When you signed up for the Level 2 course what did you want to have happen?
As I work in a small independent wine shop I wanted to increase my knowledge of wines, flavours and premium areas in order to advise our customers. Not everybody needs help but some people are really lost when they walk in so to be able to approach them with confidence and fully informed will be fantastic!
WSET student—tasting 40 wines
My wine knowledge has increased dramatically after my course. Tasting 40 wines over the three days feels quite daunting but is a fantastic way to compare and learn what to expect from different grapes and styles. I spent a really enjoyable half an hour in the wine aisle of a local supermarket just looking and recognising premium areas, classifications and regions! The biggest change for me has been understanding French wine as they don’t like to give you many clues on the label so learning which grapes are grown in a particular areas is eye opening! There is a danger I’m becoming a bit of a wine bore!
Being able to approach customers armed with knowledge is so rewarding for me and beneficial for them too. It’s allowing me to recommend wines other than the usual best sellers. I really think about flavours now especially something as basic as the difference between Prosecco and Champagne!
WSET student—enjoying trying new things!
Since the course I’m spending much longer selecting my wines and trying different things. Instead of just sticking to the same grapes I’m enjoying trying new things! My husband doesn’t always like them but we are working towards finding our favourite! I’m probably spending a few pounds more but now I understand the differences this can make. I’m trying wine which is smoother with a depth of flavour that lasts. I can identify different fruits/oaky tastes rather than it just tasting of wine! The course has made me think about my food/wine choices as I have learnt the effects of certain foods. I’m most looking forward to trying sweeter wines with dessert as this is something I’ve never done before. I’ve also started looking at sherry and different styles of port.
WSET student—more confident in my recommendations
I feel that I am able to ask my customers more in depth questions regarding their preferences and likes/dislikes. With more knowledge I can have a longer conversation and offer a couple of alternatives. We also sell cheese so it’s great to be able to offer a matching wine. I’m much more confident in my recommendations as a result of the course. Instead of directing customers to my colleagues I’m answering questions and making recommendations myself.
And you passed with a Distinction, which is an amazing result, congratulations!
I am over the moon with my result, I found the course so interesting and getting a result to confirm that feels great! I’m reading more articles as I don’t want to lose what I’ve learnt and am enjoying trying different wines!
And what would you say to someone that was thinking about studying WSET?
The course is invaluable if you work in the industry. However, if you just have a personal interest in learning more about wine it’s great too. It’s a fun three days, with lots of tasting and information – you will definitely shine at your next dinner party!