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Become an Italian Wine Scholar

A bottle of wine, a glass of red wine and the Italian Wine Scholar study manuals for unit 1 on the wines of Northern Italy and unit 2 on the wines of Central and Southern Italy.

National Chianti Day on September 8th is a celebration dedicated to the renowned Italian wine, Chianti. Chianti is a red wine that originates from the Chianti region in Tuscany, Italy. This day is an opportunity for wine enthusiasts, both in Italy and around the world, to come together and appreciate the rich history, distinctive flavors, and cultural significance of Chianti wine.

On National Chianti Day, various events and activities may take place, including wine tastings, vineyard tours, special dinners, and educational sessions about the Chianti wine-making process. It’s a chance for people to explore different Chianti varieties, learn about the unique characteristics of the wine, and deepen their understanding of the region’s winemaking traditions.

Whether celebrated by individuals, wine connoisseurs, or even in the wine industry, National Chianti Day is a time to raise a glass to this iconic Italian wine and its contribution to the world of viticulture.

The Italian Wine Scholar is an extensive two-unit specialist certification focused on the diverse wines and wine regions of Italy. It is designed by the Wine Scholar Guild to provide current, accurate information on all of the wine regions of Northern, Central and Southern Italy, and to validate proficiency in the wines and wine regions of the country.

Unit 1 is 16 hours and covers Northern Italy and Unit 2 is 14 hours and covers Central and Southern Italy. The course provides detailed coverage of Italian wines, as well as an introduction to Italian history, geography, viticulture and winemaking. The units can be taken in any order and are sold separately ($1150 for each course).

You will:

  • Develop specialist knowledge of DOC and DOCG wines of 21 Italian regions
  • Appreciate the cultural context of Italian wine
  • Consider the vineyard and winery factors that contribute to wine styles
  • Taste and assess a range of Italian wines, which illustrate regional or grape varietal typicity, as well as diversity of styles by authorized Wine Scholar Guild instructors

Prerequisite: None. However, WSET Level 2 Award in Wines is recommended, and WSET Level 3 Award in Wines is preferred.

This course includes:

  • A study manual and workbook
  • A full-year access to all Italian Wine Scholar online resources (videos, interactive quizzes, webinars, pronunciation exercises etc.)
  • Exam registration fee
  • Tutored tasting of over 40 wines per unit  
  • Diverse hands-on group activities designed to enhance recall and address different learning styles

The course is taught by authorized Wine Scholar Guild instructors Aleksandar SimicNancy Reynolds, Robert Miller and Kim Berdusco.

Italian Wine Scholar (Unit 2) 
Date: Thursdays, September 21st – November 9th at 6pm – 8pm
Register Now!

The Online WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines 

The market-leading WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines qualification provides expert level knowledge and develops key analytical skills for success in the global wine business. Perfect for both the trade professional and the serious enthusiast, the course will arm you with specialist-level skills and experience, plus international recognition as an expert in the field of wine.

Holders of the Diploma will be able to identify characteristics of the principal wines of the world, make informed assessments of a product’s quality and value, and identify appropriate opportunities for the products within a given market. 

Graduates will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to underpin the job requirements in such roles as Food & Beverage Manager, Wine Buyer or Sales Executive.

The Diploma fulfills the prerequisite for the wine qualification requirement for entry to the Master of Wine (MW) program.

To enroll in the Diploma, you must have successfully completed the WSET Level 3 Award in Wines (previously known as the WSET Level 3 Award in Wines and Spirits or WSET Advanced Certificate). If your first language is not English, you are strongly recommended to have an IELTS score of 6.5 or above or be able to demonstrate an equivalent ability level.

The 2023-25 online program will start on Monday, October 2nd, 2023. Learn more.

The IWEG experience

As the leading organization in wine, spirits and sake education in Canada, IWEG has offered the WSET Level 4 Diploma since 1988.

Our Diploma graduates over the years have gone on to become vital members of the wine and spirits industry in Canada and worldwide. IWEG holds the record for having the largest number of Diploma graduates in Canada!

IWEG has been offering Diploma studies for longer than any institute outside of the WSET School in London, which means we enjoy a long history of student success. Our passionate and highly qualified Diploma educators, who come from different fields within the trade, provide on-going support to help you master the analytical tasting skills and supplemental theoretical knowledge necessary to succeed.

Discover the Wines of Portugal

Bottle of wine on a pile of books with a backpack and blackboard in the background. The bottle says wines of Portugal. The blackboard says Portuguese 101, saude! and ola!

National Port Wine Day, celebrated on September 10th, is a day dedicated to honoring and appreciating the rich heritage and unique flavors of Port wine. Port wine is a fortified wine that originates from the Douro Valley in northern Portugal. It is known for its sweet and rich taste, often enjoyed as a dessert wine or after-dinner drink.

