On Wine and pencils…
“Once a teacher always a teacher” I am still as interested in learning as I am interested in wine. We know that people have different learning styles. The VARK model describes 4 primary learning styles: Visual, Aural/Auditory, Read/Write and Kinesthetic.
I have always considered myself to be an aural learner. That’s probably not a coincidence since it’s languages I teach.
So when I was doing my wine studies I was forever looking for podcasts and videos to hear people reinforce what I was learning. I started stalking Jancis Robinson on YouTube
I have never been into colouring but I recently purchased a colouring book called Wine World Colouring Book
It seems silly to buy a colouring book when one is not a fan of colouring but I love books and this one was about wine and I find it hard to resist books about wine. I am really glad I bought it because it wasn’t one of those geometrical pattern grown up colouring books I have seen and that quite frankly would frustrate rather than relax me. The illustrations in it are fun and free flowing and nearly childlike (I think one of the reasons I became and stayed a teacher is because I love the creative and imaginative world of children) so it’s a style of illustrations that I really like.
What struck me the most though is that they made me question whether I wasn’t a closet visual learner too because my first thoughts were: this looks really light-hearted and fun and it is but I would actually have loved something like this to help me revise for my wine qualifications. Research shows that you learn best when you are relaxed and I keep telling my students that they can learn subconsciously too. The proof being that if I start the verse of a Justin Bieber song in class the whole class can tell me what lyrics comes next. It’s not because they have sat and learnt it off by heart (although in some sad cases maybe they have…), it’s because they have heard it again and again and it’s stuck in their mind.
So anyway, to come back to the colouring: when you are colouring, you literally go over and over things so they are bound to get embedded in your memory, consciously or not. In the Wine World Colouring Book , the details in each page remind you of some things you need to know when you do wine studies. There’s a page on Riesling for example that very cleverly makes you see all the factors needed for a successful Riesling production.
I tweeted very excitedly about my find and the author responded (that’s the beauty of twitter, you can even reach authors or personalities just like that) and we have been talking wine and pencils related things since. She asked me to send her my tasting notes about a wine that I liked so I did and she send me back this wonderful illustration of the Galets Dorés from Chateau Mourgues du Grès. I was very chuffed! It completely translates what I smell and taste in the wine. Zelda has her own blog,Illlsutrated Wine, and I wish I had found out about it when I was doing my WSET studies because it would have added another dimension to my learning. Because that’s another thing I know as a teacher… you should never get stuck in a learning rut. You should try different things to reinforce what have learned from what you think is your favourite learning style. Next time I have to study; I will get my colouring pencils out.
In the meantime, Zelda kindly coloured it for me so it looked good. The colour of the wine is particularly accurate! I am so proud of it I have to show it off so here it is: