At the time of writing, it is exactly one month before my second attempt at the MW practical exams. The name of the game now is damage limitation.
On my desk I have a sheet of paper labelled ‘The Oh Sh*t List’. This is a series of topics which, if I turned over my exam paper and saw them, would probably provoke a panic attack. Topics which are filling my nightmares such as Sauternes vintages, regions of the Languedoc, and Rosé winemaking. With the help of spreadsheets, flashcards and many, many, wine samples, I am working my way through this list.
I have written about technical tasting before, but now I am taking it to the next level. In my kitchen, I now have a box of neutral, dry, low abv white wine (Soave in case you’re wondering). I also have a bottle of vodka and a bag of sugar. I feel like a mad scientist as I doctor samples of wine to create examples of what 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15% abv tastes like. Likewise, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60g per litre of sugar. Is it slightly mad? Yes. Does my husband look at me in bewildered disbelief? Yes again. Will it help me pass the exams? I hope so!
Aside from this, I’m trying to take it easy (let’s not think too much about the eight mock exams in my diary). Lots of sleep, a healthy diet, plenty of walks around Ducklington Lake and, maybe counterintuitively, very little wine (to drink, that is). The last thing I want is to come down with a cold the week before D-Day!