The weeks are flying by…. Just over two weeks to go before the ASI World Sommelier Championship takes place and preparation is on going but with a change of pace.
Last week I went back to my adopted roots- I returned to Chewton Glen and took part in a mock competition, with a series of exercises, all expertly planned by Alan Holmes, the Beverage Manager at Chewton Glen. He had arranged for various members of the team to play the role of dining guests, he judged the performances and there was even a hapless commis, in the guise of Nigel Wilkinson, a retired sommelier, now wine merchant- they certainly put me through my paces in varied “snappy scenarios” and a written mock questionnaire. The whole experience was hugely useful as it highlighted to me in no uncertain terms that I have been pushing too hard and was very close to meltdown….. for many months now I have been studying and practicing daily for many, many hours and then working at TerraVina and being tested there on a daily basis too.
Thus between the Chewton Glen practice and a further scenario exercise the day after, that Nigel Wilkinson kindly arranged for me, I have realized that whilst I must continue to study and prepare it is important to also pace myself and the buzz word now in the Basset household is “work smart”- quality not quantity is now what I am focusing on and I am adding some rest and relaxation into the programme too.
Many thanks to Alan, his team at Chewton Glen and to Nigel for all their invaluable help.