The Wine And Spirits Education Trust
The WSETs globally-recognised qualifications are generally seen as the formal training one needs when pursuing a career in wine, but it has also seen a rise in students beyond the wine world who are keen to improve their knowledge.
Courses are run online and in-person, both directly and via affiliated institutions, although check with your local provider about the latest news regarding the coronavirus situation.
The WSET Online classroom teaches in English, but affiliated course providers can deliver courses in local languages through online conferencing platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
The WSET School London is now offering a blended learning programme for its students, giving the option to continue their studies online through digital classes, webinars and live Q& A sessions. Online exams have now been launched for Level 1 and 2 Awards.
Top White Wine Varietals + Tasting Notes
Tasting Notes: Wide range depending on stye lemon, apple, pear, bright fruits mango, pineapple, peach, tropical fruits vanilla, butter, baked goods, coconut
Notable Growing Regions: France , Italy, California, New York, Australia
Food Pairings: Fish, lightly seasoned chicken, soft cheeses
Tasting Notes: Green fruits, lime, green bell pepper, pear stonefruit, kiwi, peach oaked, vanilla, coconut, butter
Body: Medium to Medium-heavy
Notable Growing Regions: France , Italy , New Zealand , California, Chile
Food Pairings: White meats, chicken, pork white fish, shell fish, lobster, clams soft, sour cheese
*The same grape, called Pinot Grigio in Italy, Pinot Gris in France
Tasting Notes: Italian, lime, pear, sour apple France, lemon, honey, honeysuckle U.S., white nectarine, ripe stonefruits
Body: Medium to Medium-heavy
Notable Growing Regions: Italy, France, U.S.
Food Pairings: Fresh fish, green salads, shell fish
Tasting Notes: Varying styles Light, rose petal, underripe strawberry, limestone Medium, strawberry, summer fruits Heavy, ripe fruits, floral, spice hints
Body: Light to Medium-heavy
Notable Growing Regions: France, Spain, California, Italy
Food Pairings: Dependent on style anything from light salads to barbecued meats
Why Learn About Wine
Becoming wine savvy isnt for everyone. But its the best way for wine drinkers to enhance their social experiences and gain an improved sense of taste. There are some significant side benefits too: youll become more confident buying wine and be able to taste differences in quality. Of course, learning to identify wine quality can be so eye-opening that you may never see grocery store wine the same again, so if you prefer to maintain your blissful ignorance, its best to stop reading now.
If however, youre ready to crack the code and understand your wine from the inside out, lets get started!
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Wine : Basic Wine Knowledge For Server Training
Once, during a busy Friday night a bar in Chicago, a recently hired server returned a glass of White Zinfandel to the bartender. The wine, a blush pink color, wavered in the glass as the server set it back on the service well. It was clearly untouched.
The server, annoyed and slightly combative, barked out to the bartender, “Hey! I ordered a WHITE Zinfandel, I need a new glass!” This is why wine training is important. Because, of course, White Zinfandel isn’t actually white. It’s slightly pink, like a rosé. It’s essential for servers to have basic wine knowledge when dealing with customers to avoid mistakes like this and much worse.
This story is true and silly, but things just like this happen in bars and restaurants all the time. It’s why servers need wine training. Here are a few areas that need to be covered for basic wine training 101.
Wine Is Only As Complicated As You Make It
Wine is fun and meant to be enjoyed, plain and simple. Sure, you can study the terminology and technicalities if youre interested. But at the end of the day, all you need to enjoy wine is simply a wine opener and a glass. You do not have to stress yourself about whether or not your wine will pair well with your dinner.
Here is a tip: choose a wine from the country that your dish is from as they say, what grows together goes together. Simple. It is wine, not rocket surgery your tongue will tell you if youve got it wrong.
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There Are Thousands Of Wines Its An Overwhelming Amount Of Choice
Wine as an industry is one of the most fragmented industries in the world, says Caleb Ganzer, managing partner at La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels, a wine bar in New York. Wine is probably the most fragmented consumer product that exists.
In 2019, the US drank about 370 million cases of wine at 12 bottles a case, thats about 4.4 billion bottles of wine in a year. Studies estimate that about half of the US wine market is dominated by three conglomerates, each with an extensive portfolio of brands you may have heard of: E& J Gallo , Constellation Brands , and the Wine Group . These types of big corporations can afford to produce, ship, and distribute thousands of bottles of wine each year across the world and across the US so you can find, say, Robert Mondavi or Barefoot in nearly every store you go to.
