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Accepted On The MW Study Programme.
Before we get started, I merged two MailChimp lists together on Friday evening, and about 30 of you received a welcome email from me, for this list, that I expect you signed up for ages ago, and I'm sorry about that. The internet is hard work.
Right, Lets Do This.
I've said I'd do it, and now I have to, lots of people gave me money, and I'm nothing if not true to my word.
This email nonsense is mostly reactive, mostly stream of consciousness waffle, and likely unanticipated inbox fodder. However, you subscribed to it, so settle down, or you gave me money followed swiftly by an email address and therefore you're even more invested in this.
The fundamental proposition is to follow my 'Master of Wine Journey', which, when you write it down sounds lame as fuck, but we're here now. Here is the tweet from a few weeks back...
It looks a bit self-congratulatory, right?
The cool thing is though, it worked. I asked a bunch of people if they wanted to help support me through the MW program, hold me to account, and follow along, and enough of you did. We fucking made it.
So. How did we get where we are?
Well, I had to get Sarah Abbott (Link in the above Tweet), to be a reference, and confirm I was a sensible candidate, I had to fill out a lengthy application form, as well as sit an online entry exam.
I had to taste two Sherries (yuk), and two Sauvignon Blanc, then answer some questions on them. I can't remember the exact questions, but they were along the line of "examine the market proposition of each wine". It being a given I knew what the wines were in the first place, in this exam, they told me. In the real exams, I wouldn't have a clue. Question number one would be along the lines of "What wines are these? You cocky bastard...".
That completed, I then had a theory question to answer, I figured out well in advance that the entrance exam questions would be drawn from an indicative pool of previous questions, and there would definitely be one on viticulture, so that's where I focussed my revision. In the end I got a question on the merits of cover crops*, which I'd had the chance to prep for, so felt relatively confident.
The planets aligned and the the flutter of emails that a year ago I was jealous of, with a splash of FOMO**, I was now part of. The "You're a MW Student" email was a relief in the end.
I crack on. It's self study, so there's not a heap of 'how to get started' literature. There's a certain degree of 'blank paper syndrome' *** where you just need to do something, and then you'll be on your way.
I started in my comfort zone, Excel Spreadsheets.
I put together all of the syllabus highlights and required study areas, and have made myself a study matrix, so I can document required study time, spread evenly across the syllabus, as well as map research, case studies and practical evidence to the newly compiled mega-matrix.
Then, I had a glass of wine. And that's about as much as I've done in the first month. I feel behind already and I don't really know how to catch up.
What to expect from this Newsletter...
Observations on the wine world, thoughts that are longer than a tweet or two, documented elaborations on pithy flutters elsewhere.
Plus, my honest real world version of what it's like to study for the Master of Wine, there will be lows and highs, but like the best wines, it will remain unfiltered.
Maybe some recommendations on wines you should try. No commercial interest declared.
If you enjoy it, tell your friends about it.
That should do it for now.
* Crops that aren't vines, that you grow between rows of vines for various reasons. Water, environment, pests etc.
** Fear of Missing Out.
*** Honestly, it exists