Just 134 more things….

At the end of last year I did something rather whimsical. Or at least I thought it was.

I’ve had my eye on the Vinitaly International Academy certification course. It’s basically the most intensive, complex and thus prestigious course you can take if you want to specialise in Italian wines. It’s five days of lectures and tasting that culminates in an exam which if you pass allows you to call yourself an Italian Wine Ambassador. Ever since I first heard about it I’ve wanted to apply, but I missed the deadline last year by a few weeks and having just started my diploma figured I’d dodged a bullet.

During the Christmas break I discovered that applications were being accepted again and I thought “why not?!” Then I realised they only take around 50 candidates a year. Which actually made me feel better. I could apply, with no pressure as there’s no way I’d be selected, get feedback on my application ahead of next year and not have to worry about adding another really serious pressure to my WSET diploma and full-time job filled life. So on December 27th whilst my husband was washing up, I put together my application, sent it off, and then for a month I sort of forgot about it. I mean, not really, I still manically refreshed my email, but in the “waiting for confirmation of my rejection” sort of way.

Then on Monday January 30th I received the email. Congratulating me on my acceptance to the course. Ah….

This means that in April I’m flying to Verona to learn about 134 key grape varieties in Italy. Two months before my diploma finals. What could possibly go wrong? I’m hoping that you’ll join me in this space along the way to find out.

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The beauty of lunch

Thanks to our simple yet delicious lunches whilst on honeymoon I was inspired at the weekend to create something similar at home. I wanted to keep the summer and the holiday alive, and although we didn’t quite manage to eat outside (it was touch and go and then very much don’t go thanks to the black clouds that appeared as I opened the back door) it was a very satisfying meal. Also,
I couldn’t help but think it would make a good still life for one of the great Italian Renaissance artists.

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