A post shared by Discovery Wines on Sep 6, 2018 at 1:19pm PDT
There are certain stores and restaurants that carry big brand names that will be available everywhere. But those are wines that are made basically by almost factory farms. Theyre produced the way Coca-Cola is produced, to taste the same year after year and to be available in huge, huge quantities, says Jenny Lefcourt, founder of Jenny & François Selections, a wine importer that specializes in natural wines.
Break Free Of Your Finances
Financial freedom is about having a constant flow of cash from your assets to cover all your regular needs.
When you are not worried about your income, or living paycheck to paycheck, you gain a great sense of freedom. Its the freedom to be obtain and do what you truly need to make your way through everyday life.
Gaining financial freedom, though, is a process of growth, making small improvements and gaining emotional strength.
Though it seems hard to believe, it is really very simple to get financial freedom.
To do so, you simply need to make sure that your assets exceed your liabilities. In other words, youll need to find the sweet-spot where your residuals meet or surpass your expenses. This is something that you can achieve with the proper plan.
While not every person will accomplish financial freedom, the potential for anyone to do so is certainly there. Anyone can achieve this success, regardless of their income level.
Outlined below are 9 secrets that will help you in your goals of achieving financial freedom.
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Should I Add Ice To My Wine
If youre drinking an inexpensive wine and want to get it cold in a hurry, sure! But if youre drinking a fine wine, you DONT want to dilute its glorious complexities with something as pedestrian as water. Rather, chill it beforehand or even pop it into the freezer for 15 minutes.
Alternatively, you can use reusable ice cubes, which are made from acrylic or stone. These will freeze and keep your wine cool without shedding water. And if youre feeling real fancy, freeze some grapes and use those as edible ice cubes!
Improve Ability To Taste / Smell
Tasting/smelling wine doesn’t have to be an exercise in snobbery. It only takes a brief pause to develop an awareness of what you’re drinking. Knowing what you like will make it much easier to consistently find similar wines. This isn’t limited to wine, learning a few basics can improve the taste/smell of just about anything.
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Attend Short Wine Classes
Either in the form of tasting and education or simply educational , you can get so much benefit into your learning about wine process. I have found myself getting so much value out of courses, that, as a natural geek, information will start coming up my mind while tasting. Lets see Pinor Noir should give me some cherries and strawberries. Do I get these aromas, or were they bluffing with me in the course?
Are Older Wines Better Quality
Not necessarily! Not all wines are built for longevity and while a quality Burgundy may reach its crescendo in 5, 15, or even 50 years, an everyday-drinking Pinot Grigio is probably not meant to sit on your wine rack for more than a year. Similarly, some wines made for some aging may peak after 10 years and then steadily decline thereafter. To know when you should drink a wine, refer to the label. This should tell you how long you can expect to keep it … in ideal storage conditions, mind you!
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Learn More About Wine
I have spent decades learning about wine, and still have only scratched the surfaced. There is no way this or any web site can teach you all there is to know about wine, but it can teach you what you need to know in order to learn more. For the serious student, or wine professional, the information in this section is invaluable, and is an important part of your education.
Start Your Personal Wine Challenge
It doesnt matter whether youre a beginner or an expert, we all have more to learn about wine. With that in mind, here is a 3-step personal wine challenge tailor-made for beginners. If you , youll be informed about more advanced wine challenges as theyre released.
Am I a wine beginner?
If you dont know how to describe and in wine, and youre mostly unaware of the range of wine varieties and styles available at your local wine shop, then chances are you are a beginner. So, congratulations for challenging yourself to learn more!
Here are the first steps to take to improve your wine knowledge:
Step 1: Basic Wine Traits
First things first, what is wine? In , wine is described as an alcoholic beverage made with fermented grapes. Technically, wine can be made with any fruit, but most wines are made with a species of grape called Vitis Vinifera. These grapes are made of several different compounds , which go through many different changes during fermentation and produce 4 basic tasting traits that are present in every glass of wine.
Your first order of business is to learn how to taste these 4 traits.
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The Best Way To Learn Is To Sip
There are so many types of wine on the market, with different regions, varietals, winemaking styles, etc. The best way to learn about and get familiar with the wines you like is to taste them!
One of the great things about In Good Taste’s tasting kits is that they help you enjoy and learn about many different varietals you may not have tried before. Our tasting wine flights feature eight six-oz bottles so you can try new wines with minimal commitment. Maybe you will taste something that blows you away and want to taste and learn more about that particular wine. On the other hand, you may taste something you are not really a fan of, which is fine too! Its all about learning what pleases your palate!
