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Enhancing Your Expertise - WSET Level 2

Tasting excellent wines is a part of the Fine Vintage approach to honing your evaluation skills (and it's fun, too!)

Tasting excellent wines is a part of the Fine Vintage approach to honing your evaluation skills (and it's fun, too!)

The WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) is considered one of, if not the, most prestigious routes to wine education available. Lyn will be leading wine courses this fall and winter for all levels of WSET for Fine Vintage, Ltd, the most comprehensive and most awarded WSET provider in North America. 

Just in time for getting your wine-act together for the holidays, WSET Level 2 is offered over two weekends in early December, giving you three days of intensive class review and tasting without interrupting the business week: we are waiting to confirm the date for the next Level 2 course, so I have listed it here as December 3 since we are planning to offer it in early December (I will confirm the date as soon as we have it locked in). We normally do the course over two weekends, so you have a full three days of course work and guided tastings before you take the Level 2 examination. The experience is more than the sum of its parts, as the textbook and coursework are amplified by the real-world application of concepts and flavors of the tastings.

Who is this class for?

The Level 2 Award in Wines (to use the course’s official name) naturally follows from the foundation in wine provided in the Level 1 course. While we recommend taking Level 1 so you have a solid grounding in the WSET systematic approach to wine tasting, it is not an absolute requirement if you already have a good understanding of wine. For the amateur wine lover and the hospitality professional alike, Level 2 classes are entertaining as well as informative and include a diverse array of students. Usually our courses are an equal mix of passionate consumers and people from the culinary industry and the beverage trade. Level 2 is the ideal place for the wine lover already familiar with the basics of wine and wine tasting to gain some solid technical knowledge and tasting experience that just cannot be picked up by reading magazine articles and books or following online lessons.

Why take a class?

Level 2 features three days of interactive tasting and presentations about wine.

Level 2 features three days of interactive tasting and presentations about wine.

It must be said that Level 2 is a significant step up from Level 1 and includes tasting more than 50 wines and several spirits over the course of the three days. I've found that tasting this range of wines with a knowledgeable tutor is an excellent way to get a real fix on one of the WSET program's strongest elements, structured tasting. This can't easily be learned in a self-study program; it can only be truly understood as part of a series of interactive tastings. Part of the reason to take a WSET course is to get a dependable framework for tasting, a system on which you can rely no matter what wine you are sampling. Working with the textbook and the study guide (both provided several weeks in advance as part of the course), you'll also finely hone your tasting skills as well as your knowledge not only of what different wines taste like, but why they taste different.

Over the three days of the Level Two course, we'll delve into the following areas:

  •  Growing grapes
  •  Making and maturing wine
  • The art of tasting in detail
  •  Food and wine matching
  • The classic grape varieties with detailed comparative tastings highlighting the same grape in wine from  different regions
  • An in-depth look at the wines of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Portugal, as well as, 
  • New World wine regions including the U.S., Australia and South America
  • Sparkling and Fortified wines
  • The major spirits and how they are made

The final hour of the course is given over to a comprehensive examination that, when passed, entitles you to the Level 2 Award in Wines, a highly coveted certification within the hospitality industry. Passing the exam and gaining a Level 2 certification is a serious accomplishment. It's not an easy exam, which is why you want to study the material in an environment with a proven record of success. Fine Vintage, Ltd. is the most successful WSET provider in North America, with a 97% pass rate... Just sayin'! At Fine Vintage, Ltd, we pride ourselves on the number of wines we taste, and especially the quality of the wines offered. You won't learn a lot by tasting a mass-produced cabernet sauvignon off the grocery store shelf, but compare a classified Left Bank Bordeaux with a high-end Napa Cab (as we do in our course) and you will pick up some amazing insights. Looking to really polish your wine and spirits knowledge and tasting skills? To my mind, this is without question the best place to do it.

A Sense of Urgency

For more information on the Level Two course, click here to open a new window on the Fine Vintage, Ltd. website. And once the course dates are firm, to register for the course with Fine Vintage, click here

One caveat is in order: Advance registration is necessary to assure you receive the text book and study guide well before the class begins so you may read through the materials before we have the classroom review. While we can accept registrations as close as two weeks before the class begins, you should book your place at least one month ahead to assure you have a couple of weeks to look over the text book. Remember, the course reinforces what is in the text book, it is not a replacement for the text book!

I look forward to sharing a great wine experience with you in WSET Level 2 this December at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables.

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