Category Archives: Master of Wine Life

Do or Do Not. There is No Try: Part II

I have been blogging for the past 7 1/2 years.  I have been in the Master of Wine program for 8 yeasrs.  Over those 8 years, I have learned many ways to fail the MW exam.  If you would like to catch up on all that drama follow these links; Fail 2Fail 3 (on which I also passed theory so not entirely a fail), Fail 4 and Fail 5.  Finally last year, after taking a forced year off, I figured out how to pass both parts of the closed book exam; theory and practical.  Now, after finishing my Research Paper (RP) I am reflecting over all of the trials and events of the past 8 years.  Finally, tonight I got the call that I have been striving for over the past 8 years! I am officially a Master of Wine!

In this post I would like to try and thank as many of the people that have helped and supported me to this point as I can.  It is by no means an exhaustive list but here it goes…

To God, for granting me this amazing life and the ability to live it to the fullest! Thank you for standing by me when I was alone in my darkest moments.

My amazing husband, Brian, for putting up with the crazy weekend tastings, my roller coaster of emotions over the past 8 years, and taking care of our son when I had to be at tastings, events, and the exam itself. Thank you for not divorcing me!

To my son, Nathaniel.  I keep telling you if you keep working hard, no matter what falls in your way, you will achieve your goals.  I hope my struggle through this serves as an example for you.  Keep plugging away and you’ll get there.  I’ll be right behind you, cheering you on.

To my extended family, my parents, and my in-laws, who have always been supportive of my pursuit even though I don’t think they understood what I was trying to do for the first 3 years.  They’ve figured it out now and were the first people on the call list when I found out!

The amazing DC Flynt, MW – without whose gentle kick in the butt, I wouldn’t have come back to the program and who continued to support me as my mentor for my final year until I was in rare fighting form! You and your wife were so generous.  THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! I couldn’t have done this without you!

My fellow Musketeers – Dave Forer, MW and Matt Deller, MW.  You guys made the journey so much fun.  All for one and one for all!  I’m so excited we are back together again!

Wendy Cameron, MW – Thank you for reading, and re-reading, and re-re-reading my RP!  I know it was long and complicated but I think it looks amazing!  Hopefully the markers feel the same. I hope we get to meet face to face sometime!

Sheri Morano, MW – Thanks for all the “Mommy” advice, the faith and support, shoulder to cry on, and the tough love when I needed it! Your graphing advice was the best!

Mark De Vere, MW – For being my sponsor on my application.  I really loved working with you and can’t wait to help out on the seminars!

Mark Ebaugh – My boss at Mission Bell who believed in me enough to fund my Diploma and my first year as an MW student.

Barbra Phillip, MW – My mentor for my first 5 years in the program.  Thank you for all your faith in me and for all the advice.  I’m so glad your faith paid off!

Bob Betz, MW – For proving to me that winemakers can become MWs! Don’t worry! You don’t have to teach the viticulture and winemaking sessions alone anymore!!!

Mary Ewing-Mulligan, MW – For giving me “You have to be and MW to pass the MW” speech.  Also the “Yoda” speech.  You are my “Yoda” for the MW program! Thanks for all the philosophy.

Lisa Granik, MW – Thank you for being so real about the program.  You scared the crap out of me the first year and that made me want to work harder to reach the bar that you set for all of us.  Thank you as well for listening to all my dissertation ideas and later RP ideas and guiding me to develop what I thought were two really good dissertation topics.  The one I picked was a beast but totally worth it in the end.

Peter Marks, MW – For always hosting tastings that were so much more tricky than the exam.  I thought that if I was able to pass a tasting with you I would have no trouble on the exam.  Thanks for always having my back!

Jean-Michel Valette, MW – Thank you for all your great lectures on the wine business.  I think I finally “got it” the 3rd lecture and it helped me pass Theory paper 3!

Siobhan Turner –  Thanks for all the support over the years.  I hope I can be as supportive for you on your journey now that you are the student.

Ed Killian – Thank you for always supporting and believing in me.  If I’m half as good of a boss as you are then I’m doing pretty well.

My fellow students who achieved the dream! – Adam Lapierre, MW, Amy Christine, MW, Anne Krebiehl, MW and Liz Thach, MW

Eric Heimer, MS, MW – Thanks for the unwavering support and the friendly trade of Viticulture and Winemaking knowledge for practical tasting knowledge.

The Constellation Team – Thank you for all your well wishes and support.   I really appreciate all the time and effort you have taken to help me out in the last four years of my pursuit.

Martin Reyes – Thanks for keeping me company and navigating on our grand adventure in Germany! Best of luck on your RP journey!

Chuck and Jen Van Fleet of Vino and Friends – for searching out a Hunter Valley Shiraz in Fresno so I could taste it and write an answer for it on my MW application

Christian Seely and the entire AXA Millesimes group- For sponsoring such an amazing tour of Bordeaux, Sauternes and Burgundy.  Your generosity astounded me!

Joel Butler, MW, Tim Hanni, MW, and Doug Frost, MW– For being all around great guys and always positive.

Like I said above, this is not an exhaustive list but I hope everyone knows how critical they were in my success in the program. I’m so excited! Thank you to all!!!!