I only really started being more serious about wine three or four years ago. I didn’t grow up with lots of wine in the house either. I’m also more of a blogger/experience person than a full on wine journo or professional taster. Effectively I’m just making plenty of excuses here as to why my palate is nowhere near as tuned to tasting different wines as I‘d like it to be.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s getting better, but maybe not fast enough to sit my final exam for my WSET Diploma that’s coming up on the horizon when my brain wants to let me. So when I found out the brilliant Anne McHale MW was running tasting workshops for people looking to improve their technique then it was an absolute no-brainer.
For anyone who doesn’t know, Anne’s a bit of a superstar taster. Following on from 2008’s award for the highest marks in her intake of the WSET Diploma, she followed that up with not one, but TWO top awards for her performance in the notoriously tough Master of Wine exams, including the Madame Bollinger Medal for the highest marks in the MW tasting exam.
If you’re going to try and up your game in wine tasting, you’d go a long way to beat sitting with Anne for an afternoon and taking in all she’s got to tell you.
So a couple of weekends ago myself and about 25 others were huddled together in the MW offices in Vauxhall in London being put through our paces in full on mock tasting exam environment. We pinged our way through the 12 wines, and after lunch found out exactly how many shockers we’d had (for me it was less than I’d thought, more than I’d like).
Then followed a couple of hours of run-throughs and top tasting tips from the woman herself. I’m not going to tell you the tips she gave us, I’ll let her keep them to herself for the next round of enthusiastic wine-o’s that go see her. But the confidence boost from just 4 hours on a Saturday afternoon was immense for most of us.
Thanks so much Anne!