Michael Landriault is the Territory Sales Manager, Vancouver Island South for Select Wines Merchants. Find out how the world of wine took a hold over him:
I was first exposed to the world of wine while working in the golf industry in 2012. The elaborate events and dinners associated with seasonal tournaments were usually accompanied with wine pairings from various regions. While working as an Associate Golf Professional, I decided to pursue my Bachelor of Education, leading to my first high school teaching role in Leeds, England. It was during this placement the world of wine really took hold. The access to the global market and hospitality scene in England was like nothing I had seen before.
I had the opportunity to visit a friend in Germany who is a veteran in the industry during one of our school breaks. I was having a coffee when I noticed a green book sitting on his table entitled, “WSET Level 3 Award in Wine and Spirits.” After flipping through the first few pages, I was hooked, and immediately registered for WSET Level Award in Wines in the summer of 2017 after returning home. From this point forward, I continued my studies and enrolled in WSET Level 3, before finally enrolling in the WSET Diploma program with IWEG in 2018.
Shortly after the program started, I knew I would eventually switch into the industry, but wasn’t sure at what capacity. During the pandemic, I decided to move to Victoria, BC, and successfully secured a new role as a Sales Manager on Vancouver Island with Select Wines. The WSET Diploma was a critical turning point in my career, and one that I utilize on a daily basis. The knowledge obtained enhances my ability to communicate with buyers effectively to better serve their business. I would not be where I am today without the level of instruction and preparation offered by IWEG. The friendships I have made with fellow classmates are timeless and were crucial to my success.
My advice to the next generation of students is regular study in a distraction free environment and for reasonable amounts of time to avoid burnout. Hyper-focus on the topic at hand depending on the exam schedule and don’t procrastinate. It is also crucial to establish a tasting group leading up to exams to fine tune your palate as well as assist with the costs of wines. If you have questions, ask them, and don’t hesitate to make mistakes!
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.
Virtual Abruzzo Masterclass with Jacky Blisson MW
Join Master of Wine, Jacky Blisson, for a fun and educational session on the beautiful Italian wine region, Abruzzo, and win up to $300* worth of Abruzzo wine prizes!
This event is presented by The Charming Taste of Europe and the Consorzio Tutela Vini d’Aruzzo, in partnership with Nicholas Pearce Wines.
A zoom link will be emailed to you after your registration. *Prizes are available for Ontario residents only. Sign up now!
WSET Level 2 Award in Wines at Wine Academy
This intermediate-level course is 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.
- 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:
- Pinot Grigio/Gris
- Sauvignon Blanc
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Pinot Noir
- The style and quality of wines:
- Made from 22 regionally important grape varieties
- Produced in over 70 geographical indications (GIs) around the world
- How grape varieties and winemaking processes influence key styles of:
- Sparkling wines
- Fortified 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
Located in the heart of the Financial District, Wine Academy is an exciting new private social club built around a masterpiece wine cellar worthy of housing the worlds’ most storied and finest wines.
WSET Level 3 Award in Sake
This advanced-level course is for industry professionals as well as dedicated enthusiasts who want to develop expertise in this fascinating beverage. You’ll have a thorough understanding of production methods, the factors that account for the style, quality and price of sake as well its cultural and commercial importance in the Japanese and export markets. You’ll learn how to use your tasting notes to make objective conclusions on a sake’s style and quality.
- The main techniques that are used in the production of sake and how they influence style and quality
- The principal and specialty categories of sake
- The sake industry and the commercial importance of sake in the Japanese and export markets
- The principles behind the storage, selection and service of sake
- How to appreciate the historic and current cultural and commercial significance of sake in Japan and in export markets
- How to assess and describe sake with confidence, and be able to make selection, storage and service suggestions
- How to taste sake, describe their characteristics and evaluate their quality, using the WSET Level 3 Systematic Approach to Tasting Sake® (SAT)
The course will take place on Saturdays and Sundays, June 4th, 5th, 11th, 12th and 18th at 9:30am – 4:30pm. Learn more!
Build Your Confidence When Making a Cocktail
WSET Level 1 Award in Spirits
Date: Mondays, June 20th and June 27th at 6:30pm – 9pm
WSET Level 1 Award in Spirits provides a hands-on introduction to the world of spirits and cocktails. You’ll explore the main types and styles of spirits 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 spirits, liqueurs and cocktails.
- The main types and styles of spirits
- The basic principles of spirits production
- How to serve spirits and cocktails
- Factors affecting the flavour of spirits
- How to describe spirits using the WSET Level 1 Systematic Approach to Tasting Spirits® (SAT)
Wine Awakenings Offer
Wine Awakenings’ aroma kits are an educational tool to increase knowledge of each aroma found in wine. These learning tools can help students evaluate the subtle nuances in wines and whisky in order to develop personal scent memory.
“Wine Awakenings aroma kits are an incredible tool for wine beginners, enthusiasts, students and teachers! …aroma kits are a fun and effective way for people to develop the aroma vocabulary and train their senses. The 60 aroma Wine Awakenings Master Kit is a must have for serious wine aficionados!”- Jennifer Simonetti-Bryan, Master of Wine
Use promo code SP01 to receive $50 off any $300 purchase. Check out the product offerings.
Wines of Germany Qualified Study and Certification Program – Last Chance!
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.