This fall WSET and Grape Experience will debut the new WSET Level 2 Certificate in Wine.  It starts September 10 in San Francisco and September 18 in Boston.  Registration information is at

The following interview details the great changes in the program

Q. What is different about the new Level 2 Certificate in Wine?

A. Just about everything.The course that will start on September 10 is still designed to enable someone to look at just about any major wine label and be able to describe what that wine is like and why, but the number of grape varieties have been dramatically expanded. Varieties such as Barbera, Gamay, Semillon and Viognier are now part of the course. We will cover the classic wine regions – Burgundy, Bordeaux, etc., but also add more emphasis on newer regions in countries like Australia, the USA and Chile. The new approach gives a Level 2 student a broader set of wines to explore and makes the course that much more relevant to today’s wine industry.  There is also a new textbook and class workbook as part of a complete WSET proprietary study pack.

Q. Are the class sessions themselves much different for the old course?

A. Yes, classes are more interactive than ever before, which better enables students to build off of previous sessions and what they have read on their own. There is a greater emphasis on why a wine tastes the way it does and how the same grape can make uniquely individual wines in different regions. Of course, we still taste several wines in each session but when we do so we are better equipped to taste both natural climactic factors and the human choices that went into each wine.  The end result is greater knowledge put into practice, building confidence among students.

Q. Spirits is no longer part of the Level 2 course?

A. Spirits has been removed from Level 2 Wine and is now taught as a separate Level 2 Spirits course.This change means we can cover more material in the Level 2 Wine course in the same amount of time. In some ways, Spirits in the old Level 2 course was an afterthought.  Now, in the Level 2 Spirits course, the subject gets the broader and more in-depth focus it deserves.  We will offer Level 2 Spirits this fall, and it can easily be taken in conjunction with Level 2 Wine.

Q. Who is the right student for Level 2 Wine?

A. Level 2 Wine is for just about anyone.The course is designed for both beginners and people who already have some knowledge in wine but want a stronger foundation.  We don’t assume for Level 2 that a student has any previous knowledge.  For the genuine beginner, the course will build a solid foundation for a career in wine or will just increase personal knowledge.  For someone who has a working knowledge already, Level 2 fills in any gaps and provides a solid launching pad for learning more.  The end result for all students taking Level 2 is increased confidence and greater overall enjoyment of wine.

Q. What is the final exam like?

A. The exam remains the same as before: a one hour, 50-question multiple choice exam. Students need to correctly answer 55% of the questions – about 28 of them – to pass and receive the WSET Level 2 Certificate in Wine.

For the September 10 San Francisco course register here:

For Level 2 Spirits register here:

For the September 18 Boston course register here:

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