Friday, 19 April 2013

Viti, vini, vici

Where did the two weeks go?

It was only, what it seemed, yesterday, that I was sitting in this same chair, having just arrived to London and writing my first post. And now it is over.

And what has happened in two weeks, you might wonder. Well, a lot, I can say.

On Monday I started my first day at school. I was all excited and to be honest, also a bit nervous, not knowing what to expect, if I was a suitable candidate, what was exactly what I had enrolled for and how my classmates would be like, their backgrounds and experience and a long list of questions that popped-up in my head, so many things to find out.

Well, the first day at school was, like any other first day at any other school you have ever attended, or at least that I have ever attended. You arrive, you ask, you are cautious, discreet, you sit down, you smile, but basically you do not speak. But like it has happened most of my life, it was my name the first one on the list. That is the problem when your last name starts with an A... Sigh, here we go again. How do I pronounce my name, a bit about myself and why I am here.

And to tell you the truth, few things in my life have been so clear to me, apart from my name. I want to make wine my way of living. Making a living out of something you are passionate about, sounds like a pretty good job to me.

I got my set of tasting glasses; I already had received the study material and BANG! First day of the “novicetoprofessionalconsecutiveday(twoweek)course” had started and I have written it the way I have lived it; completely out of breath.

The first days I was overwhelmed Viticulture, Viniculture, Maturation, Fermentation, Climate, Weather, Soils, DOCs, DOCGs, PDOs, PGIs, Trellising, Pruning, Training, Spurs, Cordons... terms that even looking them up in the dictionary I did not know in Spanish, nor I knew what they meant. BTW, does anyone know what a blackcurrant leaf smells like? I still don’t.

I used to be one of those ‘narrow minded’ who thought it was crazy to engage on one of those European tours that visit 22 countries in 12 days. Well, I can now tell you, it is peanuts! Now I know you can cover the wines (still, sparking and fortified), the regions and sub-regions, the climate and weather, the soils, the styles, the viniculture and vitification methods, the spirits and liqueurs of four continents, in only 9 days. Crazy, it is. But I must say, it was also fun.

The tastings were fantastic. Well over a hundred renown wines were tasted, assessed and spitted (undeserved end for such wonderful wines). And it was amazing to discover the world of aromas and flavours contained in a glass of wine. Lovely.

Despite of the long hours of class and further study, I loved and enjoyed every second of it, and after a bit of frustration not being able to take in all that information and remember it, telling myself it would not be the end of the world, or my life, if I would not pass the exam... I approached the second week, highly motivated, full of energy and willingness to conquer the world (of wines, at least).

You might ask. So how was London? And I can say: I am wondering it myself!

London will still be here next time I visit and hopefully will get its turn. This time, I spent my days walking up and down Bermondsey Street.

Today I took the exam, and in 8 to 10 weeks time, I will know if I achieved the Level 3 Award in Wines & Spirits.

Alea iacta est.


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