Yesterday I got the news that I’ve made it through the first year of the WSET Diploma. This is me celebrating in style, together with Poppy, who just had to get in on the action.

Such a relief!  I posted off my 3,000 word assignment on the packaging of wines and spirits back in April, so it’s been a long wait to know whether I’d passed that part of the business unit. Prior to that, there was an exam on viticulture and winemaking in June and two exams in November: one on fortified wines and one based on a business case study.

So now I have three of the six units under my belt and can get ready to face the next three. The exams on spirits and sparkling wine will be next June. But the biggie will be the fearsome light wines of the world unit in January 2019. This accounts for 50% of the entire course marks and has a high failure rate. To pass, we need to have detailed knowledge about most of the world’s wine regions (climate, soil, types of grapes, styles of wine, main producers etc.). And, of course, we have to blind taste 12 different wines and write intelligent notes about them. No small challenge!

Back in March last year, I marked the start of my WSET Diploma studies with a cheeky little sparkling Cinsault. Last night I marked the halfway point with another Chilean sparkling wine: Schwaderer Brut Blanc de Noir made from the País grape.

This was a lovely, elegant, very transparent sparkling wine with soft bubbles and moderate alcohol (just 12% ABV), well worth trying. On sale at la Cava del Pescador in Viña del Mar.

For more information about the WSET Diploma (or more properly the Wine and Spirit Education Trust Level 4 Diploma in Wines and Spirits, check out this article.

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