Back to All Events

The Fundamentals - WSET Level 1 in Chicago

  • City Winery 1200 West Randolph Street Chicago, IL, 60607 United States (map)

The Level 1 course is a "foundation course" that is ideal for everyone who loves wine and wants to understand it better. 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 into grape growing and winemaking, and serving and cellaring wine - everything you need to know to increase your enjoyment and your confidence about wine. 

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 16 world-class wines from Vintage Champagne to classic still wines from France, Italy Spain, Australia and the United States (among others!).

The WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) is considered one of, if not the, most prestigious routes to wine education available. I will be leading several courses in Chicago this summer and fall for Fine Vintage, Ltd, the most comprehensive WSET provider in North America - including this one-day Level 1 course at City Winery that covers the fundamentals of wine - how it's made, and how to find wines you will love. And of course, after this introduction, Level 2 awaits!

 In Fine Vintage, Ltd wine classes, tasting Grand Cru and Premier Cru wines is common - you can't learn about good wine drinking poor wine!

In Fine Vintage, Ltd wine classes, tasting Grand Cru and Premier Cru wines is common - you can't learn about good wine drinking poor wine!

An important benefit of the Level 1 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 2 and Level 3, 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 1 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. 

I'll have 14 wines waiting for you to taste (some of them are in the photo above, taken at a recent Level 1 course). And this prepares you for the Level 2 program we also offer at City Winery, if you want to pursue an in-depth exploration of great wine. Remember, you may register for Level 2 even before you have your Level 1 certification.