Founded in 2013, the Dallas Wine Education Center (DWEC) is led by the first Texas resident to obtain a “Master of Wine” title and professional qualification, Dilek Caner, Ph.D. The school used to offer consumer education classes like Wine 101 but now only offers WSET certificate programming. Caner acquired her sommelier certificate from the American Sommelier Association, an advanced certificate and two-year diploma from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust, and a Ph.D. in economics from New York University.
The date of the school’s founding is up for debate. The official Facebook page of this wine school claims it was founded in 2005. However, the domain name was created in 2010, the first iteration of the site online was in 2011, and the first media mention of the school was on September 16, 2013.
Early in her wine career, Dilek worked as Sommelier with Chef Sommelier Herve Pennequin at Restaurant Bruno Jamais and Chef Sommelier Andre Compeyre at Restaurant Alain Ducasse in New York City. She then worked as Tastings Director and Associate Editor at Wine & Spirits Magazine. After teaching several classes at the American Sommelier Association and Institute of Culinary Education, Dilek founded Tasting World. Currently, Tasting World operates as Dallas Wine Education Center in
Wine educators point to several factors for this change, including the rapid expansion of the wine world over the last two decades. Bordeaux may have been the region back then, but for today’s students it’s just one of many. “Students now have a lot of choices, and did not grow up with Bordeaux as the be-all-end-all of wines,” says Dilek Caner, a Master of Wine who runs the Dallas Wine Education Center. Texas.Wine & Spirits Magazine
This school offers some very good wine-tasting classes and events open to the public. They rely on the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) franchise for their wine certification programs. While independent programs are always better than the PowerPoint protocols of WSET, these programs are a notch above many other WSET franchises.
Since 2022, this wine school has been located in Caner’s wine bar, Blind Bishop. Caner states that she had been a wine educator for over a decade but wanted to become a sommelier again. This new development puts the DWEC ahead of many other wine schools. A brick-and-mortar location is a clear sign of stability. Many WSET schools have a reputation as fly-by-night operations working out of back rooms. Previous to 2022, the school hosted classes and exams at local restaurants.
Despite being around for over a decade, there are very few reviews of this wine school. There are zero on Facebook, and they don’t even have a page on Yelp. Here at Somm, we have only had five reviews about them, which is very low.
The school has several competitors in and around Dallas. These include sommelier certifications from the International Sommelier Guild and WSET courses offered by Fine Vintage LTD at the Marriott Dallas Downtown.
The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is the licensing authority for proprietary institutions, including for-profit/proprietary vocational-technical schools and wine schools. Texas law on career schools requires that almost all types of training be regulated, and the person(s) offering the training obtain a Certificate of Approval. According to the TWC database, this wine school is not listed.
Schools can be exempted if they offer only recreational courses or are sponsored by a trade organization. However, the school must apply for such an exemption, and according to the TWC, no such exemption has been issued in this case.
Like many Wine & Spirit Education Trust franchises, DWEC relies on WSET’s standing as a trade organization. However, that standing is only an IRS filing called a 501(c)(6), a type of nonprofit classification for tax purposes. Our concern is that WSET is not recognized by the Federal Department of Education or any state in America. Their standing is very tenuous and would only require a complaint filed with the IRS to topple this applecart.
Loved the WSET classes with Ms Caner. Great teacher, even if the WSET material is dry and a bit boring.