Welcome to Wine.by.Alex, the show to watch to take your wine game to the next level! Today you’re watching a brand-new episode of #Askwinebyalex and I’ve got a question from Daniel of @mylnari:
How do you make all that info you learn stick in?
So if you have wine exams coming, make sure you keep watching to discover my tips on how to retain information you learn easily!
BE MINDFUL AND FOCUSED WHEN YOU STUDY
It can seem obvious to be focused when studying. But most often your mind spreads and wanders among your thoughts, instead of focusing only on what you’re reading. So here’s what I do. I plan my study time in advance: I really block it in my calendar so that it’s non negotiable. Then I get rid of all the other things I need to do, for real or in my mind. I usually do a little meditation right before studying, this allows me to quiet my mind and be fully present to my study. If you’re deeply focused and 100% on your study, you’ve got more chances to remember it.
HOW TO RETAIN INFORMATION: WRITE DOWN THE INFO
It’s been scientifically proven that writing down something increases your chances to remember it by 50%! So I always write down the things I learn to make them stick in. Now how you write down your notes is totally up to you, according to what speaks to you the most. I know some people just need to write down the info on a paper and re-read it. I’ve seen others draw maps of wine regions and write down the info they need to remember on the maps. One thing you can do is to design a visualisation board for each region mixing your notes with maps and pictures of the area for example.
My personal trick:
I personally create mind maps for each subject on the software Imindmap that I bought when starting WSET 3. Mind mapping has been invented by Tony Buzan, you start with a central idea and you develop around it in as many branches you need to use. I’ve never left it since then, connections make themselves while you’re creating your maps and then you just have to read them over and over.
VARY YOUR SOURCES OF INFORMATION
While most of us are visual people, some may find it difficult to remember things just by reading them. And even visual people need to diversify their sources of information to use different senses and make the information stick in. I know I’m visual at 95%, but I always challenge my hearing and taste. So I regularly leave my study books to listen to a podcast and taste some wines. Even if I stick to my visual side, I’ll switch my study books to wine books written with a different approach, or I’ll watch a documentary. One I’ve been loving lately is WineMasters.tv, it’s full of precious insights about France, Italy and Spain’s main regions. And I think it’s helpful to see things instead of reading them, it speaks to me in a different way.
HOW TO RETAIN INFORMATION: TAKE REGULAR BREAKS THROUGH YOUR STUDIES
Well, it’s something I’m still working on actually… I’m more the kind of people to study relentlessly when I decide to. But then I kinda burn out and need a lot of time to recover and get back to my studies. So I’ve learnt to take some breaks for the past year. This way I feel better in the long run and I’m able to study when I want to instead of when I feel like it. By breaks, I mean short breaks during your study time but also longer breaks in general. In your day study, take 10-20 minute breaks every 30-60 minutes of study. Go for a walk, stretch, cook or create something. It will recharge your energy and you’ll get back to work easily, with a fresh brain.
STUDY ONE THEME AT A TIME AND TASTE THE WINES THAT CORRESPONDS RIGHT AFTER
If I decide to study Bordeaux, I’ll stick to it. I only learn Bordeaux and I go into an in-depth study with different sources of information. To close my study time, I’ll do a tasting of several Bordeaux wines to make connections with what I’ve read before. I found that it’s one of the best ways to cement the information I’ve learnt just before.
HOW TO RETAIN INFORMATION: RE-READ AND REVISE REGULARLY
Just as I wrote into my e-book on how to improve your wine tasting skills, you need to build your memory! It’s like a muscle and you need to train it over and over so it keeps remembering stuff. So if you want to make the info stick in, you have to re-read and revise this info regularly. There’s no point to cramming into your books for the exams and to leave everything right after. You’ll just forget everything! So once you’ve reached your goal of information, keep revising what you’ve learnt from time to time. It’ll help you refresh and consolidate the info into your brain.
DO NOT LEARN ALL THE INFO
Yeah… this last one can seem a bit counterintuitive, I know! But to be honest, most of the info we learn disappears and we remember the most important things… or the ones that caught our attention.
My personal trick:
For my Diploma, I’m not trying to know everything. Simply because it’s nearly impossible to know the grapes, blends and yields of every wine region. Instead I focus on getting the main information to be able to « get » the region, its philosophy and wine styles. This allows me to have an idea of the average grapes, blends or yields used. So when you study wine, trust your brain and intuition. They’ll probably remember what you need to remember. When I study, I don’t try to know it all. I don’t force the information into my brain, I just read and repeat some stuff to myself.
Then it’s pretty amazing to see that when people ask me questions, I’m able to answer without even « knowing » this. And if I’m not able to answer the question, it’s not a big deal. I can catch up in my books and next time, I’ll know! The world of wine is endless, that’s the beauty in it so cut you some slack!
Well, that’s all for today! I hope this resonated with you! Now you know my tips on how to retain information you learn easily!!
Now, I’d love to hear from you.
What’s the tip that speaks to you and that you want to implement right now? What are your ways to remember what you learn?
Let me know in the comments below!
Thank you so much for watching this episode and I’ll see you soon on Wine.by.Alex!
P.S.: Share the questions you ask yourself all the time. I’ll answer in the next videos!
P.P.S.: Watch the previous episode to discover the 7 winemaking methods you absolutely want to know!!