hours to prepare for. That’s basically a month of doing nothing else. For one unit. Yikes!

But luckily, they’ve already given us the Unit 3 textbook so we roughly know what’s coming up. At the front of this text book is a set of recommended tasting flights. That basically means a set of 3 or 4 wines they recommend you tasting next to each other. And there are 25 of these flights. So 25 x 3or4 x an average of £15 a bottle. That’s going to add up!

So I came up with an idea. It’ll work for my blog, for my studying, for my cooking skills, and hopefully for my mates too. I’m going to start doing supper clubs. My mates throw in a couple of quid here and there and I’ll cook them a four courser with the matching wines.

So the wines have all been paired up to be the most eye opening comparisons. So it’s my job to work on the menus and come up with the perfect pairings for the perfect pairings. I’ve whizzed online to get all the ex-library books from Amazon on Food and Wine matching, and I’m about to sit down after I’ve finished this post and rattle off the first 4 dinners.

Rachel Khoo eat your heart out! Here comes “The Little Camden Kitchen”!




This was post for the Monthly Wine Writer’s Challenge



12 thoughts on “MWWC 21: Perfect Pairings to the Perfect Pairings”

  1. I love this idea. I am a Diploma candidate, too, and the struggle is so, so real! Let me know if you open your Supper Club to others. Wonder also about trying virtual tastings with other students, though that does not solve the issue of buying each bottle and sharing costs. I think you are on to something.

  2. Crowd source for your WSET fees – heck if kicking in $20 USD will keep your expertise flowing I’m certain fans will pile on. May feel cheesy but your earnest and ambitious to hit the goal – you will be rewarded for that and the return is even more great content for your followers! 🍷😘

  3. Pingback: #MWWC21 Time to vote! | the drunken cyclist

  4. Actually, I am skint and that’s why I’ve not yet signed up for the diploma. The irony is that I’ve had the time, but not the money. And doing it at the wset school saves buying the bottles but does vastly inflate the initial outlay.
    So, I’ve stalled. Would love to read some of the textbooks in lieu of studying officially, but it’s not the same- and getting the reading lair is a challenge

    1. Yeah I’m chuffed to have nailed Year One, and decided to knock in on the head until next year now, just concentrate on getting through December first 🙂

      I think the class room is better solely because you can bounce off the others in the class, but you’re right, it is a bit more punchy

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