It has been a little more than two weeks since I have posted an update, my apologies but I have been rather busy to say the least. I’ll fill you in shortly but most importantly, I have officially signed up for the Certified exam! I will be taking it on July 14th, 2017 at the Metropolitan State University located just a few minutes from our apartment in downtown Denver.
I never would have thought that just signing up for the exam would make me anxious but it sure did. As soon as I hit ‘submit’ the palms of my hands were sweaty and I started thinking about everything a little more seriously. A huge thank you to my mother and father who generously paid the exam fee just so I could pursue a passion of mine, I love and appreciate you both so much!
Now for the nitty, gritty stuff:
Theory-Out of the three main pieces of the exam, theory (currently) feels like my biggest area of opportunity. Since my last post, I studied my way through the thirteen anbaugabeite (quality wine regions) of Germany. The language was probably the most difficult that I have encountered yet and then there was the confusing labeling requirements to follow however, I persevered. Next up…Italy.
In addition to my daily studies at home, I meet with the Cork Dorks every Sunday morning for review of all the countries we have covered so far. I have them mix the flashcards together and fire questions at me for about 30-45 minutes so I can get the hang of being pulled from region to region in a short period of time (similar to the exam). I have to admit that I did not do so well this last week but I am not going to let that get me down; next week I will be better. Practice makes perfect!
Service-I haven’t dove head first into this area quite yet, I will once I get a little closer to the exam. For now, I practice when I can at work and at home but it is not a major focus.
Blind Tasting-I continue to blind taste at least once weekly with either Erin or Doug which is fun and super educational; I am doing better than I expected to so that is a plus but I still have my opportunities too. The biggest challenge I am facing now is that I have not tasted all the testable varietals (wether white or red) so if I haven’t had them to enjoy them, how can I expect to blind taste them and get my final conclusion right? Doug has asked me to taste all of the testable varietals on my own prior to our next blind tasting; that is what I am working on now. After that, I have to really focus on using the Deductive Tasting Method properly. I know I will get better at it, it just takes time.
It also costs a pretty penny each week to buy all these different types of wine to taste, luckily the Cork Dorks are willing to help me out with this too. We are going to get together at one of our houses, each bring a few of the testable wines and taste them blindly next to each other (Ex: Old World Chardonnay next to a New World Chardonnay). Not only will this help me taste through all of the varietals but it will help me better understand what makes the wine Old World vs. New World and vice versa because that is a key part to the final conclusion.
For fun-As much as I take this exam seriously, I feel it is equally important to have fun with it too. So, for fun these past couple of weeks I have attended two luncheons put on by different vendors I work with. The first one was all about Spanish wine at a restaurant called Rioja; I took a co-worker with me who is also studying for her Certified exam. Then, early last week I went to the Blue Island Oyster Bar to taste some killer new Australian wines that just entered the American market. I have also attended an incredible portfolio tasting with Doug which featured some great French and California wines. I enjoy these types of events quite a bit because the owners and/or their winemakers are usually there with you to explain the wines and share with you their story first hand. What more could I ask for?
That is it this time around; it may not sound like much but trust me when I say I have my hands full between studying and everyday life! Honestly though, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Until next time…
I would just like to say thank you for following me on my journey to become a Master Sommelier, it means so much to have your support. Please be sure to leave a comment and subscribe to my blog so you can stay up to date on all of my latest adventures!