BIRMINGHAM WINE WEEKEND
Katie from Birmingham Wine School talks to us about qualifications in wine
So you’ve been to Birmingham Wine Weekend, tasted some fantastic wines and now have a thirst for some more knowledge.
Did you know that you can get an actual qualification in wine?
At Birmingham Wine School, we offer three levels of the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) wine qualifications. Whilst parts of the course are tailored towards those working in the industry, most of the customers we have attending are wine enthusiasts who want to be better informed about what they are drinking.
All of the courses are ofqual-regulated and should you pass, you will get an internationally-recognised qualification as well as a certificate and pin badge to recognise your achievement.
Level 1 takes place over the course of one day, normally a Saturday. It assumes no prior knowledge and is perfect for getting to grips with the basics and the best-known styles of wine. You will taste over 10 different wines over the day and it includes an interactive session on how to pair food and wine. Very useful when impressing friends over dinner…
The exam is at the end of the day and consists of 30 multiple choice questions to be answered in 45 minutes.
Click here to find out more about the level 1 course.
The level 2 course is also a beginners course and you don’t need to have done level 1 to take part. This course takes place across three days and delves deeper into the key grape varieties and the places in the world where they are grown. You can also understand why wines taste differently due to climate and various winemaking techniques, as well as touching on food and wine pairing.
There’s a lot more emphasis on tutored tasting, with at least 25 wines tasted across the 3 days. WSET have their own approach to wine tasting, which gives students a common language with which to discuss and evaluate their wines and ultimately become a better taster!
The exam format for level 2 is 50 multiple choice questions to be answered in 60 minutes.
Click here for more details about level 2 courses.
Level 3 is perfect for those who have completed level 2 already or have a similar knowledge level to begin with. It takes place across 6 weeks, including the exam on the final day. Students find the course very rewarding, learning about the wider industry; viticulture, vinification and the key wine-producing regions of the world. It can be a springboard into a career in wine or just a way of enhancing your enjoyment of the good stuff!
It is a bigger undertaking from a learning perspective, with a recommended 54 hours of study time outside of the classroom. We encourage students to read as much as possible in advance of the course and provide you with plenty of additional resources to get you prepared for the exam.
We taste over 60 different wine styles across the five weeks of the course, and by the time of the exam students will be able to assess wines accurately and use their understanding to confidently explain wine style and quality. As well as a blind tasting of two wines, the exam consists of a 2 hour written exam, featuring a multiple choice section and short paragraph questions.
Click here for more about the level 3 course, or get in touch with us by phone or email.
If you can’t make it to one of our classroom sessions, we also offer level 1 & level 2 online in the evenings. Please see our website for more details.