Tag Archives: Master of Wine Program

Back on the Horse: My Return to the MW Program

 Last week I received confirmation that I can officially call myself an MW student again.  This past year has been extremely strange, living on the periphery of a program that has been a huge part of my professional life. For those who are new to following the journey on my blog I will give you a brief history.

I graduated Cornell back in 2006.  In 2007, I discovered the Master of Wine program and decided to pursue it by first starting with the prerequisite WSET courses.  I completed my advanced WSET certificate in 2007 and started the Diploma program in 2008.  I was accepted into the MW program for the first year in the  2008-2009  which allowed me to complete my first year of the MW and the second year of the Diploma concurrently.  I sat the first year assessment in 2009 which I passed to move on to my first second year for the 2009-2010 academic year.  At the end of that year I attempted the MW exam the first time of what would be five attempts the results of which I have out lined in detail over the course of this blog.

Fast forward to today, and I’m getting ready to start another second year ending in a sixth time sitting the exam.  I have to sit the entire exam over again (I passed theory back in 2012 but due to my timing out have lost that credit).  Having to sit theory again really doesn’t bother me.  I always liked the theory portion and having passed it once I’m fairly certain I can do it again.  The practical continues to be my nemesis.  I was at a place in 2014 where I was enjoying the tastings and looking forward to the exam. I’m convinced my downfall at that period was the fact my palate was not calibrated correctly due to excessive tasting sessions at work of 14.5%+ young Napa Cabernets.  My ability to adequately judge alcohol and acid had been compromised and I was not able to recover from it completely for the exam. I should not have the same issue this time around so assuming I can get back in prime tasting shape, this year should be my year.

I am excited to share this news since that means I can reopen the Master of Wine Studies section of my blog as well as I chronicle my journey through this program.  I hope that these posts serve to inspire, educate, and realistically inform others who are interested in the program to the rigors that it entails.  For everyone else, hopefully you will join me in reveling in my triumphs, wallowing in my despair, and eventually celebrate with me at some point in the future.  It’s up and down so be prepared for the ride.