Wine Wednesday: My Wine & Spirits Education Trust {WSET} Wine Ed Expedition

Everyday I'm stu-dy-in'....

Everyday I’m stu-dy-in’….

Hello there, my dears–time for another edition of Word Wednesday! I’m pushing pause on #Wordologie for just a moment {no worries; it WILL be back!} to share with you what I have been up to in my little wine world lately.

It’s no secret that I have a passion for wine. And when you’re serious and/or passionate about something, you want to wrap your lovely little self all in it; go for a walk together on the beach with it; fall sleep next to it; give it a big old smooch in the morning; and tell the world all about it.

Oh…so you don’t think of doing that with wine? It’s just me?


So perhaps that little amorous soliloquy was a tad, uh, descriptive, but you get the gist of where I’m going when it comes to feeling serious and/or passionate about something, and when you feel passionate about something you have a desire to learn about it. That’s why I decided to officially and formally pursue some certified wine education.

WSET logo

The Wine & Spirit Education Trusts, or WSET, bills itself as the largest wine educator in the world with tens of thousands of students per year in over 60 countries. Since its inception in 1969, the institution has become the “foremost international body in the field of wines and spirits education, with a suite of sought-after qualifications” for sommeliers, wine buyers, importers, retailers, wine journalists, and the hospitality industry.

If you think about it, looking at the process of becoming educated about wine alongside my lovely romantic prose from above makes perfect sense:

Wrap myself in it = taste and sip as many wines as possible

Go for a walk together = make notes on what I do and don’t like–and why

Fall asleep next to it = study to gain more knowledge abut wine

Tell the world about it = share what I learn with others

Perfect. Sense.

I’ve already taken the WSET Level 1 course and exam, and now it’s time to build on that foundational knowledge by pursuing the WSET 2 course and exam for Level 2 certification. So now you’re thinking to yourself “I wonder what the course entails?” I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you always ask the best questions, my dears! Here’s the skinny, straight from the WSET’s mouth:

“The aim of the course is to focus on the key grape varieties and regions of the world, and principle varieties of spirits.” Here is the program outline of objectives to be taught and learned:

  • How wine is made and other factors influencing the style of wine
  • Key white grape varieties
  • Key black grape varieties
  • Wine-producing regions of the world
  • Sparkling wines
  • Sweet wines and fortified wines
  • Spirits and liqueurs
  • Label terminology
  • Food and wine pairing
WSET Wine Tasting cartoon

Sight. Smell. Sniff. Sip–the analysis of wine. This is what I’ll be doing…I just won’t be this skinny or look this snobby. {image courtesy of}

The course involves a mixture of teaching, guided tasting of more than 40 wines {hooray!}, and self study, and it starts by honing students’ tasting skills, then dividing the world of wine into components based on the major grape varieties of the world. The course also covers sweet, sparkling {hooray x 2!} and fortified wines; liqueurs; and spirits.

Pretty cool, right? I actually start my WSET 2 coursework in a 3-day intensive this week, and I take the exam 2 weeks after that {prayers for passing are appreciated!}.

And of course, all of those lovely little knowledge nuggets that I learn I will turn right around and share with you. It’s no fun if I don’t get to share this “passionate love affair” with the world, and you, my dears, ARE my world!

Wish me luck! Until next time, bisous sur chaque joue {French air kisses on each cheek!}, my dears!