Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Weekends With Jancis

Jancis has taken over my weekends, my life, and most of the living room. I cannot move in the apartment with out her presence demanding my attention. When I sit on the couch, she is there. She drapes herself over the coffee table. I often have to step over her because she is sprawling across the floor. The woman consumes every spare moment I have. Sometimes I want to run out of the room screaming. Sometimes is all just too much.

Okay, I’m indulging in a bit of tongue-in-cheek. My WSET advanced exam is coming up far too quickly. Where have 22 weeks and a couple of hundred wines gone? Jancis Robinson wrote the definitive opus – The Oxford Companion to Wine – all six pounds off it. This tome has become a fixture on the coffee table. What space it does not take up is shared by Jancis’ World Atlas of Wine – which leaves no room for Vines and Grapes, her other essential reference work. This volume shares the floor with Jancis’ Wine Course.

Yes, I do have a few other references books – you know, like a hundred or so – Oz Clarke’s Wine Atlas as well as his Australian Wine Companion, Andre Domine’s massive Wine, books on champagne, on Burgundy, even a few on things like beer, cheeses, or corks.

But The Oxford Companion to Wines is the reference book, the one that has all the info you need to know to pass the WSET – as well as some things you never even imagined you need to know. It’s also required reading for the two-year WSET Diploma course that will start for me in a month or so. Two more years of daily – sometimes many times an hour – of following one reference to another.

I guess I have to accept Jancis has moved in for a few years – more likely for the rest of my life. Stay tuned to see how the relationship will hold out.

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