On National Port Wine Day, wine enthusiasts, connoisseurs, and casual drinkers alike come together to raise a glass to this exquisite beverage. The day provides an opportunity to learn about the history, production process, and various styles of Port wine. Events such as tastings, vineyard tours, and educational sessions are often organized by wineries, wine associations, and wine lovers’ groups to promote and celebrate the appreciation of Port wine.

Whether you’re a seasoned wine lover or simply curious about exploring new flavors, National Port Wine Day offers a chance to savor the distinct characteristics of this venerable Portuguese wine and enjoy the cultural significance it holds in the world of winemaking.

Become a Wines of Portugal Ambassador! This ViniPortugal course covers fundamental knowledge about Portuguese wine. Explore the history, taste a variety of wine styles, and develop your knowledge of the native grape varietals of this great winemaking region.

This 3-hour course is ideal for trade professionals seeking professional accreditation and Portuguese wine enthusiasts.

Discover the most important native grape varietals, understand traditional vinification systems, tour the unique sub-regions and taste a number of diverse wines showcasing Portugal’s diverse terroirs.

You will:

  • Develop an extensive knowledge of Portuguese wines
  • Be able to recognize the iconic wines, the famous fortified wines, the 10 main grape varieties, the typical blends and the contribution of each variety in the composition of the blend for wines of Portugal
  • Be able identify and know the main characteristics of the main regions (including Beira Interior and Azores)
  • Develop an in-depth knowledge on the harmonization of international gastronomy with Portuguese wines

Upon successful completion of a test, you will receive a certificate and the title of Wines of Portugal Ambassador.

The course is taught by ViniPortugal educator Michael Tremblay DipWSET.

Wines of Portugal Ambassador Course 
Date: Saturday September 16th, 2023 from 10:30am-1:30pm
Register Now!

Explore the Factors that Impact Style and Quality

WSET Level 2 Award in Wines is an intermediate-level course for those entering a profession in the wine industry as well as for enthusiasts who wish to broaden their knowledge in a structured way. 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. Through a combination of tasting and theory, you’ll explore the factors that impact style and quality and learn how to describe these wines with confidence.

This 17-hour course provides fundamental product knowledge and systematic tasting skills. Expect to spend 11 hours on preparation and review outside of the classroom.

You’ll learn:

  • How to taste and describe wine using the WSET Level 2 Systematic Approach to Tasting Wine®(SAT)
  • How environmental factors, grape-growing, winemaking and maturation options influence the style and quality of wines made from eight principal grape varieties
  • The style and quality of wines
  • Key labelling terms used to indicate origin, style and quality
  • Principles and processes involved in the storage and service of wine
  • Principles of food and wine pairing

WSET Level 2 Award in Wines
Date: Tuesdays, September 12th – October 31st at 6pm – 8pm
Register Now!

Develop a Broader and Deeper Understanding of Wine

Woman in pink blazer with a big smile holding up a glass of red wine to her face.

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 of the world, sparkling wines of the world 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)

WSET Level 3 Award in Wines 
Date: Saturdays and Sundays, September 30th – October 29th at 10:30am – 4pm
Register Now!

Climats of Burgundy with John Szabo

Image of a Burgundy vineyard in the background with a headshot of a man in navy blue suit. The text reads IWEG signature series masterclass: Climats of Burgundy with John Szabo, MS.

Climats of Burgundy with John Szabo

With the support of the Bourgogne Wine Board (BIVB), join Master Sommelier and IWEG visiting instructor John Szabo for an evening of tasting and exploration focusing on the climats of Burgundy. The masterclass will take place on Thursday, September 28th, 2023 at 6pm – 8pm. Sign up now!

Master Sommelier John Szabo was the first Canadian to add the “MS” after his name in 2004. He holds the international Wine & Spirits Education Trust Diploma with honours, as well as the Canadian Sommelier Guild diploma. He’s principal critic for, Canada’s premiere wine resource, and co-host and producer of the podcast Wine Thieves with a global following in the trade. He writes a monthly wine advisory for Canaccord Genuity, a global financial services management company headquartered in Canada, as well as a column for Grapevine Magazine, and contributes to many international trade and consumer publications. He’s currently co-writing on a book on wine chemistry.

On the consulting side, John builds wine programs across Canada, and is currently sourcing wines for Accor/Fairmont/Sofitel Hotels in Québec. He is a regular guest speaker at events worldwide and has delivered masterclasses for virtually every major wine trade associations and has taught countless wine courses over the years, among others, for the CMS and IWEG. He has travelled to virtually every wine producing country on earth in pursuit of fine wine and to keep on top of this fascinating industry, including two visits to New Zealand. In his spare time, he tends to his new vineyard in Prince Edward County.

Common Wine Faults and How to Spot Them

We all enjoy tasting delicious wines, but what if they don’t taste quite right? It’s helpful to be able to spot wine faults and understand why they occur. WSET has rounded up common wine faults that you may come across. Learn more.