At 9 am last Saturday I was pretending I was back in high school as I sat anxiously with my sharpened number 2 pencil. It was time for the WSET 2 test. Multiple choice. There is not a blind tasting until level 3. Phew. But this test was covering a lot. Beyond the wine stuff I will expound on there were also questions about spirits and stuff like eiswine, sherry and port.
I had studied like a crazy woman. I think I passed. I wonder how well.
My classmates I discussed it with agreed the exam was trickier than we surmised.
And not just because it required remembering that Barolo is from the Piedmont (extra fun facts I DID easily remember: it is made from the Nebbiolo grape, and high in tannins, alcohol and acidity). And I was SO happy I drilled the Aussie wines over and over. I almost never drink Australian sippers seeing as I reside here in sunny California which has some pretty plush stuff to offer. I just don’t see them around.
Even though I do have the guilty pleasure of sucking down those plush, berry and mocha-filled Shiraz’s straight outta Barossa. Or McLaren Valley. Or Hunter Valley.
But I was glad I drilled the Aussie wines because I needed to remember that Pinot Noir thrived both in the Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula. A tricky question because good pinot noir, AKA the delicate flower of a dainty grape we do not associate with a land that creates those dense and spectacular Shiraz bombs, is in fact made there with skillzzzzzz. Like Shiraz. Australia makes damn fine wine.
ANYwho. There were also a lot of questions that would, say, ask what grape varieties are allowed in whatever region’s wines, list grapes 1 through 4 then ask you is it a) grapes 1 and 2, b)grapes 3 and 4, c) grapes 1 and 4, or c) grape 1 only. So you’d be sure of most of the grapes but fuck it number 4———is Viognier allowed in this blend or no?
Does ANY of this shit matter?
Probably not. Wine does not ACTUALLY matter.
Actually nothing in life ACTUALLY matters.
But in standardized tests only perfection matters.
To Virgos like me.
Study people, you’ll go far.