WSET Level Two Course
This is a wine course designed for beginners to intermediate wine lovers. For individuals seeking a core understanding of wines, this three-day course explores the major grape varieties and important wine regions in which they are grown. You’ll learn about the styles of wines produced from these grapes as well as key classifications and labelling terminology. A basic overview of the key categories of spirits and liqueurs is also be provided. Upon successful completion you will receive a WSET certificate and lapel pin, and will be able to use the associated WSET certified logo.
That's the formal description, but what does this mean in practical terms? I'm so glad you asked! I love Level Two - this is where wine really gets to be fun.
WSET Level Two is offered over two weekends, giving you three days of intensive class review and tasting without interrupting the business week, three full days of exploring the nuances of wine and wine tasting. This also gives you a five-day break in the middle of the course to put into practice what you've learned, to hone your tasting skills and, best of all, to practice tasting. Of course, you should also work in a little study time as well to ensure you pass the exam on the final day, leading to your official WSET Certification. 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 and Spirits (to use the course's official name) naturally follows from the foundation in wine provided in the Level One course. While we recommend taking Level 1 so you have a solid grounding in the WSET Systematic Approach to Tasting, it is not an absolute requirement if you already have a good understanding of wine - there is no prerequisite for taking Level Two.
For the amateur wine lover and the hospitality professional alike, Level Two classes are entertaining as well as informative and include a diverse array of students. Typically, our Level Two courses include an equal number of passionate consumers and people from the hospitality industry and the beverage trade. Level Two is the ideal place for the wine lover already familiar with the basics of wine and wine tasting to gain solid technical knowledge and tasting experience that just cannot be picked up by reading magazine articles and books. In addition to the tutor-guided tastings and course work, you have the added benefit of interactions with your classmates, making this a significantly better option for learning than interactive online sessions.
Why take a class?
Level Two is a significant step up from Level One 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 or online; it can only be truly understood as part of a series of interactive tastings.
One of the reasons to take a WSET course from Fine Vintage, Ltd. is to get a dependable framework for tasting, a system on which you can rely no matter what wine you are sampling and whether the aromas and flavors are familiar or new to you. Working with the textbook and the study guide (both provided several weeks in advance of the class sessions), 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. In a Fine Vintage, Ltd. course, you will taste many more wines than the WSET-mandated minimum, and you will also be tasting wines of very high quality (again, not a feature of every WSET provider).
Over the three days of the Level Two course, we'll make an extensive exploration of
Making and maturing wine
The art of tasting in detail using WSET's Structured Approach to Tasting
Food and wine matching
The classic grape varieties with detailed comparative tastings highlighting the same grape in wine from different regions (chardonnay from warm and cool climates, for example)
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, New Zealand and South America
Sparkling and Fortified wines
The major types of 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 Two Award in Wines, a highly coveted certification within the hospitality industry. Passing the exam and gaining a Level Two certification is a serious accomplishment. It's not an easy exam, which is why you want to register early so you can read over the materials before class, and then 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 Level Two pass rate of 97%... 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 having a skilled tutor help you compare a classified Left Bank Bordeaux with a high-end Napa or Sonoma 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
Advance registration is necessary to assure you receive the text book and study guide well before the class begins so you can read through the materials prior to the start of our classroom review. While we can accept registrations as close as a few weeks before the class begins, I encourage you to commit to the course and book your place as early as possible to assure you have time to look over the text book and mull over the practice exam questions.
Remember, the course reinforces and expands on what is in the text book, it is not a replacement for the text book! And by the same token, no book can develop your tasting skills the way a series of tasting sessions with a qualified tutor can.
As we have seen in several courses, classes do fill up. We keep the group relatively small to maximize the interactive aspect of learning about wine, so book your space while there is room. Once we reach the maximum class size, the course is closed. Don't miss your chance for a Level Two certification through a great tasting and learning experience with like-minded wine lovers.
Upcoming dates for the Fine Vintage, Ltd. WSET Level Two course with Lyn Farmer:
WSET Level 2 in Miami
Course dates TBD
WSET Level 2 in Chicago
The next course starts November 4, 2018
Our next Level Two course begins Sunday, November 4, 2018. The three-day course takes a break for the Veteran's Day holiday then continues on Saturday and Sunday, November 17 & 18. The beauty of this schedule is that you have nearly two weeks between the first and second classes to taste and study on your own, then return forth days of guided tasting before the certification exam. All Chicago courses are offered at City Winery at 1200 West Randolph Street. Each of the three days begins at 9am and continues to 5pm with two short mid-session breaks and a one-hour break for lunch.
Click the button below to go directly to the Chicago course page on the Fine Vintage, Ltd. website
WSET Level 2 in Atlanta
Course begins January 5, 2019
Start the new year off right, with a huge jump in your wine appreciation through the focused tasting of Fine Vintage's WSET Level 2!
Click the button below to go directly to the Atlanta course page on the Fine Vintage, Ltd. website
WSET Level 2 in New York City
Course dates: December 9, 15 & 16
The next Level Two course in Manhattan is offered on two weekends this fall at City Winery on Varick Street in New York's SoHo neighborhood. The course will be taught by my Fine Vintage colleague David Lawrason as I'll be busy teaching in Miami and Chicago (brrrr....!) in December.
In our class layout, you have a week off between classes to taste and study on your own, then return for the final class sessions before the certification exam. Each of the three days begins at 9:30am and continues to 5:30pm with two short mid-session breaks and a one-hour break for lunch.
To register now for Level 2, click the button below to go directly to the New York course page on the Fine Vintage, Ltd. website