Room to Breathe

Oh nelly! I just finished (hopefully, maybe, dear god please…) the last of my WSET Diploma exams with two days of hand cramps and blind tasting. I won’t know for three months or so if I passed but after more than a year of this ordeal consuming my life, I just want to move on.

Photo by Uoaei1 Wikimedia Commons CC-BY-SA-4.0

Photo by Uoaei1 Wikimedia Commons CC-BY-SA-4.0

In future posts, I’ll share more thoughts about going through the WSET Diploma process and the value of wine certifications in general. The most concerning thing for me is how much that studying for this D3 Wines of the World exam has completely sapped the joy of wine from my life. Of course, there was good mixed with the bad. I do feel that my grasp of wine has grown considerably–which is a huge plus.

But, right now, I’m wondering if it was worth it? Was all that stress, strain, time and expense really worth it? I must confess that there is a tiny part of me worried about how much of myself, and my passion, I lost doing this. Like the folks recovering from COVID who haven’t quite gotten back their sense of smell, is there a risk of long-haul “Fuck this Shit”?

So I’m looking forward to getting back in the saddle writing about the things that make me love wine.

I’m looking forward to having conversations, rather than interrogations, with what’s in the glass. I want to listen to what the wine has to say rather than try to suss out every detail and minutiae.

Is this fruit ripe or just barely underripe? What does this say about the climate?
Are these green notes herbal from cooling influences? Pyrazines from the variety & canopy shading? Stems from whole cluster? Uneven ripeness?
How much is the residual sugar impacting my sense of acidity, and vice versa?
Are these tannins firm, fine-grain, grippy, chalky, around the gums, on my tongue, roof of the mouth?


That was my world with every glass this past year. So, yeah, there’s a bit of PTSD from this whole process that I’m working through. But I wanted to drop this note to give folks an idea of what’s to come.

I’ll still be writing about wine industry stuff but you’ll see more geeky writing as I try to reclaim my joy. My 60 Second Wine Reviews will be back with a focus on the wines that bring pleasure and those intriguing conversations I crave.

Because after this year, compounded by COVID, that’s what I really need right now.


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