The Life of an MW Student – Thirty Three

My latest attempt at the Master of Wine Practical exam is now well and truly behind me. I can say with almost total certainty that I have not passed this time around. I’m not too disappointed about this. How can you be, when only 15% of people who sit the exam actually manage to pass it? It is without question the most difficult thing I have ever attempted to do.

We now know what the wines were, which gives you a reasonable indication of how you’ve done. Paper One, white wine, went exceptionally well for me. I managed to get 11/12 of the wines correct (better than any of my mocks!). Paper Two, red wine, was more middling. I got more wines correct than incorrect, but hopefully the quality of my arguments was sufficient to get through.

Then we get to Paper Three – the mixed bag. This paper has been my nemesis ever since I freaked out over a line-up of dessert wines last year. I did a lot of work to remedy this. I tasted endless Sherry, Madeira, Muscat, Marsala – you name it. By the time the exam came around, I was the queen of brown wine. Well, you can guess what happened. There were no bloody brown wines in the exam!

I have to admit that my identification of the wines was poor on Paper Three. The only saving grace was that in most cases I considered the correct answer, only to come down on the side of the wrong one at the end. However, with the calmness that time brings, I am sure that my performance on this paper wasn’t of MW standard.

My hope is that I have done better than last year. Looking at the wine list it certainly seems that I have, but there are still six weeks to wait until I find out.

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