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Courses in wine tasting

I’m thinking of taking some courses on wine tasting and am wondering if anyone had any recommendations of best places to look for this? I have been on many wine tasting events but have not taken any official courses so I’d be looking to start at the bottom!

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I’ve recently done WSET level 2 - there’s quite a long thread on this - and you might find it a good place to start. It’s not exactly a tasting course, but involves a lot of tasting and introduces a systematic approach to tasting.

It was a three day course (in the format I did) and we tasted about 17 or 18 wines, so tasting is a substantial part of it, and most of the rest of it is general knowledge about wine. What grapes grow where, how wine is made, serving temperatures, food matching, etc. There might be a lot of stuff you know already but it’s quite interesting and I think well worthwhile.

This is the thread.

I did WSET in the '80s

It is THE place to, and is an internationally recognised qualification.

It is also the path to MW.

It’s a no-brainer.


I definitely agree with those sentiments. I did the level 2 and it transformed my appreciation and tasting ability :blush: looking forward to level 3 in 6 weeks!

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If you’re in London, the best are done by Michael Schuster


Level 1 is ‘very basic’! Level 2 is very interesting and as others have said introduces you to major wine growing areas, classifications, tastings etc. The level 2 culminates in a 2 hour written exam. I completed this myself last year via the Clifton Wine School in Bristol/Bath - Ruth is a great tutor! There is quite a jump from 2 to 3, so if you feel that you are reasonably knowledgeable, then I would opt for 2, complete that and then go for the 3


I love his book on the subject! It’s my little bible. :+1:


Level 2 is a very good, informative course, I really enjoyed it at the WSET school. The exam though is a joke, you are pretty much guaranteed merit at least (distinction really).

Level 3 is a step up, but if you want to go further up that is where you should start. Level 2 is a great place to start for the enthusiast.

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Couldn’t agree more. It is one of the few “beginners” books I return to that still impress me for being accurate, simple and concise.

It contains a tasting course within in it, which I used to get me through the tasting aspects of a self-study level 3. I did taste quite widely otherwise, but with less formality. I managed to get a distinction in the tasting part, which I put down to the quality of the course. I was a little unsure about the WSET standard for low/medium/high on the various dimensions, but seemed to get it about right.

It does help if you have a few friends to do it together - we did it in a group of 6.


For the avoidance of doubt, the book is called Essential Winetasting

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And here’s the book, which really is lucid, structured and all round fab! :+1: