Drink wine while you study!

Exams aren’t so bad when you get to drink wine throughout them! I recently sat my WSET exam and I have to say, I really enjoyed it. I honestly never thought I would say that I enjoyed an exam but on this occasion, it really wasn’t that bad… perhaps the wine took the edge off 😉

What is the WSET?

WSET is the Wine and Spirit Education Trust. They provide globally recognised education and qualifications to wine and spirits professionals and enthusiasts. With nine qualifications on offer covering wines, spirits and sake, WSET qualifications are designed for those who are just starting out in their careers, as well as established professionals. In the last academic year over 72,000 candidates sat a WSET exam in 73 countries.

Why should you consider doing the WSET exams?

Many people think that WSET exams are only relevant for those in sommelier jobs, bartender jobs or wine waiter jobs but that is not the case at all. In my case, I have over 20 years’ experience in the hospitality industry and am a huge wine enthusiast but I technically don’t need the qualification. I chose to take the exams for these reasons:

  • To consolidate all my knowledge of wine by learning more about the different grape varieties, wine making processes and regions where wine is produced
  • Backed up what I thought I knew about wine
  • So I could be better at tasting (rather than just drinking)
  • To learn more about new regions
  • Extension of my knowledge of blends
  • To better understand the wine making process
  • And most importantly… to become more confident when ordering wine at restaurants, regardless of the price

I really feel I got a lot out of the course and achieved all the goals I set out to. For those in hospitality jobs who are considering the course, particularly those in service jobs, the WSET will definitely help you to assist customers in choosing wines to pair with particular foods. It will give you more knowledge about acidity, tannins, age of the wine and so much more. It may also open up different job opportunities as wine and spirit knowledge is so sought after now. It is also a lot of fun if nothing else!

Here are some example questions you can expect:

What is the correct process for making white wine?

  1. Crushing, Destemming, Fermentation, Pressing
  2. Destemming, Crushing, Fermentation, Pressing
  3. Destemming, Crushing, Pressing, Fermentation

What is the order in age the following Spanish fines from youngest to eldest?

  1. Crianza, Joven, Reserva, Gran Reserva
  2. Joven, Crianza, Reserva, Gran Reserva
  3. Reserva, Gran Reserva, Joven, Crianza

Which two Grapes are predominately found in Burgundy?

  1. Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir
  2. Chardonnay and Grenache
  3. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay

Here are a few of my current wine recommendations:

Meursault by Domain Guyot for Berry Bros
A great entry Meursault for anyone looking to get into white Burgundy’s, very easy to drink, fresh and light on the palate!

La Motte’s Sauvignon Blanc
A great Sauvignon Blanc from the stunning La Motte estate in South Africa’s Franschhoek Nicely dry with lots of busting lemon zests and green fruit aroma’s and a great price for too easily drinkable wine!

Montefalco Sagrantino
This not very well known region in Umbria makes some stunning wines (The Colpetrone recently was voted as one of Italy’s best). Easy to drink, cheap and bursting with fruit this and (most) other Sagrantino’s are worth a purchase!

Tignanello from Antinori
Ok so this top end but you can’t go wrong with a Tignanello with a nice red meat supper! Delicious, full bodied with lots of ruby fruit and one for a special occasion!

One of my favourite producers in Bordeaux, not cheap but worth purchasing for a special occasion. Great with lamb and perfect for a winter evening by the fire.

If you are interested in sommelier jobs or wine waiting jobs please get in touch with us, we have some amazing temporary and permanent Front of House jobs available.