Impending doom, or, WSET, Semester 2

Posted By Chris Kaplonski on Jan 6, 2017

Well, ok. Maybe I exaggerate a bit. But next week (Monday!), I start the second year of my WSET Diploma. It does seem a scarier semester, at least for those of us who are stronger on theory than tasting. What do I have to look forward to? It’s the same format as last time – nine weeks of getting up too early to catch a train to London to make it to WSET before 9 am. (Yeah, I know. It’s almost like having a real job, with a commute and everything.) The day goes until about 5 pm, when we make our way home, heads hopefully stuffed full of new information, and taste buds reeling from too many tasting sessions.

This time around, I’ll know at least a handful of people in the group, from last year. It will be good to see them again. Plus, and this is a big plus, we’ll be doing most of the exams relatively soon after the actual class sessions on the material, unlike the first semester, where there was a roughly half-year gap between classes on fortified wines and the first go at the exam.

This semester we have another three exams, and it is those that are slightly worrying, at least for me. They all have tasting components. And two of them are on the same day, in March.  In early March, we’ll confront sparkling wines and spirits.   Those are what the WSET calls ‘small units.’ You have to pass both the tasting and theory section at the same time. If you fail one, you have to resit the whole thing. Then, in June, is the monster exam – Unit 3, ‘Light Wines’. That’s what people normally think of when ‘wine’ is mentioned. Table wine, still wine, whatever. This exam has more wines to taste and more questions to answer than the small units. Thankfully, this exam can be passed in parts. If you fail the tasting, you just have to retake that, not the theory as well.

Of course, there is more to the WSET diploma than exams. The plan is to blog, like I did with the first semester in the fall of 2015, about some aspect of each week’s class, or something inspired by the class. Stay tuned for those, as well as other projects and blogs over the coming months.

PS: WordPress informs me that this is the 50th post on this blog. So, I presume Anthroenology should be congratulating itself, or something. Congratulations to us!

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