Ben Somers DipWSET is the Principal of wines for Bossanova Wine & Beer, a tasting bar and bottle shop on Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto. We invited him to share what drew him to the Diploma program:
Why did you pursue the Diploma?
I was looking to re-enter the wine industry. The Diploma offered an unparalleled opportunity to gain expertise (and credibility) in the myriad aspects of wine that I had learned as an enthusiastic amateur.
How does it help you in your work or career goals?
I represent a high turnover portfolio of wines (with about 200 wines and 30 brand new sku’s every week) at Bossanova wine & Beer (a bar and bottle shop on Roncesvalles Ave, Toronto). The Diploma has provided me with critical knowledge and confidence to help inform our customers and their enjoyment of exceptional wines.
Advice to the next generation of students?
Don’t be shy amongst your cohort. Form a tasting group and blind taste together regularly. I miss my weekly blinds with my Diploma mates who helped me achieve success.
Also, by nature I am a wordy person. You simply do not have time in the exams to write as much as is needed to score points if you use superfluous words. If you are like me, spend some time practicing focused writing – and drop the adjectives!
Become an Italian Wine Scholar
Italian Wine Scholar – Northern Italy (Unit 1)
Date: Thursdays, April 28th – June 30th at 6:30pm – 8:30pm
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.
- 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
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
In addition to classroom instruction, you are expected to spend 25 to 50 hours of preparation and review over the duration of each unit outside of classroom hours.
Upon successful completion of a 100-question multiple-choice exam with a passing score of 75 per cent or higher for each unit, you will receive the Italian Wine Scholar credential, certificate and lapel pin.
The course is taught by authorized Wine Scholar Guild instructor Aleksandar Simic DipWSET.
Or sign up for the new Italian Wine Scholar Prep
New to IWEG, we are proud to launch the latest wine education program from the Wine Scholar Guild, the Italian Wine Scholar (IWS) Prep.
This beginner-level course is for:
- Inquisitive wine enthusiasts who want to become more familiar with the intricacies of Italian wine
- Aspiring wine professionals
- Hospitality professionals new to the world of Italian wine
- Anyone wishing to become more knowledgeable about Italy and its wine and food culture
You will learn to:
- Identify the location of the profiled appellations on a map of Italy
- Describe the style of each of the wines covered in the session
- Recall the main grape varieties associated with each wine covered in the session
- Understand how key environmental factors have influenced the style of the wines
- Recall vinification and aging techniques that contribute to the style of the wines
- Decrypt the meaning of key labelling terms
- Navigate the seemingly complicated Italian wine classification system
The course will take place on Thursdays, June 2nd – 23rd at 6:30pm – 8:30pm. Learn more!
Sudbury Sommelier to Judge International Wine Challenge
IWEG instructor Heather Downey was recently featured in CTV News before she flies to London, England on Sunday to take part in the 38th annual International Wine Challenge. Read the full article.
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.
You 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.
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 amount 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.
Wines of Portugal Academy: Intermediate Level
Wines of Portugal Academy: Intermediate Level
Date: Sunday, April 24th @ 9:30am – 4:30pm
This ViniPortugal course covers fundamental knowledge about Portuguese wine. Explore the history, taste a variety of wine styles, and further your knowledge of the native grape varietals of this great winemaking region.
This one-day course is ideal for trade professionals seeking professional accreditation and Portuguese wine enthusiasts.
Discover the 10 most important native grape varietals, understand traditional vinification systems, tour the unique sub-regions and taste 16 diverse wines showcasing Portugal’s diverse terroirs.
- 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 Certified Ambassador.
The course is taught by Wines of Portugal Academy educator Sofia Salvador.
Malbec World Day
On April 17th, Wines of Argentina proudly presents Malbec World Day, the global celebration dedicated entirely to this fine grape! IWEG Director of Education and The Globe and Mail columnist, Christopher Waters DipWSET shares his recommendations for eight enjoyable Malbecs to celebrate the varietal’s ongoing success in Argentina.
Wines of Germany Qualified Study and Certification Program
Together with IWEG, the German Wine Institute has developed the first of its kind Wines of Germany Qualified Study and Certification Program for the Canadian market.
The course is offered free of charge, courtesy of Wines of Germany.
Designed specifically for industry professionals, this Wines of Germany online certification covers fundamental knowledge about German wine.
This is a self-paced course which should take approximately 12-15 hours, including study time to complete.
Three online learning modules and downloadable learning materials are complemented by synchronous sessions on a video conferencing platform moderated by Christopher Waters DipWSET, Wines of Germany’s accredited instructor for this course.
Prerequisite: None, however prior wine knowledge (eg. WSET Level 2 Award in Wines) would be advantageous.
- Germany in context: wine basics, geography and climate
- German wine law and quality
- The richness and diversity of German wine regions and main grapes/styles of wine
Upon successful completion of an online test with passing grade of 75 per cent or higher, you will receive a personalized and downloadable Wines of Germany certificate at the end of the course.
Course materials include the downloadable German Wine Manual and profiles on the main grapes and styles of wines.
Enrollment opens on March 13, 2022. Access to the course is limited to sixty days from the published start date.