So, you want to study DipWSET?

It’s been a hell of a year for WSET diploma students. News swirling around social media regarding missed and delayed exams, classroom sessions cancelled. It’s been a bit of a bumpy start for the 2020 contingent.

Start them on D1 and test their resolve, I imagine the course programmers saying

We escaped relatively unscathed by being able to study for D1 remotely. Wine samples having been delivered a few weeks before the beginning of the course. All the wine samples. All. The. Wine. Samples. One did wonder how their quality would hold up for 12 weeks in the spare room, oxidising away with the laundry basket and gym equipment. 

I remain grateful that we did, however, have the same tutor each week. Russell managed to make a very dry topic as exciting and entertaining as it’s possible to make the cooking and cleaning of grapes.

The other nice thing about learning from home, of course, is being able to turn the screen off, yam in a cottage pie, and gleefully inhale a stream of something alcoholic. All whilst vaguely dressed as Worzel Gummidge.

It turns out “more research needed” is the neverending refrain into most areas of D1. Not surprising. I can’t imagine the scientific funding into a health ruinous beverage is at an all-time high.

Preparing for the exam

Feigning indifference is my specialist skill set. 

Discipline, possessing so little of it, I procrastinated by lying on the sofa mainlining Maltesers, loosely pondering if going teetotal and heading to an Ashram would change my life. 

That being said, what I lack in self-discipline, I make up for in generalised crippling anxiety around failing exams. 

Cramming is the name of the game, brought to you by spider diagrams and palpable panic. Wine, age and apathy have degraded the grey matter; somehow, studying for D1 has managed to make my Biochemistry degree look like a doddle. 

You might find as the exam creeps closer, you start to question whether anyone has rumbled that you are, in fact, an absolute idiot, an idiot who has somehow managed to maintain a career and stay alive for the last 36 years on thoughts and prayers alone. 

It’s fine, I think. If health and safety come up, I’ll walk out of the exam, head to the pub and keep retaking until it doesn’t appear.

Did I pass? That remains to be seen. Rumour has it that WSET has employed one very elderly, possibly blind exam processor. Any day now…..

Daphne xo

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