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How to Prepare for a WSET Course in Wines

Here are a few tips from École V to help you study for your WSET Wine Courses.

1. Read the Course Description

First of all, make sure you read the Specification for each course and final exam.  They are available on each page of the courses offered by École V. You will find the learning objectives, as well as the structure and grading system for each exam. This will help you understand the expectations of the WSET and anticipate what you may be asked to do in each part of the exam.

2. Establish a Study Schedule

Once you start the course, you won't have time to learn everything from the beginning. Therefore, it is important to prepare by reading the material in its entirety before the course begins. Set up a study schedule based on your availability, and make sure you allocate the necessary amount of time to prepare for the course.

3. Use Study Methods That Work for You

The resources provided by the WSET cover all the essential points that will be tackled in the theory exam. There is no need to look elsewhere for information.

Everyone is different, especially in the ways we learn and memorize information. If reading a text allows you to retain it the first time, that is awesome! However, learning about regions, grape varieties and wine styles at the same time often requires some extra effort. Consider creating flashcards structured by wine region and grape variety. The maps provided by the WSET are a great resource that you can annotate.

4. Train your Olfactory Memory 

Wine tasting is a very important part of all WSET courses. It is structured for each certification and allows students to progressively develop their ability to evaluate the style and quality of wines.

Although this exercise can be intimidating for some students, it is simple to implement on a daily basis. Start by practicing at home, noting your impressions of the wines you taste. Also, rediscover the aromas found in wine by reading the book Le Nez du Vin.

5. Understand the Variables of Winemaking

In order to understand wine, it’s crucial to understand the variables that influence the style and quality of different wines. By taking into account the natural (climate, soil) and human variables (work in the vineyard and in the cellar) at play, you will be able to establish cause and effect relationships, and make links between the major wine regions and the wines you can find there.

Trust yourself and make the most of your WSET wine course at École V! Your new knowledge of the world of wine will be an incredible asset in your professional life and for your personal enrichment!

By Vanessa Guébels (Director of École V) and Marie Dagneau de Richecour (Certified WSET Educator)

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