Enjoy Discovering WineEach month Erica interviews a former student of Enjoy Discovering Wine. This month’s interview is with WSET Level 3 student –Andy Kilby.

When you joined the WSET Level 3 in Wines and Spirits what did you want to happen?

When I signed up for the WSET Level 3 course, I initially wanted an understanding of the scope required at that level. In addtion I was seeking advice on how best to prepare for the classroom sessions. I was then contacted by Enjoy Discovering Wine welcoming me to the course and providing details of the course programme. The email included advice on the delivery of the course material along with recommended personal study time and preparation ahead of the first classroom session.

Recommended study time for the course by WSET was 56 hours. However, Enjoy Discovering Wine recommended 80-100 hours which was much more realistic given the extensive subject matter. Following the advice given in the welcome email, I read the suggested chapters of the study material. I then made notes in preparation for the first classroom session. I made bullet point notes and highlighted text based on the key facts listed in the WSET workbook.

How did you find the Enjoy Discovering Wine Classroom Sessions?

In the classroom sessions, I was looking to build on my knowledge from WSET Level 2 and the pre-course study with direction from the course tutor and input from the other students. At first, I found it difficult to absorb the large amount of information. I also struggled with being able to identify aspects of wine during tasting. There was real benefit from the tasting sessions with the input of the course tutor and other students with a range of abilities.

As the course continued, I developed a better understanding of the wine regions of the world. I also learnt how the conditions of these regions played their part in making wine. The course material enabled the study of wines with similar flavour profiles or production methods which increased my understanding. There were also a number of mock tasting exams. While I was not very successful during these tastings. I learned to think about the individual components instead of just trying to guess which wine I was tasting. My knowledge increased far more than I could have hoped over the five classroom sessions. The classroom time was vital in solidifying information studied each week.

The selection of wines for tasting was comprehensive and perfectly matched to suit the study material. So many outstanding wines which helped to demonstrate the diverse winemaking techniques from around the world. I now have a much better understanding of the characteristics of wine in general. I also recognise how the balance and complexity of components make a wine outstanding. As a result, I am more selective about the wine I drink. In addition, I seek to expand my tastes by choosing regions and varieties which were previously unknown to me.

How did you get on in your exam?

In the tasting exam, I had doubts about my ability but used the WSET Systematic Approach to Tasting to evaluate each wine. This gave me confidence in drawing the required conclusions about the origin and quality of the wines. For the written exams, I read the questions carefully before applying the knowledge I had gained. I then answered each question with as much relevant information as I could within the time constraint.

I achieved a Pass with Merit in both the written and tasting exams. This made me feel so proud and elated with my results surpassing my expectations. I would highly recommend the WSET Level 3 course to anybody seeking to develop their understanding and appreciation of wine.

 

If you are interested in signing up for a course with Enjoy Discovering Wine, please email our Course Administrator.