Recently, I've harked back to the hallowed halls of academia.
While this has left me with less time to blogabout, it has lent me more time to study.
I say this with much enthusiasm as studying requires tasting wine. Yes, the only way to truly learn and absorb the scholarly world of wine, is to drink wine. And I'm happily swimming in a grape escape these days in the interest of higher education.
I believe it was the lovely Natalie Portman, the clever lass, who once stated...
"I don't love studying. I hate studying. I like learning. Learning is beautiful."
...and learning about wine via classroom consumption makes it all the more beautiful in my mind.
Having completed my Business of Wine Program at San Diego State University last Fall, I'm now set to move forward with a new label. A handful of new labels.
First, the WSET (Wine and Spirits Education Trust) Intermediate title come March, then the esteemed Advanced Certification this dandelion-scattered, July.
Then finally, the coveted title of Certified Specialist of Wine.
I could stand to add a few new letters to my namesake, and my vinophilia street cred.
Ringo Firefly, CSW
...or what I like to call a "Certified Snob of Wine".
I believe it's a fine replacement for my existing CCSI (Certified Crime Scene Investigator) title set to expire in August of 2016, and it sure beats fingerprinting the deceased!
Yes, I fully intend to become a complete "winocerous", and I shall do this in an untimely manner by first blogging about this, then taking to my tasting notes.
I must say that any classroom that kindly greets you with a champagne sword is a-ok in my schoolbooks.
To be saved for a "sabre and sober" day. Think festive celebration via champagne beheading during the era of Napoleonic wars.
Then bringing in the big guns, Barolos and Barbarescos from the Northwest region of the illustrious Italian boot, Piedmont.
I selected this program as the WSET is the world's leading provider of wine education.
Because it is a British programme, I've had to relearn my conversions. Us Yanks seem to enjoy making things far more complicated around these parts, henceforth, America's aversion to the metric system and measures of temperature.
Of course studying is never complete without a proper lesson in food pairing. From sweetstuff to savory, salty to bitter, to spicy. This is critical subject matter worthy of mention.
It was after all, the one thing I knew I would never grow tired of.
Reading labels has become less troublesome, making my wine shopping experiences all the more pleasant, albeit lengthier, as I tend to be far more selective in my wine choices these days.
In fact, my newfound "power" allows me smooth finesse and maneuverability about my way in the former, foreign Bermuda triangle of a wine aisle.
I feel like a champ nosing around the shelves and knowing exactly what to purchase. It's also saved me quite a bit of cash, which is always a win.
I'd say I'm well on my winetastic way, and I for one, couldn't be more delighted.
...and I've never been more elated to "study".
Wine school does not suck indeed.