What is it like failing the Masters of Wine exam?

I think most of us are afraid of failure. We are afraid of being judged. We are afraid of looking like a fool to others. And even though it is a huge achievement to not only get into the Masters of Wine (MW) program, or progressing to 2nd year, or even being able to attempt the 3 ½ days of exams (next year turning into 4 days), it is still painful not to pass.

The biggest opportunities for learning come from failure, not success. But you have to be able to see the lesson. Place the ego aside, be honest with yourself, and continue to move forward.

I started this blog back in June. Actually, I always wanted to write a blog, but the whole idea was terrifying. It is one thing to talk amongst your friends and local colleagues about your ideas of wine, but another to put yourself out there to the world of social networking. Finally I found the courage, because I felt I would always be limited in my knowledge and perspective if I was not challenged by various experiences around the world, if I did not hear from experts on the topics, or simply from those who are just plain brilliant.

It is always interesting when I receive the question, “Why do you want to be a Master of Wine?”, or “What are you going to do if you get the title?” And I always seem to disappoint many with my answers. To answer the second question, I really have no idea what I am going to do if I am lucky enough to become a Master of Wine. I’m pretty happy with my life now, and I would simply like to travel more with my wine nerdy buddies, learn more…. without being under such stressful conditions 🙂

And why do I want to be a Master of Wine?

Well, I will answer that by simply telling you my initial tendencies as a child. I have always been an information junkie. I loved nothing more than to sit down and flip through the encyclopedia (before the internet) to learn about various topics. I always felt that I would need to hide this great compulsion that I had, and was prodded by many adults that I should be a cheerleader, or date some jocks, or go shopping and gossip on the phone like any other teenage girl, instead of reading encyclopedias. Well, I found out through time that not only was it lonely to not share what you truly loved with others, but it was even lonelier to pretend you are something you are not.

I have met so many people in the Masters of Wine program who are information junkies like me, and it has led me to find the courage to share this love for information with wine bloggers on social media. This is the greatest reason why I love being in the program. I feel a little less alone in my desire and pure joy in learning on a continued basis. I know when I express this reason to some who ask me this question, they show me a face of disbelief with a quick reply, “Yeah right!” And there is one lesson I learn over and over in life: Some people will never understand what motivates your actions because they are different types of people.

So I prepare for another year of studying for the MW exams, enriched a 100 times over by sharing this love. Please bear with me over the next 10 months, as my posts will be driven by my studies. I am hoping to make them insightful and interesting, as well as informative, and I look forward to learning from all those other wine information junkies out there.


About damewine

Celebrating Wine, Life and Inspiring Colorful People in New York City and Beyond!
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  • Good luck!

  • I applaud your efforts and wish you the best of luck.

    Failing sucks. You can sugarcoat it anyway you like, you can temper it by successes but it just sucks. Period.

    MW–I stand is awe of those who go after it.

    Me personally in my wine and professional work, have always chosen to not get certified, not take the course but learn and make my own way as it forces you to create stuff on your own.

    Each one of us chooses their unique way.

    I look forward to following your journey.

  • Takkino

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us. It is the challenge that makes a good story, and yours is definitely a big, epic challenge. Your notes will give all of us courage, not to mention a better understanding of wine.

  • Thank you Alessio, Arnold, and Takkino. I’m starting to learn in life sometimes you do down one path trying to get something from it, and you find out you get something else, maybe something more valuable than what you first intended. I’m happy I started talking about this journey openly, it is great to hear from others, their perspectives, their experiences… it makes me feel less alone in this crazy path I have chosen. Also, I want to work on becoming less fearful in my life, and openly talking about it on social media is part of that process. Every day I want to become a little less fearful.

  • I look forward to reading of your journey. Just a thought though – you don’t yet know, and we hope will not know, what it’s like to fail the MW. I plan to follow your journey to earn the MW – positive thinking! That’s worth toasting (all the while taking notes on the wines you tots with of course)!

  • Thank you Lyn. That is a wonderful way of looking at it.