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Bold Tannins, Deep Colour, Robust Flavours

Close up of the Tannat grape varietal on the vine.

The Tannat grape has a long and storied history in France, primarily associated with the Madiran region in the southwest. It is believed to have originated in the Basque region of France, with records dating back to at least the 12th century. It gets its name from the high tannin levels in its skins, which contribute to its robust character.
The Madiran appellation in southwest France, nestled in the foothills of the Pyrenees, is the traditional heartland of Tannat. Here, the grape has been cultivated for centuries, producing deeply coloured, tannic wines that have historically been known for their aging potential.
While Tannat has a long history in France, it faced challenges in the 20th century, particularly with changing consumer preferences and competition from other wine regions. However, in recent decades, there has been a resurgence of interest in Tannat, with winemakers focusing on improving quality and promoting the grape’s unique characteristics.
It has also found a second home in Uruguay, where it has thrived in the country’s climate and soil, producing distinctive wines that showcase the grape’s potential.
Tannat Day is an annual celebration dedicated to honouring the Tannat grape variety, its wines, and the regions where it thrives. This day typically falls on April 14th and serves as an opportunity for wine enthusiasts, producers, and consumers to come together to appreciate the unique qualities of Tannat wines. Cheers to Tannat!

The new WSET Level 2 Award in Sake

This new intermediate-level course is for those entering a profession in the industry as well as for enthusiasts who wish to broaden their knowledge in a structured way. You will learn how to confidently describe, as accurately as possible, what the named products you have studied taste like. You will also become a competent and confident sake taster and start the journey of learning the links between aroma, taste and touch to the theory of production.The course will be delivered by IWEG’s Certified WSET Sake Lead Educator and Sake Samurai, Michael Tremblay.The in-class WSET Level 2 Award in Sake will take place Saturdays and Sundays, April 20th and April 21st at 9:30am – 4:30pm, and Sunday, April 27th at 9:30am – 12:30pm. Learn more.

Starting Soon at IWEG

The French Wine Scholar

Image of logo with the words French Wine Scholar (FWS). In the background in a laptop with the image single and double guyot pruning system, the French Wine Scholar manual and a smartphone with Champagne flashcards.

The French Wine Scholar is an in-depth specialist certification focused on the diverse wines and wine regions of France. It is designed by the Wine Scholar Guild to provide current, accurate information on all of the wine regions of France and validate proficiency in the wines and wine regions of France.

This 20-hour course provides detailed coverage of French AOC wines, as well as an introduction to French history, geography, viticulture and winemaking.

The next French Wine Scholar will run Thursdays, March 28th – May 30th at 6pm – 8pm. Learn more.

WSET Level 1 Award in Beer

Close up of someone in a green shirt holding up a glass of beer.

WSET Level 1 Award in Beer provides a great introduction to the world of beer. Learning through sight, smell and taste, you’ll become familiar with a range of beer styles and how they are made.

If you work with beer, you’ll be able to answer customer queries with confidence and provide helpful recommendations. If you’re learning for fun, you’ll feel inspired to explore new styles and know how to get the most out of every glass.

The next in-class WSET Level 1 Award in Beer will take place Mondays, May 13th and May 27th at 5:30 pm – 8:30pm. Learn more.

The next online WSET Level 1 Award in Beer will take place Monday, April 8th – Sunday, May 5th. Learn more

WSET Level 2 Award in Wines

Woman smiling in the calendar while holding up a bottle of wine. Man in background with a wine glass at his nose.

WSET Level 2 Award in Wines is the perfect wine course for anyone wishing to learn about a wide range of grapes and styles, as well as those seeking to build on the introductory knowledge gained with the WSET Level 1 Award in Wines. You’ll gain knowledge of the principal and regionally important grape varieties of the world, the regions in which they are grown and the styles of wine they produce.

The next online WSET Level 2 Award in Wines will run Monday, April 1st – Sunday, May 5th. Learn more.

The next in-class WSET Level 2 Award in Wines will run Tuesdays, April 16th – June 4th at 6pm – 8pm at 6pm – 8pm. Learn more.

WSET Level 3 Award in Wines

This advanced-level course is for industry professionals as well as dedicated enthusiasts who want to develop a broader and deeper understanding of wine. You’ll have a thorough understanding of grape growing and wine making and the factors that account for the style, quality and price of the principal still, sparkling and fortified wines of the world. You’ll learn how to use your tasting notes to make objective conclusions on a wine’s style, quality and readiness for drinking.

The online WSET Level 3 Award in Wines will take place Monday, April 1st – Sunday, June 2nd. Exam on Saturday, June 29th at 2:30pm. Learn more.

The in-class WSET Level 3 Award in Wines will take place Saturdays, April 13th – June 1st at 10:30am – 4pm. Exam on Saturday, June 15th at 10:30am. Learn more.

Taste Ontario! Toronto Trade and Media Tasting 2024

Experience VQA Wines of Ontario at a private trade and media tasting. Admission is complimentary by invitation & registration only. Sign up now!

What is Vermouth? A Quick Guide

Two glasses of vermouth with appetizers such as olives, potato chips and mussels

Vermouth is the world’s most famous style of aromatised wine. Its use in cocktails has turned many brands into drinks cabinet staples, and it also makes a fantastic sipping drink. But how much do you know about this diverse beverage? Read on.