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Friday, September 9, 2011

A Lot To Learn

I don’t have any kids of my own who would be starting school this week, and it’s been quite some time since I was in school of any kind, yet for some reason I still think of September as the turning of the year, rather than January.  I hear plenty of people say that they miss going back to school (and for the life of me I can’t understand that) - I don’t miss commuting at some unearthly hour to attend classes.  I don’t miss doing homework into the wee hours of the morning.  And I certainly don’t miss things like physics and calculus.  But just because a person is no longer attending classes doesn’t mean he or she should stop learning.
I started teaching myself about wine while I was in law school, and while I had some time for wine self-education while studying law, I wasn’t able to self-educate nearly as much as I can now, since I’m no longer reading case books and writing term papers.  While the things we learn in school at any level are often interesting and important, there are lots of things we can teach ourselves.  And among the many things I’ve taught myself outside of school over the years, wine is by far my favorite topic.
So many people have asked me how I got so “into” wine.  And the answer isn’t all that simple.  But ever since I was really young, I’ve enjoyed research of any kind, and so when I began experimenting with a few wines several years back, I decided it was a topic worth researching, worth learning more about it - the grape varieties, regions, production methods, history, etc.  And the research was addictive; wine seemed to be far more interesting to me than anything I was learning in law school at the time.  I didn’t know it back then, but I was discovering my passion for wine.  And it was a perfect accompaniment to my favorite pastime - cooking.
It’s important to me to keep on learning every day - not just about wine of course.  And even though school is pretty far back in my rear view mirror, sitting for the Level 1 Court of Master Sommeliers course and exam several months back reminded me just how important it is to keep on learning.  There’s so much to know, and for me, that’s one of the most exciting things about learning - that there will always be more.

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