Wine, WSET

The Wine Learnin’ Train Keeps Chugging Along

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In typical Meg fashion, I’ve enrolled in yet another wine course. It started last week and I wanted to share with you what it’s about and how it’s shaping up.


What is it?

WSET level 3 is advanced level learning from the Wine Spirit and Education Trust. WSET is a snooty-seeming wine educational organization based out of England. This course will offer the same knowledge but, contrary to Sommelier training, there is no service component. This is the thing that drew me to WSET over Sommelier training – I have no desire to work in a restaurant or serve wine. I just want to know all the wine-things so I can write here about them!




Why am I taking it?

Those who know me well know that I am and have always been a lover of learning. I loved being in school and since leaving school I regularly take classes at the many colleges and universities in my city. I’ve taken two other courses in wine but find that the more I learn the more there is to learn, which is really one of the things I love most about it. I’m also a huge ham and a lover of getting recognition, so the idea of having an advanced certification doesn’t hurt.


And, as the cherry on top, taking this course will also allow me to taste and try lots of wine I wouldn’t be able to afford (or wouldn’t want to shell out for) otherwise!


Where do I hope it will lead?

My original plan for taking WSET courses was to amass more knowledge, both for myself and to be able to share and write about here. Now that I’ve taken two WSET courses (and one course designed by George Brown College) I’m now starting to think of other goals I could turn toward.


I love the idea of having a reputable certification to mention when talking to wineries and people in the wine industry. In my wild dreamings I’d love to see this turn into relationships that would lead to samples and event invitations that I can write about here or maybe even a job in the wine industry. Who knows!


One thing that I think probably will happen (though I’m not sure what shape it will take) is more wine education. Not to be a Somm, as I mentioned, but I’ve been mulling over the idea of attempting the WEST diploma (the penultimate WSET certification, more of a program than a course).


Also in my wild imaginings I’ve been thinking of putting myself on the path toward enrolling in a Master of Wine program. I’ve heard only truly obsessed people subject themselves to (even my WSET teacher says it’s a ridiculously intense and difficult thing to attempt – there are only five in Canada!), so we’ll see how far down this rabbit hole I go. But hey, if Jancis Robinson can do it, so can I, right?? In the meantime continuing along the WSET path will open that door if I decide to get more serious about it in the future.


How was the first class?

In a word? FUN!


In more words? Challenging, slightly overwhelming, and completely fascinating. We learned a few minutes in that the first two classes are particularly jam packed which set the bar pretty high as well. I’m almost through the readings for the first two classes and it’s almost half the textbook! But at least that’s out the way, right?



Please excuse the awkward pano skips!


What am I looking forward to?

In case it wasn’t already obvious, I’m really looking forward to deepening my knowledge of wine. I would love to get to a point where I can understand and contribute to conversations with winemakers. Not that I currently have many (read: any) of such conversations, but that’s beside the point.


I’m also a little nervous for the exam. The pass threshold is only 55%, but that doesn’t feel high enough to prove to myself that I truly know my stuff. I also have the tendency to set a high bar for myself, so I will clearly be aiming for something above 80% which, you know, means nerves.


Stay tuned for more posts of me freaking out about wine courses 🙂


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