I recently completed Wines 2 at George Brown. I passed, but it definitely wasn’t as easy as I had hoped. Not that I didn’t love it – I very much did – but my newbie-ness was on full display. I’m still pretty awful at blind tastings, though I’m getting better (thankfully), but I find testing situations just brutal.

Really, I don’t know why this happens, but when you call something an exam I completely freeze up. That wasn’t the case when I was in school – I was great at exams back then – but when it comes to tasting I turn into an uncertain mess. It’s probably all the pressure I put on myself, but it’s frustrating. I don’t know how to stop second-guessing myself so much. In a normal non-exam setting, I find it pretty easy to tell Pinot from Nebbiollo, but in an exam they sure start to seem similar.

Whatever the case, I did my best, I learned an enormous amount and I found that at the end of the day I was still just as much in love with wine. But given my recent experiences I think I need to take a break from classes for a little while. Everyone at school has way more life experience with wine than I do and I think I need to get some more of that under my belt. So I’m going to take the fall to read all the expensive wine books I’ve purchased, attend all the tastings I get invited to and really practice my wine reviews.

You can expect to see more reviews posted on Wine Align (where I’m a member of the blogger cru) and I’ll continue to post regularly on the blog about my adventures. I think that my formal wine education will continue in the new year, but we’ll see. No more pressure for this wine lover – for now it’s going to be all about learning at my own pace.
And who knows, maybe if I go back to doing this just for love I’ll feel a little less stressed about things and ready to tackle another semester. After watching the documentary SOMM recently (which I highly recommend) I realized that I am not the only person who has gone a little crazy for the love of wine learning! And even though I can’t see myself ever having the ability to pass the master sommelier exam (can you even imagine what a nervous tester like me would be like trying to pass the hardest exam in the world?) I do love that there was a little part of me who wondered if I could do it. Ah, wine, you do have such a vice grip on my soul!