WSET Level 3 Awards in Wines - The days after
After completing the WSET Level 2 Awards in Wines exam (pass with distinction) I started the WSET Level 3 Awards in Wines program early September 2018. Since I am still insatiable interested in everything that has to do with wine, I had to start doing this training.
The training is a logical continuation of WSET Level 2 but is much more challenging in terms of study. In addition to running my own web design agency, my family with three children, tracking Instagram, Vivino and my blog, time had to be made available for the WSET Level 3 training. A good balance between all these activities is of great importance because for this training you really have to spend some hours behind the study books. I followed the WSET Level 3 at Wijnstudio, spread over Maastricht and Roermond, and was taught by, Mario Tertschnig and Cees van Casteren (Master in Wine).
The book is not very thick but it is very compact and most of what is in the book you really need to know! It is therefore best to start keeping the lessons right from the beginning and to go through them in advance so that you are well prepared for the new lesson. On average you spend 9 hours a week studying and that therefore requires a lot of time that I often sacrificed my weekends for.
The WSET Level 3 study programme consists of nine lessons with themes such as vinification, viticulture, Bordeaux, Burgundy, Loire, Southern France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Alsace, Austria, Italy, North and South America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, sparkling and fortified wines and of course the WSET Systematic Approach to Wine Tasting that I come back to.
Of course you also get a lot in return
Of course, many study hours are also rewarded. My knowledge in the field of wine has increased enormously. Before I started WSET Level 3 I knew what to say about Italian and Spanish wines but little about other areas. Through this study you get a huge base of wine knowledge that helps me enormously in all kinds of areas. I now know much more about the French wines (cradle of wine) and all the other large wine regions, to recognize wine labels and thereby to reduce the grape variety, flavor characteristics, wine region and terroir, to advise on wine and the complete process of making wine.
The WSET Level 3 programme has helped me greatly in my work as a wine blogger. With the WSET Systematic Approach to Tasting you can describe a wine by means of a fixed sequence of characteristics (color, smell, taste, acidity etc.) and possibly also recognize it without having seen the label. Of course great if it succeeds! Although it remains difficult (and therefore often goes wrong) and requires a lot of practice, it is a great way to describe wine in a universal way.
I was very nervous during the exam. We started with the tasting of two wines and with the second wine I made some crucial mistakes. It is therefore questionable whether the other wine description was sufficient for obtaining this part.
I found the 50 multiple choice questions fairly easy. Here I was also quickly finished. The open questions, on the other hand, were pretty tough and had just enough time to answer all the questions. In February we will receive the results of the exam. So I am still in suspense about the result.
So it remains to be seen what my next step will be. WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines & Spirits is of course very interesting but requires more time than WSET Level 3. Time that I currently do not have besides my busy job. But maybe I will get the time for it in the future and then I will accept this challenge with all my love.
If you would like to learn more about wine with a WSET qualification, visit wsetglobal.com to find a course.