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To protect the health and safety of our students, instructors, partners and staff, IWEG has a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for all in-person tasting workshops, examinations and classes.

Read our mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for more details.

Build Your Sake Confidence

Build your confidence when tasting sake, buying a bottle or pairing sake with food

Image of sake poured in a traditional sake cup with blue rings with rice on the side. Logo that says WSET Wine & Spirit Education Trust and text that says WSET Level 1 Award in Sake.

WSET Level 1 Award in Sake
Date: Saturday, March 19th @ 9:30am – 5pm

WSET Level 1 Award in Sake provides a hands-on introduction to the world of this diverse Japanese beverage. You’ll explore the main types and styles of wine through sight, smell, and taste to develop an understanding of the key factors affecting flavours and aromas.

This 6-hour course provides a hands-on introduction to the world of sake and sake and food pairing.

You’ll learn:

The main types and styles of sake
The basic principles of sake production
The main types and styles of sake
Factors affecting the flavour of sake
How to serve sake
How to describe sake using the WSET Level 1 Systematic Approach to Tasting Sake® (SAT)
Prerequisite: None.

The course will be delivered by IWEG’s WSET Sake Lead Educator and Sake Samurai Michael Tremblay DipWSET.

Michael Tremblay

Black and white photo of a man in a turtleneck and suit with arms crossed

Michael’s foray into wine and sake has been 25 years in the making, traveling around the world and using wine and sake as a lens for learning about the history and culture of different regions. Michael is one of 70 Sake Samurai in the world, a title bestowed by the Japan Sake and Shochu Maker’s Association at Kyoto’s 1300 year old shrine to sake, the Matsunoo Taisha. He is the co-author of the forthcoming book on sake “Exploring the World of Japanese Craft Sake: Rice, Water, Earth” which will be released on March 8, 2022 and published by Tuttle. Moreover, he is a seasoned sake judge, having assessed sake in Japan, London and Hawaii for the International Wine Challenge and US National Sake Appraisal.

Michael enjoys traveling to Japan whenever he can and has worked in renowned sake breweries in Niigata, Shizuoka, Shimane and Gifu prefectures, practicing his ‘work-in-progress’ Japanese and learning from the Toji (master brewers). His experiences visiting more than 80 sake breweries throughout the country culminated in the development of the Sake Scholar Course, a course dedicated to exploring every sake region in Japan in detail. Michael is currently the Sake Sommelier for Ki Modern Japanese + Bar, where he manages the largest sake program in Canada. He is dedicated to being Ki’s ambassador for sake, educating guests and staff alike in the beauty and subtle art of sake, wine and food.

Teaching approach:
Having been lucky enough to travel extensively throughout the world’s most famous wine regions and every corner of Japan’s sake world, I make it a point to connect the topics at hand in the course with stories that shed a little more light on these subjects. In essence, I want each student to feel like they have travelled to those regions and in doing so, make a myriad connections for the student with what they need to know for the exam.

Stepping Stone to Diploma: WSET Level 3 Award in Wines

WSET Level 3 Award in Wines
Date: Saturdays, March 26th – May 28th @ 10:30am – 4pm

Complete the WSET Level 3 Award in Wines this spring to prepare you for the next WSET Diploma program!

The WSET Level 3 Award in Wines is an 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.

This 40-hour course provides in-depth and detailed understanding of how human and natural factors in vineyard and winery affect wine style, quality and price. It further develops systematic tasting and description skills. Expect to spend 50 hours of preparation and review outside of the classroom.

You’ll learn:

  • Grape varieties, wines and wine-growing regions in detail
  • The key factors in the production of wine: location, grape growing, winemaking, maturation and bottling
  • How these key factors influence the key characteristics of the principal still wines, sparkling wines and fortified wines of the world
  • How to apply your understanding to explain wine style and quality
  • How to make appropriate wine recommendations
  • How to taste wines, describe their characteristics and evaluate their quality, using the WSET Level 3 Systematic Approach to Tasting Wine® (SAT)

The course will be delivered by IWEG’s WSET Certified Educators Kim Berdusco DipWSET, Debbie Shing DipWSET and Erin Salmon DipWSET.

Erin Salmon

Woman in gray shirt smiling standing in front of a tree

Erin Salmon DipWSET is a sales account manager with Nicholas Pearce Agency, working with licensees and private clients in the Toronto region. Erin has been in the wine industry for just over 20 years representing wineries from Ontario and around the world. Erin has taught WSET Levels 1 – 3 at IWEG since 2017 and has recently begun instructing the Diploma program.

Passionate about wines and learning, Erin has travelled to wine regions across Italy and California and has plans to continue her wine travels in the future. She has also focused on her own wine studies including the WSET Diploma program and the Italian Wine Scholar.

Teaching approach:

I encourage students to read materials ahead of class and then in class, engage everyone in activities, discussions and answering questions on the topics.

Inside Story: A Day in the Life of a Sommelier

Man in a suit at a high table in a restaurant swirling a glass of red wine while looking at notes.

For sommelier Dominic Smith, “each shift brings new challenges, surprises and rewards”. However, he has a wide range of roles that you might not expect when imagining a somm’s routine – maintaining sanitary conditions and following dietary requirements are as important as choosing wines. Dominic (aka Dom the Somm) gave WSET a unique insight into his everyday tasks and duties. Learn more.