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WSET Level 2 - Advice sought please


Here at The Wine Society we start at level 2, level 1 isn’t really much point, when I started working here I had 0 knowledge of wine. I found that the level 2 was a great intro to wine, the main regions, some of the key sub regions as well as different grape types and how they taste.

Level 3 built on that to a much greater depth and was quite a step up from level 2 as it delves more into smaller lesser known regions and grapes as well as some more technical aspects to wine making.

For me starting from 0 knowledge, doing the level 2 then level 3 made sense - distinction for level 2 and merit for level 3. I don’t think I will be going for the diploma though, but have some of the course material on my desk which I am gradually working through for my own learning and enjoyment.

I think if you come from already drinking various wines from different countries and are used to various grapes then I think it might be ok to go with level 3.

I created a beginner thread for the things I wish I knew before starting out learning about wine - some of the newbie basics that aren’t always common knowledge until someone tells you.


I did a bit of research on this last year, and spoke to a couple of people.

I reckoned that I could have started at Level 3 based on a lot of accumulated reading over lots of years (for my own enjoyment), plus of course lots of practical experience :slight_smile:

I did a few online tests from various sources at Level 2 and got 90% or more each time. I tried some Level 3 tests which were a lot more challenging but still did ok. The bits I struggled with most were the spirits sections, and I gather that you can now do it wine only.

However, as previous contributors say, starting at Level 2 for the practical experience and the course camaraderie might work very well for some. There is also the practical challenge of finding courses in your area at times. Last year when I looked there was a Level 3 in Glasgow (dates didn’t work for me), but I don’t see one this year so far. As I would be doing it for enjoyment, I’m not going any further!


I’ve read this thread with great interest as I’m very keen to start on some qualifications. Initially this is just for personal interest but who knows if it might lead to something professional in the distant future

Looks like level 2 is a good start point although I do feel I already have a reasonable grounding

I did a day course last year with the London Wine School. Enjoyable, but too basic even though I talked it through in detail before I booked to avoid just that. Hoping the level 2 will be more in depth as it sounds like level 3 would be a stretch without the level 2 grounding

Has anyone any experience of the Kent Wine School? It would either be there or more likely in London so any suggestions there would be good (I’ve looked at the options but would appreciate some first hand opinion)


The Kent Wine School is run by Jonny Gibson, who also runs the Sussex Wine School. I literally just got back from a tasting event he ran in Brighton! :grin:
He’s lovely, friendly and knowledgeable! I signed up to do the WSET 2 in September, in Brighton - and he’s going to teach it. You can email him if you want more info on the Kent course. Let me know if you want his email address :slight_smile:


Thanks @inbar. Great to get a good recommendation! Looking into it, the problem with Tunbridge Wells is that public transport seems tricky and I’d rather not drive :slight_smile:


You can stay the night at the Hotel du Vin :wink:… But yes, a bit of a dilemma! Is there one more local to you?


That’s the closest one but as with most things London is probably more convenient and actually more chance of a weekend date too!

Ashford would be viable too, cheaper than Tunbridge Wells and they have weekend dates

I’m also interested how much time is dedicated to spirits? I have zero interest in them so wouldn’t want to get too involved in that side


I guess you’re right about the Capital… But Brighton might be an option too…? Easy to get to from Kent…? Whatever works best - hope you manage to book something convenient! :grinning:


If I remember correctly very very little . Approx 4 pages in the final chapter.


Also, there is a thread here already on WSET :wink:


Yep, its this one! :innocent:


I clearly haven’t had a coffee yet :woman_facepalming:t3::woman_facepalming:t3::woman_facepalming:t3:!! Excuse my blonde moment :rofl::rofl:!


I recall reading a press release in the past couple of weeks about WSET splitting wines & spirits. They already have a separate Level 2 Spirits, and I’ve just found this on the WSET website

Please note that the WSET Level 2 Award in Wines and Spirits will be permanently withdrawn on 31 January 2020. The qualification will remain available for resit only candidates until 31 July 2020, all resit examinations for this qualification must be completed by this date.

The WSET Level 2 Award in Wines will be launched on 1 August 2019


(I did my WSET in the 1980s)


Thanks @peterm

I had seen that on the website which made me wonder whether to hold on for a year or go ahead later this year. Given that it seems very wine dominated I think I’m happy to go ahead


I’ve doe the level 1 award in wines at the West London wine school and plan on doing level 2 next spring. Looking forward to it.


I scored 90% having correctly guessed the answer to question about Oz rieslings and incorrectly guessed the answer to qu. about South American Pinot noir. Guess that is fair given that my passion and experience lies in the wines of France!

I am seriously thinking about the level 2 course for the opportunity to expand my experience of wines of other countries and of course the range of tastings.


If it’s for your career then its a must, if it’s for yourself then - if you enjoyed level 1 and you’ve got the time and money for level 2 -then why not?


I thoroughly enjoyed my level one. Doing level 2 in February this year. Although I don’t work in the wine trade, I’ve developed a big interest in wine, so I’m sure i will enjoy my course. I’m on the one over 3 consecutive Saturdays at the West London Wine school.


I did that version of Level 2 at West Long Wine School as well! That was back in Sept 2017, then went on to Level 3 and recently finished French Wine Scholar with them too — great school!


I got a distinction at level 2 but only a merit at level 3, not planning on doing level 4, I found that level 2 is great and quite intensive coming from 0 knowledge but really handy to understand the main regions and styles. Level 3 builds on level 2 and is far more indepth with more technical aspects and you come to understand that Italy is a whole wine world in itself as its so different in terms of grapes and sub regions etc.

I found level 2 to be very handy when being able to understand wine labels to be able to pick up clues as to the wine - example could be if “vieilles vignes” (old vines) was on the bottle and how it changes the wine - helps in a restaurant when choosing a wine.

Also aspects such as knowing certain regions only make certain wines from certain grapes was really handy in understanding which wines you might enjoy.

For level 3 I found it to be quite a step up and something you should look to do if you have extra time to read up more and revise as it would cover different odd regions or styles as well as going more in depth into the ‘normal’ wine regions. For me I find that level 3 is great for an enthusiast with level 2 being great to get a good foundation in wine (and helps make better wine choices when buying wine).