At the time of writing this, I am exactly eight weeks away from my first exam of the Master of Wine programme. The revision has ramped up and truly I have never worked so many hours in my life. Here’s what a typical day might look like.

In the morning, my alarm goes off at 4:40. I am now in the habit of making large batches of coffee which I keep in the fridge ready to provide an early morning jolt of caffeine and get me to my desk. Two hours of uninterrupted morning study ensue. If this sounds like torture to you it really isn’t! I spend this time on deeper work projects. To give you an idea of what those entail, this week has included several in-depth video interviews with new-wave South African wine producers, a dive into organic methods of controlling vineyard pests and diseases and getting to grips with the function of enzymes in winemaking. Once or twice a week I’ll also throw in a mock tasting or theory exam.

I have found that the only antidote to the fried feeling in my brain after this study session is sweat. So the next stop is the gym. If I’m feeling especially masochistic, I’ll accompany my workout with a podcast. My favourite is I’ll Drink to That – a series of in-depth interviews with real legends of the wine world. On the subject of podcasts, if you’re interested in learning more about wine there are some excellent options. I particularly recommend Wine Blast with married Masters of Wine Susie Barrie and Peter Richards which manages to be fun, informative, and suitable for all levels.

A day at work will invariably involve some tasting. Today we were joined by John Atkinson of Danbury Ridge – a new producer in Essex making the best still English wines I’d ever tasted. You might even see them on the shelves at The Oxford Wine Company sometime soon! Usually, during these tastings, I’ll siphon off a small sample of wines into my growing collection of 50ml bottles to taste later. A quick spritz of argon gas means the wine will stay in good condition for a couple of weeks so I can retaste at my leisure with my exam brain in gear.

Evenings typically start with a spot of tasting practice. In a recent tasting exam I had problems distinguishing between Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot blends from around the world so this has been the focus this week. The study day will end with me curled up on the sofa, headphones in, laptop on, absorbed in a webinar.

When you start the MW course, you are warned about how all-encompassing it can become. Let’s just hope it will all be worth it.