I used to spend my summers traveling Europe which is where my interest in wine began. Although I enjoyed it I never took it seriously or thought it was something I could make a career out of. I ended up working at the LCBO right before the pandemic began, and while it canceled all my further travel plans it got me thinking about what I want to do with my life. After talking with a coworker who took WSET courses I decided to enroll at the start of 2021.
I began my wine education journey with WSET Level 2 Award in Wines. It quickly became my passion and I knew this is what I want to do. To pursue a career in the industry I decided that this was the best way to establish myself. Holding WSET certifications shows that you have extensive theory knowledge as well as the ability to properly assess wines. When I finish the Diploma program my goal is to eventually start my own import company, bringing in wines from lesser known regions and varieties to share with adventurous wine lovers.
The Diploma is a great step towards any career in the wine industry. It teaches world class theory knowledge and ensures that you can reliably and properly assess the quality of wines. It also makes you go out of your wine drinking comfort zone. It can be easy to fall into the trap of only drinking wines you’re familiar with. The wide range of regions covered in the Diploma ensures a broad knowledge of wines from across the globe and you will end up discovering many varieties/regions you’ve never heard of before.
Repetition. Reread the textbook and redo the quizzes until you feel like you can explain any topic from memory. Flash cards are another great learning tool to help memorize subjects. I also recommend to blind taste as often as possible. It will really help with your confidence and help prepare you for the tasting exams. Whenever I open a bottle of wine, even just to casually drink, I’ll try to open a couple random bottles as well and taste them blind. The exams can be nerve racking and going into them with confidence can make a world of difference. If you can, organize a tasting group, even if it’s just with friends who aren’t studying wine. If you misidentify a wine don’t let it get to you. It’s an extremely hard skill to learn that even the best can’t do 100% of the time. Practice makes perfect.