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WSET Diploma – Section 2 – Week 6

Feb 12-13, 2014

It has happened. The winter quota is (finally?) being filled: Saturday afternoon brought upon the grey-feeling precursor to definite sickness, and Sunday morning felt ultra-crunchy (not a hangover, I swear!), though it went away after the first cup of coffee. Fortunately for me, this cold is much milder than some of the previous bouts. My nasal passage seems relatively clear, sneezes seem to be properly reigned, and the worst part is feeling much more unfinished in the morning than usual. On the bright side of things, it’s probably the best time of the year to get sick: after the winter festivities, and before the Vancouver International Wine Festival. I should be better by then, but it’s hard to tell because this cold seems rather mild and I hope that this also doesn’t mean it’s unusually drawn-out. Like my love life. Zing! Just in time for Valentine’s Day.

A co-worker and I went to Homer St. Café on the Saturday night which was good. Olives, cheese, bread, and white wine were all had. As a happy celebration of her departure this weekend, we will be having more of all the fun.


Lunch was had on Monday with the family on Family Day. One customer on the weekend confusingly made a flimsy argument against Family Day, but I think he just hates everything. Lunch was good, though.

Thankfully I was able to smell things in class today. The class was our first fortified-centric one, and I expected it to be a bit lacklustre compared to the sparkling wine sessions. But today was just about port, and the wide range that we tried was a nice reminder that there’s a whole variety out there. Delicious enough that I really wanted to drink them all halfway through, but towards the end I was sort of over it. We tried two tawny ports, two vintage ports, a white port, and a basic ruby port. Next week: Sherry.

Ramos Pinto “RP20” Quinta do Bom Retiro 20 Year Old Tawny Port: The good ending to that romantic comedy film
1991 Croft Vintage Port: Old love
2011 Cockburn’s Vintage Port: Liquid infatuation
NV Sandeman Ruby Port: Liquid Hallmark Valentine’s Day Card
NV Taylor Fladgate Fine White Port: Elementary school crush
1995 Niepoort Colheita Port: Your first serious relationship

WSET Diploma Unit 1 essay results:


Pass! Thank. God. This technically equates to a score that lands in-between the realms of 55% and 64.9%, so it’s actually not amazing. But thinking about the essay gives me flashbacks about messy research print-outs in every direction and having to work on the essay’s finishing touches by locking myself in my room and typing through the ambient sounds of a party in the same house, and then into the wee hours of the morning. Throw in some mini heart attack-inducing printer failures and having to hand in the essay before a rather physical day of work at 10AM the next morning, and I’m pretty much happy with anything that’s not a fail. So yay!

It’s obvious that I’m all over the place if I’ve received a pass with distinction for unit 2, a pass with merit for Unit 4, and a mere pass for one half of unit 1. Or perhaps this just means that my background in science and my almost non-existent experience with economics, business, and spirits are all evident (I am the early-20s antithesis to a slick suited man in an office sipping on XO Cognac). Regardless, my calculations show that my overall average is a pass with merit at worst, and a pass with distinction at best – but since those numbers only come from exactly 30% of the credits I’ve taken so far, it’s still a wobbly game. I really need to find time to study if I want to earn that grand distinction mark at the end if at all, but I’m trying not to lose sight of the amusement aspect of the whole thing. It’s on wine, after all.

There were attempts to get things done on the free days this week, though sickness took away all motivation. But there was a good hour or so during the weekend where I came up with really bad wine-related Valentine’s Day puns.

Are you Barossa Shiraz? Because you’re pretty hot.
Are you Rioja Gran Reserva or are you just happy to see me? (that’s an obscure and slightly bad one)
You excite my heart like Pinot Grigio excites no one.
You are sweet. Like 5 puttunyos sweet.


Oh yeah. The Olympics. Yay, I suppose!


DipWSET, Certified Sommelier, garbage person.

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