The Grand Crus of Napa Valley
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 WineAlign.com, 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.
Join John for tasting and exploring in 2023 at the following masterclass:
Focus on the Grand Crus of the Napa Valley with John Szabo
With the support of Napa Valley Vintners, join Master Sommelier and IWEG visiting instructor John Szabo for an afternoon of tasting and exploration focusing on the Grand Crus of the Napa Valley. The masterclass will take place on Monday, May 1st, 2023 at 2pm – 4pm. Sign up now!
What to Expect on a WSET Wine Course
Maybe it’s been a while since you were last in a classroom environment. Learning new knowledge, revising, and eventually sitting an exam is a challenge worth facing! This article unpacks some of the key elements of WSET courses to help you feel ready and prepared to sign up for a qualification today.
Ready to face the challenge?
WSET Level 1 Award in Wines
Build your confidence when tasting wine, reading a wine list, buying a bottle or pairing wine with food.
WSET Level 1 Award in Wines provides a hands-on introduction to the world of wine. You’ll explore the main types and styles of wine through sight, smell, and taste, while also gaining the basic skills to describe wines accurately and make food and wine pairings.
This 6-hour course provides a hands-on introduction to the world of wine and wine and food pairing.
Date: Saturday April 22nd at 9:30 am – 4:30pm
WSET Level 2 Award in Wines
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.
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.
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.
@ the Wine Academy
Date: Tuesdays, May 2nd – May 23 at 6:30pm – 9:30pm
Date: Thursdays, April 27th – June 1st, 2023 at 6pm – 9pm
WSET Level 3 Award in Wines
Taste and describe with confidence the characteristics of the principal wines of the world and give information on the key factors influencing style, quality and price.
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.
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.
Date: Saturdays, April 15th – June 3rd at 10:30am – 4pm
Learn More About IWEG’s WSET Diploma Program
Perfect for both the trade professional and the serious enthusiast, the WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines will arm you with specialist-level skills and experience, plus international recognition as an expert in the field of wine.
Join us on May 31st to learn more about the program! RSVP by May 17th to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 Initiation Level
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.
- 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 ViniPortugal educator Sofia Salvador.
Wines of Portugal Academy: Initiation Level
Date: Saturday June 3rd at 9:30am – 4:30pm
LCBO Welcomes New Spirit Of Inclusion Initiative Partner to Advance Equitable Representation in the Beverage Alcohol Industry
Partnership will increase access to scholarships, bursaries, mentorship, and employment opportunities for diverse women.
Through the Spirit of Sustainability, the LCBO is pleased to welcome IWEG as its newest Impact Partner under its Spirit of Inclusion Initiative. The program will fund 20 new scholarships to support diverse women who are beginning or continuing their education in IWEG’s beverage alcohol programs.
Through partnerships with Ontario education institutions, charitable organizations, and trade partners, the Spirit of Inclusion Initiative aims to identify and remove systemic barriers for diverse women in the industry. The program provides bursaries and scholarships, facilitates mentorships, and identifies co-op placements for diverse women to enter, advance, and thrive in the beverage alcohol industry. Established in 1977, and the only Canadian school to offer all qualifications of WSET, IWEG joins the roster of LCBO’s education partners from George Brown College, Niagara College, and Brock University.
“I am pleased that the Independent Education Wine Guild is joining us on our mission to increase equitable representation and further support students entering the winery, brewery, and distillery fields. As a purpose-led organization, the LCBO is proud of our commitment to enhance diversity within the beverage alcohol industry, and we look forward to the positive impact this partnership will create,” said George Soleas, President & CEO, LCBO.
“We thank LCBO for their generous gift that will help students and our community of professionals achieve their personal and professional goals,” Paul Miles DipWSET Executive Director, “The Spirit of Inclusion Initiative is so important as it provides the support to grow a sustainable and diverse drinks and hospitality sector.”
Learn more about the program and how you can apply for a scholarship.