Masters of wine

I spent the weekend learning at the feet of five Masters and my life is changed.
A few weeks ago I was nominated to take the Court of Master Sommeliers first level course. I didn’t have to pay the regular fees. The course was this weekend. When I arrived, I found my place front row and center. If I am going to learn I might as well be an active participant. I settled in with a cup of coffee and a light breakfast of fruit. I brought my World Atlas of Wine and a stack of pens. I take notes like crazy.
About 30 minutes later, I recognized Doug Krenik, a MS that I’ve met several times before. He was at a table with Bobby Stuckey MS and the owner of Frasca. I’ve met Bobby too. There were two other men with them. I learned shortly thereafter that they were Jay Fletcher and the much-esteemed Richard Betts. I’d met Richard before but he looked different…slim, content, and sparkling. The room was filed with charisma and a certain private hi-jinx. These men obviously know each other well and are used to joking around with each other.
The lectures were a mixture of review and further detail but the blind tastings were amazing. These men went through the technique in such a detailed manner that it simply becomes an exercise in deductive reasoning. I gave the first one a shot–in front of 100 people…and I got much of it right…the other three wines I attempted I got right. Honestly, I got most of the wines; climate, country, region, and varietals right and most of the vintages right. I feel pretty damned good about that.
I had conversations with these men and interacted in a very professional and educated manner. WOW. They treated me as a peer, as someone who may be an equal someday soon. Now, more than ever, I want to be.
I was professionally validated!!! Inspired to continue the sometimes thankless path of wine studies. It is endless, forever changing, and contradictory. But, I love it. I love the history, geography, geology, agriculture, cultural traditions, and even the dull economics of it all. There is so much in each bottle of wine and in each glass it is truly an amazing expression of each of these things.

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