Thursday, 17 May 2012

WSET Diploma: Day Nine

The ninth day of the WSET Level 4 course represents the final full day of lectures of the first year. It was a day of two halves. The first focused on the wines of Germany, the second on examination technique for the assessments facing us over the coming months.
The morning session followed the familiar format: an overview of the facts and figures, the factors which distinguish the areas, then a tasting of the relevant wines. Six glasses will suffice for this day, and you don't need any other equipment.
We started out with four remarkably similar looking (and tasting) wines.

German wines, in glorious multicolour!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

WSET Diploma: Days Seven & Eight

After the emotionally draining exam of Day Six, I'm prepared to admit that I've fallen behind schedule with this series of WSET Level Four posts. Fortunately, these two sessions are simple enough to deal with in one one post as they follow essentially the same format. And a very enjoyable format that is, too.
Both days were delivered by external lecturers, Sally Easton MW and Richard Bampfield MW, dealing with Bordeaux / South West France / Loire, and Burgundy / Alsace respectively. Both were exceptionally brilliant wine communicators.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

WSET Diploma: Day Six

Hot on the heels of Day Five, the sixth day of the WSET Diploma was not one that any of the students had been too excited about, since it began with the Unit 2 examination.
It's a long time since I've sat an exam, and it was a strange but familiar sensation to sit in the room prior to the exam as people frantically read through their notes one last time. The exam focusses on viticulture and vinification, subjects which were covered extensively in Day Two and Three.
Having survived the exam (actually I did quite well, thanks for asking), I would like to offer the following revision advice:

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

WSET Diploma: Day Five

After the uncharacteristically dry Day Four, the glasses were out again for Day Five.
Fortified wines was the topic of the day: Sherry, Port, Vin doux Naturels and Maderia. These wines have never been my strong point: I don't drink them often, see them often, or even talk about them very often.
All of this combined to make the Day Five a challenging day.
The subject of fortified wines is enormous, so tackling the subject in a single day was always going to be difficult. Of course, the objective isn't to teach the entire subject in eight straight hours - students have to take the initiative and direct their own study around the lectures as well.