Thoughts on WSET 2 Part 1

Is It Worth It

Welcome to our new podcast series: thoughts on WSET 2. In this series Maggie will discuss various aspects of the Wine and Spirits Education Trust’s global qualification. We did the course quite recently here in Spain, so for any of you serious winos out there thinking of doing the course here are some tips.

This week we discuss whether the course is worth doing. Later we will look at whether it is value for money, the intense course versus weekly version, plus what areas of the course we found difficult and some key discoveries we made.

Whether you choose to do the WSET 2 course or not, I hope you you enjoy our podcasts.

For those of you who prefer the written word rather than listening to podcasts, please see the dialogue script below:

Last month we finally took the plunge and signed up to the Wine and Spirits Education Trust level 2 qualification, or as it is more fondly known ‘WSET 2’. Apparently the Trust don’t like the pronunciation ‘WSET’. Well tough! They should come up with a better acronym then. WSET works for me and will for evermore be pronounced this way in my mind.

The 2 day intensive course was run in English by the lovely Jeni at Vintage Class, ‘Thank you Jeni’, and Amazingly we passed with an 82% score (Woohoo!). Now, having given my brain a well deserved rest, it’s time to look back and reflect on the course.

I guess the first thing to ask is:

WAS IT WORTH IT?

From a personal perspective the overwhelming answer is yes! It’s given me a thorough grounding in all the key principles of making, selling and appreciating wine. Which is good thing, because that is the stated aim of the course. This includes wine production, pricing, regions, grape varieties, tasting methods, quality labels, food pairing and all the other hoo haa that tends to follow the wine world around

Now I’m not going to go into detail about all you can learn on WSET 2. If you want that then go to their website (www.wsetglobal.com) or better yet do the course yourself. What I will say is that the level 2 is a great introductory course that works equally well for us wine drinkers as for those who work in in the industry. In fact if you wish to work in the hospitality or drinks business the I’d say WSET is a must and not just the introductory level 2, but the more meaty levels 3 and 4 as well.

If, like me, you’re just an enthusiastic drinker of wine, then you can pick up quite a lot of info from drinking the stuff and reading the labels. Add a few wine tastings, and of course our mate Mr Google and before you know where you are you’ll think you’re an expert. You are, of course, not an expert. Far from it. However some wine drinking experience is advisable before contemplating WSET or you may find yourself out of your depth. It is a very comprehensive course. The Trust also do a lighter level 1 course for the true beginners, but most regular wine drinkers should be able to skip straight to level 2 with a bit of work.

Do you need WSET 2? Well if you just enjoy drinking wine and really couldn’t care less where it comes from or whether it’s any good, then no! You’re in good company. 90 plus % of drinkers fall into this category. If, like me, you’re want to know more, then yes! You can learn in other ways but it would be time consuming, and why bother when the course is available, is such good fun, a much quicker route and gives you a globally recognised industry qualification. Bit of a no brainer!

So go ahead. Sign yourself up for WSET 2. You won’t regret it.

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