Experienced sommeliers travel to taste different wines in different regions. W are constantly trying to explore and learn. But you do not have to be a wine pro to do this, just a lover of wine. Travel the wine world from your living room with Tasting Flights from In Good Taste.
What Is The Best Way For A Beginner To Learn The Basics About Wine
People sometimes forget that even the biggest wine expert once was a beginner! Nobody is born with the full knowledge of wine . Gaining understanding requires study and learning.
Of course, youre not going to expend a lot of energy studying something unless youre really interested in it. Not for everyone are the arcane intricacies of Major League Baseball pitching averages, or the works of Shakespeareor wine, for that matter. But some people do get bitten by the wine bug , and for those of us who realize one day that we want to learn more about this wonderful beverage, there are many ways to do it.
For me, reading wine books was my introduction to the world of wine. There was no Internet back when the bug bit me, but there were plenty of good books and there still are today. Too many to recommend any particular ones, but my advice would be to go down to a good bookstore and sort through the wine aisle. Books have a way of speaking to you. You look at the covers, front and back, scan through the pages, and if its the right book for you, youll know it.
There also is a tremendous array of wine magazines these days. Some of the better ones include Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast and Wine & Spirits. All offer a comparable format: tasting notes and reviews, articles, opinion pieces, news. Magazines are a good way to keep up with whats happening now.
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The Principal Grapes Of Your Country / Region
Now, depending on where in the world you come from, the key cultivars I mentioned in the previous point will be different. For example, in the USA, the four predominant RED wines youll encounter are Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Zinfandel. In Italy, however, youll come across Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Barbera, and Montepulciano.
Find out what the principal wine grapes in your region are and start exploring those wines, learning first and foremost about what color they are and then about the styles in which theyre made and their typical aromatic and flavor profiles. Once youre familiar with those, you can start branching out to wines from other regions.
Pro Tip: Using pen and paper, a wine app, or even Brainscapes flashcards, keep a record of the wines you try and their basic characteristics. Youll learn so much quicker if youre able to refer back to your notes on the cultivars and wines youve tried before.
Preparing Supplies And Ingredients
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Things Everyone Should Know About Wine
From the worlds principal grape varietals to basic wine-and-food pairing, this wine guide covers the foundational wine knowledge everyone should have!
Truth be told, you could go from cradle to grave without knowing a single stitch of information about wine. Its doable but tragic … plus, youd be missing out on all that wonderment Ernest Hemingway waxed lyrical about:
Wine is one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing.
The unfortunate reality is that the world of wine has a reputation for being … well, complicated. And maybe just a little unapproachable.
Were going to change that TODAY.
Being wine lovers with a passion for education, the team here at Brainscape put our noggins together to curate a wine guide that contains the most essential basic wine knowledge.
The need to know facts we present to you here are for anyone and everyone, whether youre embarking upon a formal education with a WSET course in wine, or just want the necessary toolkit to sound smart when ordering wine. We cover the most important things you need to know about wine:
But before we launch into those facts, lets answer the question asked by cretins, I mean, wine novices, the world over
Change The Way You Drink
The first step you must take if you want to improve your wine knowledge is to immediately change the way you drink. Keep in mind that the goal is to alter the way you buy and consume wine so that you can make better-informed choices and have a higher level of awareness. When you remember that goal, every time you taste wine suddenly becomes an opportunity to add to your wine knowledge. Changing the way you drink, means that you:
- Practice the each time you pick up a glass of wine
- Set up comparative tastings to improve your ability to taste
- Always identify the origin and vintage
- Seek out new wines that will expand your tasting repertoire
This simple adjustment isnt something that requires your full attention all the time. Just be sure to and after youve recorded your thoughts, you can get back to enjoying wine for its effect.
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What Are The Top Ten Free Online Wine Education Options
One of the most fascinating aspects of wine, according to many wine aficionados, is that there is always something new to learn. Indeed, with more than 1000 grape varieties in the world and 70 wine producing countries, each with multiple wine regions, there is plenty to keep knowledge-seeking wine lovers engaged.
Fortunately, there are many options for wine education globally, from general to specialized tracks, and range from targeting everyday hobbyists to dedicated professionals. These include rigorous wine certifications, such as WSET, Master of Wine, Certified Sommelier, Master of Sommelier, Certified Wine Educator, and many others. Universities also offer degrees in viticulture, enology and wine business, and of course, there are many interesting books, blogs and websites to keep wine devotees busy reading to enhance their wine knowledge.