Some of you will know that when I passed the WSET Diploma I did reasonably well, and some of you will also know that I was then asked to go for a scholarship which included part funding of MW study (as well as a trip and various other bits) but after not a lot of thought I decided against it, with no guarantee that I might get offered something else instead.
The good news is that I've now been offered a trip to Austria next summer - it wouldn't be my first choice of trip if I was going to make a holiday of it, but as my practical experience of Austria is virtually nill (I've learned the theory) it will actually be a trip that really broadens my horizons and gives me further education rather than just being a worklike holiday. It's also somewhere I'd be very unlikely to travel to and do myself in that way whereas many other places I may get a trip to through another channel at some stage in the next 30 years or may end up taking myself there - so all in all probably the right place to be going to.
And now for some explanation - many friends and family have wondered why on earth I didn't decide to go for the MW at this stage - well there's lots of reasons but let me start by saying that doing the MW is most definately not off the radar but I am still (relatively) young and there is plenty of time to do it - but it may be ten years before I decide to give it a go.
Other reasons for not going for it now include :-
1. I have just finished some pretty intense study for the diploma and by then end of it found the study for a theory exam a bit of a chore rather than pure enjoyment - I want to make sure I still enjoy wine and learning about it and a pause in education should allow the fun to return.
2. I have a little family, who when I was spending between 1 and 2 hours every evening studying missed out on me spending time with them - now it's important for me to give them my focus and attention - they are more important than wine! (With a little one our routine became so that we ate together and then watched a bit of TV before bed together and not much more - one of us was either studying or bathing Anna or putting her to bed)
3. Whilst the scholarship is very generous the MW is still very expensive - around £3000 per year plus the cost of travel to tastings and the cost of attending paid for tastings (at around £50 per time) and then there are the MW Symposium's overseas to go to etc etc etc - it would all be pretty expensive to do.
So whilst I am a little sad not to be doing the MW right now, current circumstances mean that it isn't really an option, and more than anything I certainly couldn't afford to do it. It may be that I never do it, but it is most certainly not off the radar totally.