Jancis had a background in journalism, and I believe she was one of the first people (possibly THE first) from outside The Trade to become an MW.
But what is the MW actually for? I dont care whether my wine merchant has a MW in-situ or not. In the age of t'internet doesn't the acquisition of relevant knowledge become easier and reduces the need for such exams? I dont really care where my wine merchant gets their knowledge from.
If you think working to get an MW is a long and tough slog, try getting a PhD in a subject like theoretical physics from scratch.
That certainly wasn't true in 1997 when the only place to do the Diploma was in the main building in Upper Thames Street. We had truly inspirational teachers, many MW's and experts in their field, plus some really representative and excellent wines to taste. I fear that excellence has been diluted with the massive expansion since.If you are in any trade, getting higher qualifications is generally good for your career and development, there’s no issues with that. From a consumers perspective I wouldn’t think most people are either aware or care, and that’s fine too.
From my limited wine education, the sheer range and variety of wine now makes it feel like being a wine expert is almost impossible and specialisation is essential for real deep expertise.
I’ve talked to a few MW candidates and get a general gist that the diploma sucks a lot of the fun out of wine but that comes back for the MW, and I would hope that’s true as losing the fun about a subject that’s your passion is very depressing indeed
Really not worth comparing an MW to a PhD. One is a professional qualification (without any formal accreditation) the other is an academic one. I’ve a few friends who have completed the MW and have nothing but respect for them. It’s a tough gig and I’m glad to see more people taking it. Hopefully it can only help increase the quality and diversity of wine we enjoy and broaden our vineous horizons.Most MW students have full time jobs, whilst I would imagine PhD students are full time students, with tutors, and the support of an established academic institution. I am not saying we're superheroes, but it's worth mentioning this.
Yes - hats off. But that does not detract from my original point. And I still think theoretical physics is harder than biochemistry. Just call me SheldonSo hats off to anyone who has slogged hard enough to get both MW and a PhD in biochemistry, for example
If the selections in British supermarkets are being chosen by MWs, what does that say? IMO the wines presented to consumers (95% of the population) is quite poor and more limited than it was 25 years ago, even if, technically, the wines are more consistent.
A fair and balanced point. Actually a significant proportion of (UK) PhD students are part time - but I have no idea how many, and to be fair they probably do not include many theoretical physicists.Most MW students have full time jobs, whilst I would imagine PhD students are full time students, with tutors, and the support of an established academic institution. I am not saying we're superheroes, but it's worth mentioning this.
Thirty years ago I was probably Aspiring to MW , 20 years ago I was aspiring to have the finest cellar. Fifteen years ago I realised the latter was probably more achievable and More desirable.
Congratulations to those that passed today and fully recognise their efforts. Personally I don’t really want to know about wines from China or Romania, but am happy to have the finest wines from the Cotes de Nuits over several vintages harboured for me and family ,If an MW recommends a Latvian wine from X supermarket at £4.99 , I hope they are getting well paid for it. That said I’m not exclusive to such joy. Just glad I have not had to study for it !