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Stage 2 - Take Two.
My plan for today was to start properly prepping for my upcoming re-attempt at Stage 2 of the MW programme.
Instead I tidied the car, did some washing, walked the dog and had a nap. Then I cooked some dinner. The England v South Africa rugby World Cup semi-final starts in 1 hour.
I really haven’t got my head back in the game since re-registering and deciding to have another crack without a break. Time to get prepped.
Six Months to Get Sorted.
I need to do a few things.
Refresher on each theory paper, and identify the big gaps.
Refresh on the practical paper, dry notes and blind tasting practice
Choose study days and course days for the new year.
Look at the Theory & Practical practice questions to submit for the year, the first deadline for theory essays is November 5th.
Start some gentle practice essays.
Refresh my reading material.
Re-organise and update my GoogleDrive for the new year.
Build my study plan month by month from Nov until April.
I’m planning until April, because May is revision month. So, no 'new’ information allowed, May is all about distilling down the knowledge that you’ve already got.
New Books, New Plan
I bought Jamie Goode’s new book, The New Viticulture. Which I’m going to be dipping into as often as possible. Ridiculously, Spotify comes with Audiobooks now and Jamie’s ‘Wine Faults’ is on there, but narrated by some American guy whose voice sounds like an advert for kitchen detergent. Even more ridiculous was Amazon selling Jamie’s book ‘Wine Science’ for about £8 the other day.
So yes, three books by Jamie Goode in the last week or two, if I pass this year, then I know who I’ll have to thank1.
I’m not going into the next six months without a plan. I’m also not going into the next six months without the last two years behind me. Stage 1 felt pretty comfortable, and I’m happy with how the first attempt at Stage 2 went. I’ve got plenty to build on.
Practical plan: Much of the same. I mentioned to a friend the other day that I need to get better identification, as “it’s much easier if you know what the wines are”. What I meant by that, is, for example I got 60% (+) on the Red Wine paper and only got 3/12 of the wines correct. I’m comfortable with my structural answers2. I just need to get better at knowing what the wines are.
Theory plan: More Paper 1 & 2, winemaking and viticulture. They were many weakest papers. It means I’m hoping to spend more time in wineries and vineyards, luckily I’m doing harvest at Flint Vineyard3 this year, and that has already made a difference.
Bordeaux and Mentors
Some news from the Masters of Wine people:
From this academic year onwards, formal mentors, assigned by the IMW, will only be offered to those in stage one of the study programme. This is to focus mentoring resource on orienting new students and helping them to create a support network as they embark on their MW journey.
We recognise that as students move into stage 2 the relationship with their mentor tends to change, and that students widen their support network – often finding more informal mentoring along the way. Therefore, in stage two, formal mentors will not be assigned, although students and mentors are encouraged to continue maintain their relationship.
Well, my mentor is fantastic, so I’m sticking with Siobhan4, the bonus is that a friend of mine, Jo, who’s re-doing Stage 1 got assigned Siobhan too, so that’s real lovely.
I’ll be at the IMW’s Bordeaux Tasting in a week or two, followed by a first crack at some wine tasting with Siobhan the day after, so I’ll use that as a launchpad for the next six months.
Obviously I’ll keep you posted, got to go, the rugby is on in 5 mins.
Myself. Anyone can read a book.
Winemaking, Structure, Commercial Position, Quality.
As ‘informal’ as it may be….