As I go over my blog, I’m a little embarrassed to see that my last post was in July, 2015…quite pathetic actually! To my credit, I DID post last year that I may be away while I’m doing this whole diploma thing, and again to my credit, I guess it’s paid off because I’ve passed all the units up to this point. With that said, a mere six WEEKS from now, I will write the biggest exam of my life and of my wine career thus far. Unit three of the WSET Diploma(Wine and Spirits Education Trust) consists of a 5-hour exam…3 hours of written, formatted in both essay and paragraph answer style questions, along with two 1-hour tasting portions, each with 6 wines apiece, done in flights of three. Basically, 10 minutes per wine is all you get to write a complete tasting note according to their specifications. Am I worried? Well, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t.
From the beginning of this journey, I have always maintained that “failure is not an option”. I’m sticking to that mantra, as the thought of re-writing either one of these portions makes me quite literally sick to my stomach. The tasting portion, I’m feeling pretty confident about. It’s not about identifying the grape so much, but about hitting the key points in the notes for what is typical of that varietal, and catching nuances that might lead you to a particular region. It’s not about the “how” or the “what” at this level, but more of the “why”. And that will come into play in the written portion. I gotta say…three hours of straight writing is a LOT. The level of detail expected is a LOT and the amount that must be written is a LOT. If some of my practice questions are any indication, I’ve got a bit of work to do!
Throw in a full time job, a home to keep, being a mother and a wife, there definitely is a lot going on! But I can do this, and I WILL do this. I’ve got a designated study area, a schedule to follow, and although I may have some late nights in the next weeks, it’s all for a good cause!
Folks have already been asking me “what’s next?” Well, I DO know that staring at a computer screen, constant reading and writing will stop for a while so I can just “be” for a time. I’m going to enjoy the things I love to do that I’ve put aside for the time being…like playing the piano, or making my cards. Working out and regular exercise (gosh what is THAT??!!) Maybe some travel and leisure time with my family. But I will do more education, of that I’m sure! But travel will be involved along with that education! It’ll be “on the job training” to be sure, and that part will be fun! I look forward to the day when I take a European trip! I was 21 years old when last in Europe, and that was the British Isles. Italy, France, Portugal and Spain all await me in the near future.
I’m still managing a boutique wine store, I’m doing my first Somm gig at a fine dining restaurant next door, and hope to add some more Staff training and wine-list consulting to my CV. The future looks bright in my wine world and the ride will be fun! This is one roller coaster ride I may not want to get off! Saluti!
42 days and counting…