WSET Diploma


Due to irreconcilable differences. Or at least, that’s how I think of it. Since taking the WSET Diploma Unit 3 exam (aka The Big One) in June, when people asked how I did, I’d reply that I thought I’d pass, if it wasn’t a WSET exam. Alas, the comment turned out to be prophetic. I failed both parts of the exam. And did so rather decisively. A brief recap: The tasting exam was of four flights of wines, 3 wines per flight. I passed one...

Read More

To continue from the last post, this time I’m going to cover the teaching aspect of WSET. There are some things I’m not going to write about. This is for two main reasons. First, I’ve covered this topic relatively recently, and don’t really feel the need to repeat myself. Second, teaching is a lot more individual, on the part of both the student and the instructor than taking exams. That said, there are things that can and...

Read More

Readers will know that I’m not a particular fan of the WSET approach to teaching, tasting and exams (see here and here among other previous posts). Now that I’ve done the whole Diploma, I want to take a different approach. (Note: I mean ‘done’ as in I’ve gone through all the classes, exams, etc. at least once. That’s not the same as passing the exams, but I have done them.)  What I’m going to do in this post, and the next, is talk...

Read More

So. That was it. The Big One. Sort of a final exam for the WSET Diploma, or at least, that’s how I think of it. Not just because it is the last exam you take. Assuming, of course, you actually pass the other ones. It is also the longest of the exams, and one of only two units where you can fail half and only have to retake that half. (For the curious, the other unit is Unit One, on business, where you are assessed by an exam, and an...

Read More

Last week was our last classroom session for the WSET Diploma. Alas, I missed it because of illness. But it seems a good time to reflect on my not-quite-finished two years of fieldwork among the WSET. (With apologies to Evans-Pritchard.)  Like most fieldwork, it seemed at times interminable, and at other times, to go by in a flash. There was culture shock and disorientation. Who are these people? Why do they do these things? There...

Read More

Once and future wine exams


Posted By on Mar 16, 2017

Last week we had two of the ‘small’ (as WSET calls them) exams. These were the sparkling wine and spirits units. It would be a miracle if I didn’t have to resit the sparkling wine one. Spirits? Who knows. What happened? Simple – I blanked. I think the sparkling tastings went ok. I was correct on 2 out of 3, but then again, that’s only 2 out of 25 points each. The rest is description and justification. As readers will know by now,...

Read More