It’s Halloween 2016 and there are a lot of scary things about this year – who will become the next President, rogue clowns lurking around San Diego, gluten intolerant trick-or-treaters, running out of wine at your Halloween party…
Honestly though, what I’ve been most afraid of is studying for this WSET Level 3 exam! I know it sounds ridiculous, and it should be easy, right? I’ve taken hundreds of tests before, I should have a solid study technique down by now. But, I really have been all over the place. Between making flashcards, making charts, looking at maps, watching videos and blind tasting, it’s been very difficult to organize everything into a neat, clean study plan that makes sense and helps me retain the information.
My worst nightmares have been the maps. It’s one thing to memorize places on a map, but it’s a whole different monster to know what grapes, what soils, what climate, what blends, what laws and what wine making techniques are specific to each sub-region of each larger region. Every map I look at, all I can see in my head is one enormous branch diagram that could quite possibly take months to memorize, and there are upwards of 60 different regions that are covered in this course, and the exam is in less than 2 months…I’m getting spooked just typing about it!
All this to say, I’m working on study tricks that will help me retain this information and help me connect the dots. I need to keep reminding myself of the ultimate treat that awaits at the end – a Level 3 certification and a serious sense of pride and relief. When I lack motivation or get discouraged, I need to remember why I got involved in this in the first place, and that was simply because I love wine! I love to drink it and I want to know more about it when I do drink it. I want to start a business (more on that in a future blog). I want to have knowledge to back up my passion. By looking at the bigger picture, hopefully that will help me focus during those hard days when I ask myself what the heck I got myself into.
On a sweeter note, I’ll leave you with this handy wine and candy pairing chart. A glass in one hand and candy in the other will help you get through the evening while little monsters swarm your front door (just make sure you hand them the right one when they say “Trick or Treat!”)