Wine 101: The Levels of the WSET Certification

This episode of “Wine 101” is sponsored by Pieropan. Not only does Pieropan make some of the most refreshing wines in the Soave region, but their single-vineyard Soave Classico takes it to a new level. With its enticing complexity and refreshing depth, it’s clear the Pieropan family has been producing this wine for over a century.

There’s no right or wrong way to get started on your wine journey. It can be as informal as picking up a different bottle every week and recording tasting notes or as formal as rising through the ranks of a rigorous wine education program with the hopes of becoming a certified Master Sommelier.

For those interested in pursuing a happy medium between the two extremes, there’s a certain organization called the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) that has put together a four-tier curriculum of wine, spirits, and sake education with satellite schools across the globe. Depending on how deep you want to go down the WSET path, you can complete as few as one tier, or as many as all four.

Levels one and two will give you a really strong base knowledge of wine varietals, production, marketing, and food pairings. Levels three and four, on the other hand, are when things kick into high gear. There, you’ll go the full distance, learning the ins and outs of the wine world, going country by country, from France to China. At that point, it basically becomes a full-time job, but if you’re passionate about wine, the juice is well worth the squeeze.

Is it crucial? Well, not necessarily, but it’s one of the most efficient, organized ways to obtain a formal wine education.

On this episode of “Wine 101,” Keith is joined by Alexandra Schrecengost, founder of Culture With Us, who has completed the full WSET program. The two chat about how Schrecengost got to WSET, what the different levels entailed, and what she took away from the program. Tune in for more.

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“Wine 101” was produced, recorded, and edited by yours truly, Keith Beavers, at the VinePair headquarters in New York City. I want to give a big old shout-out to co-founders Adam Teeter and Josh Malin for creating VinePair. Big shout-out to Danielle Grinberg, the art director of VinePair, for creating the most awesome logo for this podcast. Also, Darby Cicci for the theme song. Listen to this. And I want to thank the entire VinePair staff for helping me learn something new every day. See you next week.

E. & J. Gallo Winery is excited to sponsor this episode of VinePair’s “Wine 101.” Gallo always welcomes new friends to wine with an amazingly wide spectrum of favorites, ranging from everyday to luxury and sparkling wine. (Gallo also makes award-winning spirits, but this is a wine podcast.) Whether you are new to wine or an aficionado, Gallo welcomes you to wine. Visit today to find your next favorite, where shipping is available.