Quick Update . . . and Then Off to Work!!

On Thursday, I sat for my (hopefully) last WSET Diploma exam — the dreaded Unit 3. It’s a grueling exam — three hours of blind tasting followed by three hours of theory (all essay questions). I haven’t written that much by hand since college. My hand is still throbbing.

Studying for this beast literally consumed my life for the past year. I started each day with 4 hours of studying, another two hours after lunch, and another two in the evening. If I failed the exam, it won’t be due to lack of effort. It will be because no matter how many times I looked at the information, I simply could not retain the must weights for every sweetness category of German wine. Or all of the aging requirements for the various Chianti and Sangiovese clones in Tuscany. (Seriously, you can look this Scheiße up, I’ve never understood the need to commit it to memory.)

Overall, the exam was OK. WSET posted the key to the blind tasting online, so I have a feel for how that went. I totally flubbed the first flight. Called Merlot when it was Syrah. I nailed flights two and three, and got 1/3 on the mixed bag. I’m hoping I accumulated enough points in aroma/flavor/structure to manage a pass. It all comes down to whether or not I wrote things the way the WSET wanted them written.

Everyone cross your fingers, throw salt over your shoulder, and knock on some wood!

In the meantime, I’ve taken a position as a wine consultant at our local Wegmans store. They have an outstanding reputation as a company and a fabulous wine shop with over 2,200 bottles. It’ll take me a while to figure out where everything is, but it’ll be fun trying to figure it all out.

Since I won’t be consumed by studying anymore, I’m hoping to get this blog back up and running. Stay tuned.



  1. Congratulations – that’s quite an accomplishment! I’m halfway through the program and wonder if I will make it to the finish line – especially after seeing how much time you put into studying for Unit 3. It might be too soon to ask this question but do you plan to apply for the MW program? Hope you enjoy the summer – and your new job!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I spent a lot of time making spreadsheets (grape varieties, characteristics, climate, soil, etc.) and I’m not sure they were ultimately helpful. They were time consuming, but I didn’t look at them as much as I thought I would. Right now, I have no plans for MW. I’m burned out on studying, and the program is REALLY expensive. That said, if you go for MW, they want you to have at least a year of retail experience . . . which is what I’m doing now. How many units do you have left??

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations on finishing!! And on the new gig! 🙂 I’m a combination of excited and terrified to start Unit 3 later this year . . . your study schedule is an inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. WSET is migrating to a new program for Unit 3 in August (I think). The new program will no longer have spirits, so at least that will be off your plate! When do you start??


      1. I’m halfway thru – have Unit 6, research paper and Unit 3 left. Next up is Unit 6 in August – exam in October. I’ve really enjoyed reading about your Diploma journey . . . you’re very real and honest about it. Which is much appreciated, and rather rare. 🙂


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