Attempting to recount every regional wine law and grape variety on top of every playdate, basketball practice and drama rehearsal at the same time—what was I thinking?
Adding WSET into the mix of motherhood is cray cray, but hey – my 5 year old can open a bottle of wine. Skills, I tell you. I’m winning at motherhood! (There is a video of this childhood milestone, but I’m not sure if the Twitter-sphere will accept it as a good mothering moment, so we will keep that one in the family, thank you very much!)
What is the WSET you ask?
In terms of wine training and education, there are two main tracks people take that are both respected and grueling. Yes, there are many courses out there, but these two have the lead. Let me educate you on wine education:
Wines & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) and Court of Master Sommeliers (CMS)
I get asked all the time if I am a “Sommelier”, which essentially translates as a “wine steward” and is something people seem to be most familiar with. This is a service-oriented qualification, such as you would find in a restaurant. Primarily, to be a sommelier, people will study with CMS, but both CMS and WSET qualified peeps are kick-ass wine people, regardless of whether they are a ‘true’ sommelier or not.
The WSET is generally considered to be more academic – or theory based rather than service based. But both are equally intense, and very hard to pass. The point is essentially to be an expert.
The WSET has levels 1-4, which is the track most take for MW (Master of wine). CMS has levels 1-3 (Intro, Certified, and Advanced), leaving level 4 essentially the MS (Master Sommelier). The WSET’s level one can possibly be skipped if you already have a basic knowledge of wine. Level two culminates in a multiple-choice test, and level three involves wine tasting and theory-based questions, making for one hard test. The big step up happens at level four, dubbed ‘diploma’. This is a series of 6 exams, with the accompanying courses usually taking 2-4 years to complete. This is a vast ocean in terms of what you need to know. This is where I currently find myself, inside this vast ocean. I am so close to wrapping this course up, I can almost taste the tannins of success! But for now, I stumble around in my sweatpants and I hit the books.
Have you missed me? My life has essentially been devoted to passing these tests, studying for them and oh yeah—raising my kids! They did not build a parent/mother excuse into these exams. Forget any free pass, and kids don’t care if you’re “trying” to study.
I leave you with a fun picture we made. Some people may think my life as a wine blogger is super glamorous and that I taste wine all day while looking gorgeous (eh-hem). While I wish that were true, the second picture more accurately describes a typical ‘day in the life’, at least at my house. These photos were very fun to make – but took up too much of my valuable study time. . .