How to become a Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Master of Wine
WSET is an independent non-profit organization that offers quality wine education to industry professionals and individuals curious to gain a deeper understanding of their favorite beverages. They offer nine qualifications (as of 2018) that cover wines, spirits, and sake with meticulous detail.
Theirs is a globally recognized certification whose highest level (Level 4) is a diploma that qualifies candidates to join the coveted Master of Wine program. The WSET is represented globally in over 70 countries by charted Approved Programming Providers (APPs). The providers are mostly qualified to deliver the same standard of education they are well-known for. However, some APPs are better than others. Check out our wine school reviews for a comprehensive review of credentials.
They are well supported by many leading brands through their Corporate Patronage Program. If you are looking for a job, the WSET posts regularly on job opportunities that are available to their alumni at various qualifications.
How to get to WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines and Spirits
In our post “How to become a sommelier” we highlighted the key things you should do to be mentally prepared for this undertaking. While on the outside looking in, it might seem a breeze, but the rigorous training and study might come as a surprise to many.
It requires little professional experience and can be taken both as a classroom course or online. Allowing you to do it from anywhere in the world. The online version is quite handy, they ship you a packet with books in it, enroll you into an online classroom where you can study with fellow candidates and discuss on various topics as guided by your assigned professor.
WSET Level 1
This is an introductory level. The Wine & Spirit Education Trust offers three versions, for wines, spirits and sake. They are to be taken separately.
Like most introductory classes, passing this exam is relatively easy. Candidates learn the basics of wine, major grapes and wine regions of the world.
WSET Level 2
At this level, which requires some years of experience in the industry to enroll, the student is expected to have some grasp on wine styles, their regions of production and good recommendation skill.
The course goes over major grape varieties, labeling terminologies and key classifications. Successful completion earns the student a WSET certificate and lapel pin. You can also use the associated WSET certified logo.
WSET Level 3
Things get a little more difficult here. The applicants should have a passed Level 2 or its equivalent. The scope of study covers winemaking from farm to winery with attention on every aspect in between. One should be capable of recommending wines across diverse styles.
Candidates gain invaluable skill at assessing wines accurately and explaining their findings. They receive a WSET certificate and lapel pin, and will be able to use the associated WSET certified logo.
WSET Level 4 Diploma
It covers with incredible depth wine and spirit production, wine regions and styles, and the global trade in wines and spirits. On completion, you receive a WSET certificate and lapel pin, and will be able to use the post-nominal DipWSET and associated WSET certified logo. It is the stepping stone into the Maters of Wine program. You are required to hold the WSET Level 3 in Wines and Spirits or its equivalent to enroll.
The Wine & Spirit Education Trust is one of the most comprehensive and through courses available. It is also reasonably flexible on when and how you can do it. For a full review of WSET programs, go here.
- Sommelier Certification
- Wine Trade Certification
- Quality of Instruction