My fourth role, although my newest, is in some ways the one I have had for the longest period of time. I’m a student. Again. I always like to think of myself as a lifelong learner, but in this case I’m taking an actual course. Tomorrow I attend my first class in the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 3 certification course.
Where, why, and how did this wine education begin? I’ll start with the easy part- where. In September 2017 my husband I traveled to San Francisco on business. We rounded out the trip with a weekend stay in Napa. That alone was amazing. What made it even more amazing was that a childhood friend had begun working at Rarecat Winery. We spent many hours there, reconnecting, enjoying their wine, and learning about her wine journey.
After this trip I spent a lot of time thinking about wine and its educational opportunities. For me it hit many sweet spots. As someone who spends hours each week thinking about and working with food, adding some wine knowledge made a lot of sense. Additionally, the prospect of a new challenge was exciting. I hadn’t taken a true class in over a decade, so it seemed like a good way to engage my mind.
In the beginning of 2018, I enrolled in an online course to earn my WSET Level 2 certification. The course was self-paced with an in-person exam, for which I could choose the date and location. I took the exam and earned the Level 2 certification with distinction.
Although I enjoyed that course, I knew that the Level 3 would require more time and dedication for me. The prospect of taking it online was daunting, as a portion of the exam revolves around tasting. Knowing my own learning strengths and weaknesses, I needed to be near other students to get better feedback on wine tasting. So, I delayed enrolling in the course.
This spring I decided to search for courses near home and found that a weekly course is offered in Boston. There couldn’t have been a better format. Boston is only an hour away, so it’s an ideal location. Offering the class on a once a week basis gives more time to study. (There’s a lot to learn!)
What exactly will I do with this new certification? I’m not 100% sure. I have contemplated the idea of becoming a wine educator. I also have debated if there’s something entrepreneurial I can do with food and wine. For now, I plan to focus on learning. For those who ponder or ask- no, it’s not just an excuse to drink wine. Although it is a fine benefit.
To read about Role 3, click here.