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Due to irreconcilable differences. Or at least, that’s how I think of it. Since taking the WSET Diploma Unit 3 exam (aka The Big One) in June, when people asked how I did, I’d reply that I thought I’d pass, if it wasn’t a WSET exam. Alas, the comment turned out to be prophetic. I failed both parts of the exam. And did so rather decisively. A brief recap: The tasting exam was of four flights of wines, 3 wines per flight. I passed one...

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As part of my summer reading, I’ve been going through some of Nicolas Joly and Gerard Bertrand’s writings on biodynamics and wine. (See the list of readings at the end of this post.) It is fascinating reading, and I wish I could find more writings by winemakers who practice biodynamics in English. (Or, in a pinch, Mongolian…) If anyone has suggestions, please do get in touch.  This is going to be even more of a rambling post than mine...

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To continue from the last post, this time I’m going to cover the teaching aspect of WSET. There are some things I’m not going to write about. This is for two main reasons. First, I’ve covered this topic relatively recently, and don’t really feel the need to repeat myself. Second, teaching is a lot more individual, on the part of both the student and the instructor than taking exams. That said, there are things that can and...

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Readers will know that I’m not a particular fan of the WSET approach to teaching, tasting and exams (see here and here among other previous posts). Now that I’ve done the whole Diploma, I want to take a different approach. (Note: I mean ‘done’ as in I’ve gone through all the classes, exams, etc. at least once. That’s not the same as passing the exams, but I have done them.)  What I’m going to do in this post, and the next, is talk...

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So. That was it. The Big One. Sort of a final exam for the WSET Diploma, or at least, that’s how I think of it. Not just because it is the last exam you take. Assuming, of course, you actually pass the other ones. It is also the longest of the exams, and one of only two units where you can fail half and only have to retake that half. (For the curious, the other unit is Unit One, on business, where you are assessed by an exam, and an...

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Upcoming panel discussion


Posted By on Jun 8, 2017

Consider this rather advance notice, but the Less Sociable Half will be taking part in a panel discussion sponsored by the Cambridge Global Food Security research initiative, the University of Cambridge Conservation Research Institute and the Forum for Sustainability and the Environment. The discussion is part of the University of Cambridge’s Festival of Ideas, and we’ll be at the David Attenborough Building, (New Museums...

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