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.
I’ve no idea why it happened, but this weekend something clicked in me, and weirdly in most of my classmates in the final year of our WSET Diploma. The panic in terms of the volume of work has set in and I’m absolutely shitting it!!
I’ve had a complete shocker. Well I have and I haven’t. In the sense that I haven’t I’ve been hugely privileged to be invited on this amazing trip to Napa and Sonoma with the Californian Wine Institute in March. I genuinely can’t wait, I’ve heard so many amazing things about the West Coast of the US and the chance to go over there with a bunch of wine-o’s is fantastic. Slight issue being is that I was meant to take a couple of WSET Diploma exams that week, so I’ve had to move them. And I’ve just found out where to!
Lots of studying again last week, but it’s slowly starting to sink in…I hope! I think when you know you’ve got an exam coming up, this quote sums it up nicely: “Today’s Christmas Eve, tomorrow’s Christmas Day, and I can’t wait for Boxing Day to be honest!” Yep, I’ll go with that right now. Anyway, enough about the exam, here comes the week’s line up on the blog…
I’ve got another WSET Diploma exam coming up. This time it’s Unit 6, which is all about fortified wines. So think Port, Sherry, Madeira, and so on. It’s bloody lucky that I find this stuff interesting, cos it’s bad enough as it is!
After three months of wondering how badly I’d ballsed up the tasting exam (and cursing my best mate Miles for unknowingly ringing me in the middle of the exam…bless him) the letter came through the post.
So I managed to pass Level 2 well enough, so before I got out of the hang of it, I thought I’d sign up straight away for the Level 3 course. I always find studying is a bit like that. If you get out of the habit, it’s a pain in the arse to get the books back out after a period off. So get them done quick I reckon!
To pass any level of the WSET you’ve got to get through an exam. Fair enough. Now I’m studying for the Level 4 I understand that not only does the material get tougher, the way you’re examined does too. But whatever level you’re at, the exam is tricky enough. I started at Level 2, and that was the first exam I’d sat in nearly 10 years, whichever way you look at it, it was brown trousers time!