Eating and drinking my way through life and learning all the while

WSET Diploma, Week One – the start of a very long and wonderful journey


Woah the WSET Diploma in Wine and Spirits is going to be full on – I’ve just finished my first class and realise I have so much to learn.
Right now I am a little giddy ball of emotion, who is…
…one part HAPPY – Really happy to see some old faces in class today, it felt like a mini reunion. Eight of the friends I met on my WSET Advanced course have also signed up for this diploma course with me – Happy days! Forgot how much I loved having my very own wine gang. The post-wine school study sesh has already been resumed…
…two parts BRICKING IT – this is a whole lot of work to get through, 600 hours study in fact, all in addition to a demanding job. And in terms of depth of study it is the equivalent to a short degree. I clearly like life busy!
Certain units of the course scare me more than others. Business of drinks should be pretty straight-forward (well it is part of my day job to look after trade press relations for the UK’s biggest wine company), similarly, I should have a bit of a headstart with the sparkling wine unit. But wine production, viticulture and wine science scares the hell out of me and so far I’ve been overcompensating by buying a ton of books.
…two parts ALIVE/EXCITED – I would be an eternal student given half a chance, I always feel really alive when I’m studying. I’ve already got that academic buzz from looking at the syllabus and thinking hey I’ll know all that in 18 months, wow!
In order to make the most of this course I’ll need to supplement my studies with plenty of tastings, and visits to wineries/distilleries where possible.
…one part LUCKY – This WSET Diploma means a lot to many of the old and new faces I met today. Many are financing the course personally and hope that this qualification will help them get a foot in the door into the wine industry. I’m lucky enough to have my work help cover the cost of this course and am already a small part of this fantastic industry.
And a dash – AGGRIEVED – I’m only just getting used to the fact that later this year I’ll be turning 30. But now I have not one, but two exams to look forward to on my 30th birthday – seriously no fair!
Although I guess it could be worse, the exams could be the day after my birthday.
Today is just the start of a very long and wonderful journey into the world of wine and spirits. If anyone has any words of wisdom to help with my studies or suggestions for places I can easily visit to learn more, do get in touch.
The WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines and Spirits
Unit One – The Global Business of Alcoholic Beverages
Unit Two – Wine Production
Unit Three – Light Wines of the World
Unit Four – Spirits of the World
Unit Four – Recommended Tasting
Unit Five – Sparkling Wines of the World
Unit Five – Recommended Tasting
Unit Six – Fortified (Liqueur) Wines of the World

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