Published January 16, 2013
Like most industries, you can achieve certain levels of mastery, and the wine world is no different.
To become a Master of Wine--an internationally recognized title--you are tested on viticulture, winemaking and the global wine business.
Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan has her Master of Wine or affectionately referred to in the industry as "MW". “Its kind of like the Olympics for wine given by the Institute of Masters of Wine in London,” she says.
She explained that first you have to pass a four-day exam of essays and identify 36 wines – blind! There was only a 10 percent pass rate on the tasting portion of the exam the year Simonetti-Bryan passed. Once you pass that, you are then asked to write a dissertation topic.
And only if you pass that, are you a Master of Wine. (Holy heck! And I thought getting my MBA was tough.)
In the U.S. currently, only eight women have this ultimate title. She was the fourth, when she received it in 2008.
And the crazy part is that before 2000, she knew nothing about wine. She was working for an investment bank, making six figures, and was at a business lunch in London when wine was served with her meal. And that was her defining moment – the way the wine and the food came together -- her very own wine epiphany.
So she quit her job and pursued her dream in wine.
If you're thinking about jacking it all in like she did start with InternationalWineCenter.com and find some wine schools near you.
Or check out her own education programs, “The Everyday Guide to Wine.” She created for three educational videos focusing on California, French, Italian wines.
It’s like studying with the queen of wines!
I hope everyone follows Simonetti-Bryan’s lead. Take a risk and make sure you spend your days what you love.