Learning about wine
I attended a wine course in February but just received the test result last week and since I passed, I figured it would warrant a blog post. I am by no means a wine expert but have always wanted to learn more about the interesting world of wines. While traveling I have visited some wineries and always found the process fascinating.
What is WSET?
The course I attended was called WSET Level 1 Award in Wines. WSET stands for the Wine & Spirit Education Trust that is the largest global provider of wine, spirits, and sake qualifications. Trusted by the world’s most recognized drinks organizations, WSET has led the design and delivery of wine and spirit education for five decades. With four progressive levels of study offered through a network of course providers in more than 70 countries and translated into multiple languages, WSET qualifications inspire and empower drink professionals and enthusiasts.
WSET 1 is a beginner-level introduction to wine suitable for those starting a wine career or pursuing an interest in wine. The qualification provides a hands-on introduction to the world of wine. The course explores the main types and styles of wine through sight, smell, and taste, while also teaching the basic skills to describe wines accurately and make food and wine pairings.
I attended the course at Wineserver in Helsinki, Finland. This was a two-day course with most of the second day focusing on the test. On the first day, we learned about the basics of winemaking, the main types and styles of wine, and basic food and wine pairing. We got to taste 7 wines and try some of them with various food items. During the tasting, we learned to describe wine using the WSET Level 1 Systematic Approach to Tasting Wine® (SAT). On the second day, we discussed how to store and serve wine and had a quick recap of what we had learned on the first day, and then we took the test. The test consisted of 30 multiple-choice questions and you had to get at least 70% right to pass.
The course was an interesting quick introduction to the world of wines. Even though I knew a lot of the things we learned already before the course it was great to have a professional explain things. The most interesting part for me was the wine tasting and learning how to describe what you taste systematically.
Now I have enrolled in WSET Level 2 Award in Wines. The course starts in May and comprises five days including a final test with 50 questions. WSET 2 is a beginner- to intermediate-level qualification exploring wines. During the course, you’ll gain knowledge of the principal and regionally important grape varieties of the world, the regions in which they are grown, and the styles of wine they produce. Through a combination of tasting and theory, you’ll explore the factors that impact style and quality and learn how to describe these wines with confidence. I am looking forward to this second level and hopefully, I’ll manage to pass this test as well.