So. P2P is nearly half-way through the International Sommelier Guild’s “Sommelier Diploma Program;” unquestionably the toughest course undertaken “so far.” Sounds slightly daunting, but not overwhelming until learning that P2P is past her 40th high school reunion and although she has continued taking college courses through various moves around the country in the intervening years; loved them all, including this course, but… THIS ONE is still THE most challenging, at least so far.
Coming up soon is our mid-term exam which will include 5 handwritten essays on any subject(s) the Guild thinks most important, interesting, and (probably) challenging. So it is that in addition to working two very different jobs in the wine industry as well as keeping fledgling Pairing to Perfection going, there are seriously about another 15-25 hrs per week (NO JOKE!) spent on studying, practice essays, research, reading, class time, and, of course, practicing service and tasting.
Tasting is wonderful, but not at all what you are probably imaging as you envision this course the author has dubbed “most challenging course yet”… When we taste as a class there is a camaraderie of going around the small class (literally less than most wine flights in number) and going through the tasting steps that we must follow precisely, with anchors firmly planted in mind, sight, nose, and palate as we prepare to taste 22 “glasses” in a mammoth blind-tasting section of this life altering, massively important portion of the ISG’s SDP exam. No time for idle chit-chat, or sipping.. simply taste, consider, spit, record.
Now repeat after me.. “Appearance….,” “Nose…,” “Palate…,” “Conclusion…”… “Next wine. P2P, will you do us the honor?” …. Gulp…. “clear, transparent, dark ruby core to….”
The entire purpose is that this course ‘should’ transform us into talented sommeliers with super-natural blind-tasting skills… correct? Definitely; hopefully; God willingly…
So this week, after hitting a low spot, has been about hitting the books, wines, service, essay practices harder than ever. Just focusing on the preparation instead of fearing “the exams” has been encouraging.
A few days ago, a “one in a million” photograph of a sweet, beautiful golden retriever kissing a baby was sailing around the social media outlets. Unlike the earlier photos in this post, it has absolutely nothing to do with the SDP, wine, service, pairings or essays. It is important because it set loose laughs, smiles, memories of a big black, grey-faced dog named “Bear” that guarded and loved a bald baby for no other reason than she knew “her people” loved that bald baby. The waves of laughter were renewing, healthy, and freeing, so it is shared here with hopes for you to enjoy the same smiles, and giggles this photo evoked days ago. Cheers!