From the Wall Street Journal:
When they could be raising a glass with their friends during their free time, some wine enthusiasts are hitting the books alongside professional sommeliers in order to take a challenging test.
Look! I’m not the only wine fan out there taking wine classes with no idea whether I’ll actually parlay my career toward the wine industry or just keep it as a fun hobby. But unlike the tone of the story’s headline, I don’t intend on taking classes so I can be called a sommelier (besides, I’m also taking classes from a different organization), nor am I doing this for bragging rights. I’m guessing (or at least hoping) there are plenty more people like me than the ego-driven folks the Wall Street Journal assumes in its story. Fortunately, the writer interviews enough enthusiasts who don’t sound like they’re doing this just for the snobbery. And it’s encouraging that many of them found ways to put their new certificates to good use.
For me, these past 5 weeks (tonight’s my last official class until next week when we take the exam), have been an opportunity to widen my knowledge and find ways of becoming a better communicator. I’m desperate for more interesting and intellectual conversations with other wine enthusiasts and winemakers I meet. And the one thing I know from being a journalist: The more information you’re armed with, the better questions you can ask and the more interesting details you can learn.