The quote on my wine coaster “Pour Me Wine & Tell Me I’m Pretty” sits on my desk. Now a half empty, room temperature Pellegrino sparkling water bottle sits on the quote with only the letter ‘P’ visible.
I peeled off the post it notes off my bathroom mirror that armed me with wine facts each morning and night while I washed my face and brushed my teeth. I cleared the dining room table littered with loose papers with practice short written responses to wine theory questions. I closed the study books, put my new obsession of pencils, highlighters, and pink erasers back into their rightful places and relieved our home office space of index card boxes filled with handwritten flashcards.
The months of studying, the self-doubt, and anxiousness of sitting for an advanced professional wine certification came to an end this past Sunday. I brought my two sharpened number two pencils, a pink eraser, and a bottle of water into the half empty theatre at the Epicurean Hotel in Tampa. Everyone briefly glanced at everyone else, no words were spoken. In front of us were two wine glasses, one with red, one with white. I immediately assessed the color of the white wine ‘pale lemon’ for the white and potentially ‘medium ruby’ for the red. In a few minutes, the big wooden doors to the theatre would be closed and the reading of the wine exam rules would begin. “You have thirty minutes to assess the wine”……And the rest was a blur of test haze. We moved from the blind tasting to multiple choice then to the dreaded written theory. I used every second on the timer to finish the written theory portion of the exam and cannot remember most of what I wrote. Now, I wait weeks for the results. I gave it my best and if my best was not good enough, I will return to tackle it again. In the meantime, it’s back to life.
These moments you must remember why you do it, why you put yourself through it. I know why, I love to learn, and I love to teach, and wine and food are my passions.
P.S. I received an email from the academy trying to entice me to consider level four, if my results are good. Seriously?