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Thoughts That Only Go Through the Heads of MW Students

In my pursuit if one of the rarest and most difficult certifications in the world of wine, very often I am struck by the absurdity of some of my thoughts if I wasn’t totally engrossed in my Practical exam studies. I’ve decided to share some below that I’ve experienced but feel free to add others from your studies.

“Don’t go down the Riesling road, Don’t go down the Riesling road!”
– 4 wines, Same variety question, all white, different countries. Upon sensing a slight bit of Petrol on wine 1.

“Am I going to look like an idiot if I funnel Italy here?” – Trying to funnel possible old world origins of Bordeaux varieties when it is obviously Bordeaux.

“Which one has the screaming acid?” – when presented with 2 or more dubious brown colored wines with high alcohol.

“What’s the best justification between Colchagua and Maipo here?” – After getting to Chile justifying the origin “as closely as possible.”

” Ah ha! Bug spray!” – on my personal marker for Torrontez

“Just start writing SOMETHING!” – my thought during the exam in 2013 Paper 1 which contained 12 wines that were all frustratingly neutral

“I LOVE White Zin!” – upon finding a white Zinfandel on any blind tasting I’ve ever done! It’s so easy to pick out.

“I hope people don’t think I actually drink all these!” – On the number of open wine bottles at any given point in my kitchen.


This was NOT a staged photo as evidenced by the super messy counter and yes that IS 15 bottles on my counter.

You might be a Master of Wine student if….
– You have ever had an in depth serious conversation regarding the pros and cons of different pen designs.
– You’ve ever said “Bring it” in response to someone offering to pour you a blind wine.
– Friends and your mentors are randomly sending you tasting notes via email with no other correspondence as if to say “You know what to do.”
– Your family asks “Where are you tasting this weekend?” rather than “What are your plans this weekend.”
– You know the statistical frequency of any main variety that has shown up on the exam.
– The results of a practice exam can either make or break your mood for the week.
and lastly, if your life has been utterly taken over by the exam and you wonder what you will find to do with all this time once you pass.

Please add your own thoughts in the comment sections! Crazy loves company!

2 Responses

  1. Oh my – this is too funny. For me, it’s not only the quantity of the bottles, but the quality (see above re. white zin) that I’m hoping people don’t actually think is mine! I would add “Who’s in tonight” as I head out of my house with a random collection of opened and tasted bottles to drop off at a neighbour’s house…

  2. Hey Nova, thanks for this – you got me smiling at those thoughts…

    I’m getting known in tasting groups for ALWAYS asking “what would you confuse this wine with?” or things like “why is this Bordeaux and not Tuscany for you?” (I can totally relate with the second thought on the list).

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About Nova Cadamatre

Nova Cadamatre has become one of the most versatile and experienced winemakers in the industry. She holds a Bachelors from Cornell University in Viticulture.  In 2017 she achieved the title of Master of Wine and was the first female winemaker in the US to do so. 

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