To quote the Maureen Lipman BT ads of the 1980s, I now have an ology… in oenology. This week I found out that I passed my French Wine Scholar exam with honours.
“You get an ology, you’re a scientist,” Lipman’s character, Beatty, told her TV grandson. In the advert, he disappointedly reported that he’d passed only O-Levels in pottery and sociology.
Even now, almost 30 years later, the ad has stuck with me.
I wonder what she would make of my result. Personally, I’m delighted – and relieved. I have spent the past three weeks waiting to hear.
Every time my mobile has pinged, I have anxiously checked to see if it was an email from the Sussex Wine School letting me know how I had got on.
I took the exam back in June and was quietly confident. That’s not the same as knowing you have passed, of course.
As it turned out, I scored 85%.
“This weekend might be just the occasion to have a glass or two of French wine – or more specifically, Champagne. It’s our last in Brighton”
Getting the qualification is all part of the plan to open a cheese-and-wine shop-cum-bar in a few years’ time. Our move to Lille is part of the strategy too – build contacts and knowledge while becoming properly fluent.
Last year I passed the Wine and Spirit Education Trust level 3 exam with merit. That’s sometimes described as the equivalent of an A-Level in wine.
Now, with my French Wine Scholar pass under my belt, I can add the letters FWS after my name. I know that most people won’t recognise the acronym or care very much even if they do, but I felt it was important.
If I am going to selling French wine, I’d like the reassurance of knowing what I am talking about.
This weekend might be just the occasion to have a glass or two of French wine – or more specifically, Champagne. It’s our last in Brighton. We’ve loved living here for the past 17 years but the time has come to move on.
We move into our new home in Lille on Wednesday. Let life’s new adventure begin!