Almost exactly one year ago I was madly cramming for the WSET Diploma unit 3 exam and tasting as much wine as I could. So if anyone reading this blog is doing the same right now, my thoughts are with you!
So what difference has passing the Diploma made to me through 2009?
- I thought I'd have more time as there was no need to spend at least one day per week studying but I can't think where that time has gone. It doesn't make me wonder how I found the time before as it only goes to show that if you want to do something enough, you'll find the time.
- I've been invited to apply as a judge - rather than as an associate judge whose scores don't count - by the IWSC. And I hope to judge for the IWC as well as they had previously said that when I passed my Diploma they would invite me along.
- I've helped out at five trade events which has been a great way to expand my network of contacts and try new wines.
- Friends treat my new found "skill" with an element of awe but have fun giving me a glass of wine and asking me to identify it, blind. No matter how tough you tell them it is to get it right they still expect me to guess correctly.
- I was nominated for a scholarship because of my Unit 3 results but unfortunately it was awarded to someone else. It's a shame as I could happily have spent a month working for the company who sponsor it.
- I still spend a lot of time reading up about wine as well as tasting it. It's such an absorbing subject and there is so much to learn - and enjoy - I take every opportunity to read magazines, check out web site and blogs and even utilise Twitter. I record all the wines I taste often putting them on Adegga and try to taste 3 or 4 per week on top of any trade events I go to.
- I'm still occasionally tempted to try the unit 5 Honours Diploma and when I read about Richard Hemmings MW trials and tribulations on Twitter, I feel a pang of envy about the learning and the ensuing satisfaction I get from it. But then I come to my senses!
So 2010 I think will be more of the same although I'll have the added pleasure of choosing the wine for my daughter's wedding in September.
BTW the picture is of a book I won in a recent competition which if I hadn't been a Twitter user. I wouldn't have known about.