MW Bootcamp 2015

(by Peter Richards MW & Susie Barrie MW)

Guildhall‘MW boot camp? Sounds pretty intense’ was the response when the twittersphere got wind of our epic annual wine practise exam for 31 top-quality Master of Wine students in Winchester’s glorious Guildhall.

It’s a fair observation. Three full days of tasting exams and feedback analysis (you could call them post-mortems), featuring 36 different wines served blind – it’s intense all right.

This was our sixth annual boot camp and it was wonderful to have students from all over the globe, including the USA, Brazil, South Africa, Spain, France, Chile, Ireland, Venezuela, Hungary, Canada, Germany and Australia.

The standard was high. Congratulations to all our plucky and talented students, whom we wish very well in their ongoing studies and exams.

In response to a number of requests, we’ve also now set our dates for next year’s bootcamp, which are: 14th-16th May 2016. Anyone interested should email us to reserve a place; there’s no charge for reservations and you can drop out later so best to do this now rather than wait.

Susie and I would like to thank all the suppliers and producers who not only helped us put together a fantastic line-up of wines but also proved endlessly patient with our incessant badgering for pedantic details. Specifically, Cono Sur Wines, Maisons Marques & Domaines, The Wine Society, Liberty Wines, González Byass (Quinta do Noval), Haynes Hanson & Clark, Marks & Spencers, Chapel Down, Hatch Mansfield, Berry Bros & Rudd and Waitrose.

Here’s wishing ALL those taking MW exams, first and second year, the very best of luck. We look forward to welcoming a bumper crop into the institute in the coming years.

Feedback on our MW bootcamp 2015

MW-bootcamp-bottles‘Fantastic 3 days of MW bootcamp with @wineschools @SusieBarrie always tops up the motivation levels & some darn tasty wines.’

‘Great weekend. Bring on the exams – harnessing the motivation!’

‘Farewell to Winchester – can’t thank @wineschools & @SusieBarrie enough for best poss prep #MWBootcamp’

‘Sad times…Last day of Wine School! Been extremely helpful.’

‘Brilliant tasting weekend at the #MWBootcamp with @wineschools and @SusieBarrie. Got a lot more out of it than I expected.’

‘I have heard great things about the Winchester Wine School and now wish I went much earlier. Very impressed by the impeccable organization and responsiveness. Also pleased by the choice of wines and questions. Each Paper had a flight with a specific challenge that is very important to be aware of for the upcoming exam. Wish more Bootcamp weekends were available through the year as Winchester is a lovely town, it is fun to see fellow MW students, and also experience challenging flights.’

‘The weekend was fantastic. I grew leaps and bounds in three days and I am confident I wouldn’t have accomplished that anywhere else.’

‘A real rehearsal with some excellent wines and well phrased questions. Thanks again for the hard work done to prepare the week-end, for the choice of the wines and for the personal advice.’

‘Excellent boot camp weekend! I learnt a lot and it was great to get the three days of practice in at a perfect pre-exam moment. Thank you for sharing your priceless tips and expertise.’

‘An unmissable weekend for MW students at any stage of their journey. The weekend with Susie & Peter was the single best investment of my time and money prior to the tasting exam. The amount of work they had put in was obvious from the beginning. They clearly spent a great deal of time researching the exam questions. Ditto with the wine samples which were brilliantly chosen, designed to challenge and educate, including unlikely wines which might throw you off guard in the actual exam. And there was plenty of wine for re-tasting with the feedback. The feedback was brilliant with everyone having to offer answers for discussion, Peter & Susie made notes and responded precisely with great advice.’

‘Thank you both for a challenging and very productive weekend. You have a wonderfully warm, encouraging but realistic style which is valued by us students.  You do include everybody and clearly work hard at that.’

‘Invaluable. Extremely informative and very well put together and executed. Fantastic.’

Susie & Peter’s MW bootcamp wines 2015 (click links for pdfs)

  1. PAPER 1 Crib S&P MW bootcamp 2015
  2. PAPER 2 Crib S&P MW bootcamp 2015
  3. PAPER 3 Crib S&P MW bootcamp 2015