Pour Me Wine & Tell Me I’m Pretty

PUBLISHED ON: 11.14.2023

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?

  • Velva, your commitment to excellence and discovery is what you are known for. We admire you, respect you and wish we were more like you. Don’t ever doubt yourself. You’re a winner. ❤️🎯😊

    • Michelle Wilson

      A beautiful picture into your day. You are the best kind of educator – one that takes her students on a journey that she continues to pursue. I’m proud and impressed to know you!

  • Judy’s comment sums it up better than I could have! It has been inspiring to watch you work so hard towards your goal this year, and regardless of your score, you’ve accomplished so much just by taking on this task! Can’t wait to see you in person to hear more about it!

  • oh my i admire your dedication and commitment. I feel too old for such anxiety :=) Good luck.

  • So exciting!!! I hope you find out soon.

  • Hope you get good news soon,

  • Inspired by your drive, as mine is slowly heading in the opposite direction these days.

  • I Love Reading this. You are doing such a great job keeping yourself young and sharp. Proud to hear of your hard work. Now put your mind to rest and enjoy the good wine over the holidays.

  • Congratulations for the fact that you tried, something more than most of us would do. Wishing you all the best.

  • Chica, I hope you’re feeling lighter now that you’ve completed the test. Keeping my fingers crossed that you’ve conquered and slayed the test!

    I can’t wait to raise a glass with you in celebration of this goal being accomplished.

  • It is so amazing to me that you are able to do this. Your knowledge is so impressive, and I wish I had a 10th of your knowledge. The one thing we both have in common is our love of food and wine. I hope the results are good, and will be interested to see if you go on to level four.

  • Fingers crossed you passed the test and will be fully certified!! xo

  • Shirley L. McFadden

    Whatever happens, look at all you have learned and can share.

  • I bet that you would past the test with flying colours!

  • I’ll be so anxious to hear if you decide on level 4. Have you ever watched the documentary Somm? About getting the Master designation?

  • How exciting and nerve wracking, I’m sure! Good luck, Velva!

  • I am holding thumbs for you that it all went perfectly! And I would think they could hold off trying to get you to do the next level until you had passed this one 🙂

  • Good luck on your exam results. And thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment.

  • I admire your drive. Good luck on the test score!!!
    I never know how good lentil soup could be until I had some at a random restaurant in Newport, RI. It was the most memorable soup experience I have ever had. So good!!! This soup looks delicious!! The apple garnish adds a crisp and cool contrast to the warmth of the spices and heat of the soup.

  • ! You never know how you will do but you certainly put in the effort and I’m sure learned a lot ! Good luck!

  • This is so exciting and I wish you all the best when the results are released. It sounds most comprehensive but you have studied and studied well. Hats off to you for taking on this challenging course — I know you will reap the benefits.

    I smiled when i read this. Next weekend we are hosting our Cork Poppers tasting group and I can assure you that we are not nearly so sophisticated in palate or knowledge as you are (even, no doubt, before your class!). We have about a dozen couples in our group and only one has taken a class but our bi-monthly gatherings give us a chance to try lots of wines new to us and (at least for the first few, more seriously!) learn a little! (And to be honest, I think we do it just as much for the food and fun!). I fear you would be aghast at our “reviews” and assessments of the wines we try. But the fact is, the more you taste, the more you learn what you love (or don’t) and, if you’re lucky, why!

    I wanted to thank you for coming over to The Marmelade Gypsy from Sherry’s and hope you return. I know I will be back here. I’m signing up for you posts!

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