You have to taste good wine in class to develop solid tasting skills. These are some of the wines featured in a recent Level 1 course  (Photo: Lyn Farmer)

You have to taste good wine in class to develop solid tasting skills. These are some of the wines featured in a recent Level 1 course  (Photo: Lyn Farmer)

WSET Level 1

For individuals new to wine study, this qualification provides a hands-on introduction to the world of wine. You’ll explore the main types and styles of wine through sight, smell, and taste, while also gaining the basic skills to describe wines accurately, and make food and wine pairings. Upon successful completion you will receive a WSET certificate and lapel pin.

This full-day course focuses on learning the art of wine tasting (including demystifying the vocabulary you might have once found daunting), pairing food and wine, and exploring the characteristics of the major grape varieties with intensive exercises. We also delve a bit into grape growing and winemaking, and serving and cellaring wine, topics that are covered in greater depth in Levels 2 and 3. 

Who is this class for?

This class is the ideal place to hone your wine sensibility, whether your interest in wine is as an occasional consumer hoping to demystify a wine list when you go out to dinner, or a culinary professional looking to expand your wine knowledge beyond the basics that are part of culinary training. It's a full-day course that includes tasting 18 high quality wines, from Champagne to classics from Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Australia, New Zealand and the United States. 

An important benefit of the Level One class is the opportunity to have an introduction to WSET's much-admired systematic approach to wine tasting and evaluation. Prepare to be amazed at the skills you will develop through the day's guided tastings of 16 wines. This approach is expanded on in Levels Two and Three, so this is a fine place to build a framework for tasting and, better still, for sharing your impressions of wine. In this course, you will sample wines made from the same grape but two different regions to compare not only taste but regional style.

The course concludes with an exam that, when passed, provides you with a Level One Certification from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust. Increasingly, restaurants, importers and distributors want their representatives to have a verifiable certification of their interest in and knowledge of wine. There is no more respected, nor globally recognized, certification than that from WSET.

One caveat is in order: as with all our classes, you are well-advised to register as early as possible. It's easy to put things off, but registering early gives you plenty of time to receive all your materials and to prepare for the class. We have an extensive online version of the Level One text you can read before you come to class along with practice exam questions. In class, I provide a hard copy of the text on which you can make notes and keep in your wine library. So, read up and then come to perfect your tasting techniques! I'll have 18 wines from exceptional Champagne to Sauternes waiting for you to taste. And this definitely prepares you for the Level Two program if you wish to continue your wine tasting adventures. If you already have a good grounding in the basics of wine, you could begin your formal studies directly with Level Two, but if you want a solid grounding, especially relating to WSET's systematic approach to tasting, this is a great starting point. In many cases, we offer Level 2 immediately following a Level 1 course and your increase your wine knowledge significantly by take the two courses in succession. 

Upcoming dates for Fine Vintage, Ltd. Level One course with Lyn Farmer:

Chicago June 10, 2018

Level One is next offered in Chicago on Saturday, June 10, 2018 at City Winery at 1200 West Randolph Street. The course is a full day, from 9am to 5pm with a one hour break for lunch and offers the extraordinary opportunity to study wine surrounded by casks and fermentation tanks as well as many bottles! We taste 16 wines in the Fine Vintage Level 1, more than any other WSET provider.

If you really want to ramp up your wine game, I'll be leading a Level 2 course the day after this Level 1 class and you can register for that course to continue your wine education. You do not need to have your passing grade from Level 1 to take Level 2, and the seamless transition from one course to the other makes for a very rewarding wine experience.

Click the button below to go directly to the Chicago course page on the Fine Vintage, Ltd. website


Atlanta, TBD

Stay tuned - I'll be announcing our first course dates for Atlanta shortly


New York, July 14, 2018

Level One is next offered in New York on Saturday, July 14, 2018 - mais oui, it's Bastille Day! The course is a full day, from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm with a one hour break for lunch.

If you really want to ramp up your wine game, I'll be leading a Level 2 course on July 15, the day after this Level 1 class and you can register for that course to continue your wine education. You do not need to have your passing grade from Level 1 to take Level 2, and the seamless transition from one course to the other makes for a very rewarding wine experience.

Click the button below to go directly to the New York course page on the Fine Vintage, Ltd. website


Boston! June 23, 2018

Yes, Fine Vintage is coming to Boston and we're really psyched! We start with Level One on Saturday, June 23rd. As with all our Level 1 courses, it's a full day, from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm with a one-hour break for lunch. I'm excited to bring our Fine Vintage approach to Boston, and hope that if you are in New England, you'll join us. And, if you are really interested in honing your wine skills, join us on Sunday, June 24, for the Level Two course - you don't need the results from the Level One exam to register for Level Two.

Click the button below to go directly to the Boston course page on the Fine Vintage, Ltd. website

Miami August 4, 2018

Level One is next offered in Miami on Saturday, August 4, 2018 at the historic Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables. The course is a full day, 9:30am to 5:30pm with a one hour break for lunch.

Click the button below to go directly to the Miami course page on the Fine Vintage, Ltd. website