Program Overview

Ourur wine courses are serious and challenging. They are designed for members of the wine trade and are also appropriate for consumers who want to greatly expand their knowledge of wine. The curriculum of each course has been approved by the NY State Department of Education. Four levels of study are currently available, and the second level includes both a wine course and a spirits program. The courses are a progression, beginning with WSET Level 1 – Foundation, an introductory course to wine. WSET Level 2 – Intermediate, Level 3 – Advanced and Level 4 – Diploma follow; each of these levels covers the entire world of wine including viticulture, vinification, and appellation labeling laws, as well as wine-tasting technique.

WSET® Level 1 Foundation Course

This entry-level course teaches the basics of wine in a format specially designed for those with no previous wine knowledge. Ideal for consumers who are new to wine and people who are newly working in the wine trade, the WSET Level 1, Foundation Course focuses on the main styles of wines available, tasting technique, wine and food pairing as well as wine etiquette. The class consists of either two three-hour sessions or three two-hour sessions and concludes with a short multiple-choice exam of 45 minutes. Successful candidates receive the WSET® Level 1 Award in Wines.

Currently offered courses.

WSET® Level 1 Spirits Course New!

This new entry-level program is the Spirits companion course to our popular Level 1 Foundation Course in Wines. It is ideal for people newly working in the Spirits field or the hospitality sector, but it’s also a terrific introduction to Spirits for wine lovers who want to expand their knowledge into this related field. You’ll learn the main styles and categories of spirits, the defining characteristics of the main spirits types, the production processes used in making spirits, and the key principles involved in the storage and service of spirits — as well as a standardized method for tasting spirits. The class consists of three two-hour sessions and concludes with a short multiple-choice exam of 45 minutes. Successful candidates receive the WSET® Level 1 Award in Spirits.

Currently offered courses.

WSET® Level 2 Intermediate Course

This class is appropriate for students who have a serious interest in wine, and those who wish to broaden their knowledge. The Intermediate Course covers wines and spirits of the world in eight two-hour sessions, followed by a one-hour, multiple-choice examination on the ninth session. Wine tasting is a part of every class. Successful candidates receive the WSET® Level 2 Award in Wines & Spirits.

Currently offered courses.

WSET® Level 2 Spirits Course

The Spirits Course is designed to provide a thorough knowledge of spirits and liqueurs. The course covers the history, production and style of spirits of the world: Cognac, Armagnac and other brandies; Scotch, Bourbon and whiskeys; white spirits, including vodka, rum, Tequila, gin; and liqueurs and other flavored spirits. Tasting is part of every session. A one-hour examination includes 50 multiple-choice questions and a theoretical tasting note of one spirit or liqueur. Successful candidates receive the WSET® Level 2 Award in Spirits.

Currently offered courses.

WSET® Level 3 Advanced Course

The Level 3 Course is appropriate for those who already have a broad foundation of wine knowledge — wine labeling laws, appellation systems, major wine-producing regions and grape types — and are experienced in tasting technique. It covers the major wine regions of the world in more depth than the Intermediate Course, and includes more detailed study of viticulture and vinification. This course enables students to describe the characteristics of the principal wines and spirits of the world and explain the key factors accounting for those characteristics.

The course involves 37 hours of instruction. The exam includes multiple-choice and short-answer questions, as well as a blind tasting of two wines. Successful candidates receive the WSET® Level 3 Award in Wines. The WSET® Level 3 Award is a prerequisite for the Diploma course.

Currently offered courses.

WSET® Level 4 Courses in Wines & Spirits

WSET’s Diploma in Wines & Spirits is a two-year program for wine and spirits professionals and highly-motivated consumers. It features heavy emphasis on viticulture and vinification; focuses special attention on production and consumption trends, wine marketing and other aspects of the global sale and consumption of wine; and covers the world’s wine regions in considerable depth. Tests for various Units involve multiple-choice questions, essay exams, blind wine-tasting and research papers. Successful candidates receive the WSET® Level 4 Award in Wines & Spirits. WSET Diploma is the traditional preparatory course for those who wish to become Master of Wine students.

See more information on Level 4 courses.