Keep your fingers crossed for me that I have passed my wine exam. In a month’s time, I hope to hear that I can describe myself as a qualified French Wine Scholar.
The exam was on Monday evening. There were 100 multiple-choice questions to answer in an hour.
The questions ranged from the straightforward to the downright tricky. I whisked through the paper and answered all the questions I was confident about first. Then I worked my way back over the ones I was less sure of.
I’m hoping that all the time I devoted to revising served me well. I had booked the Friday and Monday off work and spent my 4-day weekend with my nose in my notes – rather than in a glass.
There were a few raised eyebrows when I put in the leave request at work. I’m sure people thought that ‘revising for my wine exam’ was just code for ‘drinking heavily’.
Nothing could have been further from the truth. Mind you, that isn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy a glass of wine or two over the weekend – French wine, bien sûr.
On the night, things such as the primary grape in a given appellation and what type of wine a certain place is best known for were among the simpler questions. The tougher ones concentrated on soil types in particular places and whether this or that wine was a grand cru or simply an appellation contrôlée wine.
I doubt I’m supposed to be any more specific about the questions than this – other people still have to sit the same paper, after all. Besides, much of it is a blur to me now.
“I whisked through and answered all the questions I was confident about first. Then I worked my way back over the ones I was less sure of.”
The course was run by the Sussex Wine School, and the programme has been developed by the Wine Scholar Guild in conjunction with France’s Ministry of Agriculture. I’m really glad I did it – I feel I know a lot more than I did before.
Now I just have a month to wait to find out whether I hit the all-important 75% pass mark. In the meantime, I will continue my wine education, but in what might be deemed a less-theoretical, more practical manner.