One of Less than 20 Masters of Wine in the United States
One of 380 Masters of Wine in the World
The First Female Master of Wine in San Diego
by Michelle Metter
Congratulations on your achievement in reaching the prestigious Master of Wine designation. I know it has not been an easy road. Can you tell us a little about your journey?
Gosh, it’s hard to give it a start time, but let’s say I’ve been studying wine since 2005, and have been in the Master of Wine program since 2013. There was a lot of work leading up to being accepted into the program including the WSET diploma, which takes two years to achieve as well as working on my other certifications. The Master of Wine path was its own beast. I didn’t really know much about it or what to expect. I think if I knew how hard it was, and how much it would take I’m not sure I would do it, so it worked out I that I jumped in with my feet first! In the end, I ended up spending over 5,000 hours or more just for the MW path. It was definitely a huge commitment of time, energy, and money. Plus, the heartbreak of the years I didn’t pass a section, that was really tough. Through it all, my students support, my friends and family, and my Master of Wine mentors all helped me prevail.
What surprised you the most about the process?
How much I learned I needed others. My friends and family to make for laughter and support, my amazing MW mentors and study mates, my students who both emotionally and financially supported me, and everyone else along the way. It was truly a community effort, and that was the most beautiful thing to experience. When you do difficult things, like professional athlete level stuff, you need a team to get you through it. I truly feel as though this is a win not just for me, but for everyone who helped me along the way!
What advice do you have for those following a similar path?
Be prepared to lose. Be prepared to sacrifice. Be prepared to learn to live with not knowing what will happen… and detaching from your expectation of how the process will go for you. I thought I’d sail through it, and I was clearly wrong, LOL.
You will be leading a session during SommCon on advanced study tips. What are three key pieces of wisdom you have for others imbedded studying for their advanced credential?
First, join a consistent, reliable, and serious tasting group. This was key, especially for blind tasting to off-set costs. Second, be humble and compassionate with others and yourself. It’s hard to be a master or advanced level taster, it takes practice and focus. Don’t compare yourself to others because you will feel bad and this is a very difficult process, so you need to find ways to increase your confidence (NOT ego), not deflate it. Third, find a mentor or study group to challenge you. You can’t get to the master level without help. Ask any Master, MW or MS.
Where do you see this taking you? What do you think is in store for the future?
Working with a wine region as an ambassador or more teaching: developing curriculum, presenting on larger scales. My skill and passion are teaching AND having fun with people.
You have one glass of wine and 5 minutes. What are you drinking, who are you with, and what are you listening to?
1977 Vintage Port with my friends and family. I’m listening to my own thoughts about how magical this wine is 😉
About Lindsay Pomeroy: Lindsay Pomeroy is an honored and iconic woman in the wine industry. Lindsay Pomeroy has been teaching about wine since 2006 when she founded Wine Smarties, San Diego’s first wine education school. Always improving her own skills, she is actively pursuing the Master of Wine title. Full of pizazz and endless ideas, she adds sparkle to the world of wine. Lindsay Pomeroy will be a featured guest lecturer at SommCon San Diego, November 14-16, 2018.