This will be my last column before I make my second attempt at the MW practical exams. I am now at the point where I’m counting down in days rather than weeks.
I spent last week in London, where I sat a grand total of eight full mock exams. While utterly exhausting, this was also very useful. Mistakes were obviously made, and I had a few real disasters – but better now than during the real thing.
There were also some highs. I am finally getting the hang of accurately assessing sugar and alcohol – a huge help in overcoming my fear of brown and sweet wines. In fact, I am no longer afraid of them!
I also managed to spot a Hunter Valley Semillon – something that has been a blind spot for several years. In final mock exam that I sat, I identified ten out of the twelve wines perfectly. If the real thing looks like that then I have nothing to worry about.
Of course, still have my weaknesses. Oak is sometimes hard for me to spot in red wine. Identifying vintages can also be a challenge. After years of avoiding Pinotage, I still find it difficult to pick out of a line-up.
However, as exam week draws nearer, a strange thing has happened. Calm has descended. I feel… confident?
The exams are on the 6th, 7th, and 8th of June. Which means that by the time this is published, it will all be over and I will be enjoying some long awaited freedom!