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

You have to taste good wine to develop solid tasting skills. These are some wines featured in a recent WSET 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 14 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 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. This approach is expanded on in Levels 2 and 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. WSET just updated the course and I’m happy to be offering this wonderful new version with an improved text and an expanded (and simplified) exploration of wine and food pairing.

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 wines from exceptional Champagne to Sauternes waiting for you to taste. And this definitely prepares you for the WSET Level 2 course if you wish to continue your wine tasting adventures. If you already have a good understanding of the basics of wine, you could begin your formal studies directly with Level 2, but if you want a solid grounding, especially relating to WSET's systematic approach to tasting, this is a great starting point. We also pay much more attention to food and wine pairing in Level 1 than in Level 2. In many cases, we offer Level 2 immediately following a Level 1 course and you increase your wine knowledge significantly by take the two courses in quick succession. 

Upcoming dates for Fine Vintage's WSET Level One course with Lyn Farmer:

WSET Level 1 in Atlanta

February 1, 2020

We continue our great success at City Winery in Atlanta with a Level 1 course just in time for Spring entertaining. This course has an extensive exploration of food and wine pairing, as well as all the information you expect in a comprehensive introductory wine course - we’ll review how wine is made and the characteristics of the main grape varieties. My aim is to help you learn what it is you most like about your favorite wines so you have an easier time finding even more wine to like!

Atlanta courses are offered at City Winery, adjacent to the wonderful Ponce City Market. I look forward to seeing you there!


WSET Level 1 in New York City

November 9, 2019

Fine Vintage, Ltd. will offer Level One in New York at Corkbuzz in November.

Demand has been high in the Big Apple, so I will be teaching Level 1 in New York on November 9 from 9:30am to 5:30pm with a one-hour break for lunch. We’ll have eight food and wine pairings and taste 14 wines together as we explore the fundamentals of wine appreciation and wine passion.

Click the button below to go directly to the New York course page on the Fine Vintage, Ltd. website - I look forward to seeing you in Class!


WSET Level 1 in Boston

November 9, 2019

Our next Boston Level 1 course is set for Saturday, November 9 with my colleague David Lawrason teach (I’ll be teaching Level 1 in New York that day) - it’s a full day exploring what wine is and how it’s made. We taste 14 classic examples of everything from Chablis to Rioja, Napa cabernet to merlot in Bordeaux. We also make plenty of time for delving into some of the elements of wine and food pairing.

Boston courses are offered at City Winery in the most historic part of Boston, close to the North End and other exciting parts of the city.


WSET Level 1 in Miami

January 11, 2020

We have a terrific class coming up at the beautiful Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables. I love the new version of Level 1 introduced last year with enhanced food and wine pairings as well as in-depth opportunities to compare grapes and explore how wine gets to be wine: what influences how it tastes, and why a chardonnay from Chablis is so different from one grown in Napa. These explorations are a big part of what makes Level 1 so much fun (as well as so thirst-quenching). Join me for a full day of wine tasting and wine exploring in this introductory course in Coral Gables, just outside downtown Miami.