If there’s anything I’ve learned about wine since starting my journey two years ago, it’s that this learning and absorbing all there is to know about it is a marathon, not a sprint. As a former runner, I’m familiar with the many aspects of training that comes with preparing for a race: sticking to a running schedule with short and long runs, eating a healthy diet in the months and weeks leading up to the big day, and of course, knowing when your body needs to rest. Oh snap – where are my manners? Hi, everyone! I’m Chasity Cooper, a Chicago-based wine journalist who loves to talk, read and write about wine. I’ve written for a dozen incredible outlets and have decided to use WSET to not only enhance my wine journalism, but to continue fueling my passion for wine.

As I prepare to start my WSET Level 3 Award in Wines journey, I’m a combination of nervous and excited. WSET Level 2 was challenging, but it was such a wonderful experience in really getting a better understanding of the fundamentals of wine. With Level 3, I know that there’s going to be another level of mental endurance that I need to build – not only for memorizing more theory, but also cementing ways in which improve my palate through tasting. Blind tasting is absolutely daunting to me, but I hope to become less scared of it better at it as the course goes along. I’ve had a number of friends pass this course successfully, and I hope to join them on the other side.

My expectations for this course are simple: I want to become more confident in my wine knowledge and tasting abilities. More importantly, I want to learn how to write for both the consumer and the wine expert. Words are powerful, and my goal is to connect with people using them in a way to make them excited about exploring wine. I hope my curiosity for wine deepens even more over the next two months, and leads me to a place of even more clarity of my place within the big world of wine.

Throughout the course of my WSET 3 studies, I’ll be sharing my experience, lessons learned and celebrating wins big and small. I’m excited to share my point of view, and hope it encourages other wine lovers to take a leap of faith and expand their knowledge!