Understanding Style & Quality
The WSET Level 3 Award in Wines is an advanced course in wine that explores in detail the full range of grape varieties, wine styles and wine producing regions of the wine world.
It is aimed at candidates who are following a career in the wine industry and will be working with wine on a daily basis or enthusiasts who want to immerse themselves in wine and achieve a deeper understanding of the world’s grape varieties and styles.
On completion of the course candidates will be able to communicate knowledgeably with customers and operate confidently during wine service, making wine recommendations based on customer’s preferences and food choices and work credibly with other wine industry professionals. Candidates will be able to assist in the creation of wine lists, contribute to purchasing decisions and provide basic staff training. Candidates will have the tools to interpret a variety of wine lists and make informed choices when making purchases in restaurants and retail outlets.
- Learning to recognise the characteristics of some of world’s most important and some of the more obscure grape varieties.
- A deep-dive into viticulture and vinification that ensures the candidate understands the impact of the viticulturist and winemaker has on the wine and its style.
- Examining in detail the world’s sparkling and fortified wines.
The L3 Award in Wines is offered online, in the classroom or privately or as a hybrid online study programme with optional add-on tasting tutorials.
The course can be completed in 84 hours of study and concludes with a 2.5 hour examination consisting of 50 multiple choice questions, 4 short answer questions and a two wine blind tasting paper.
Example Theory (Unit 1) examination questions:
1. What is the principal grape variety in the Rose d’Anjou blend?
d. Cabernet Franc
2. What is the name given to the process whereby the sediment is expelled from a bottle of Champgane?
a. Drawing off
3. Which one of the following will guarantee microbiological stability in a wine?
a. Sterile filtration
c. Depth filtration
d. Cool fermentation
Pinot Grigio / Pinot Gris is widely planted throughout the world and made in many different styles. Wine A is a Pinot Grigio from the Veneto, Wine B is a Selecion de Grains Nobles from Alsace.
1. Under the following headings describe the two wines described above. (10 marks)
Sweetness and body:
2. Describe the key environmental factors in Alsace and explain how these contribute to the style of Wine B. (7 marks)
3. Large, old oak barrels used in Alsace have little influence on the wines’ aromas. Explain why. (3 marks)
4. Wine B was sealed with a natural cork. What storage conditions would you recommend for the long-term ageing of this wine? (5 marks)
Total 25 marks
Example Practical (Unit 2) examination questions:
Describe and assess the wine under the following headings:
Appearance (2 marks)
Nose (7 marks)
Palate (9 marks)
Assessment of Quality (1 mark)
Readiness for Drinking (1 mark)
Two wines will need to be assessed by the candidate, these wines may be taken from any of the recommended tasting samples, a list of which are supplied in the Level 3 Award in Wines specification.
For more information please see the course specification.
Level 3 is a pre-requisite for joining Level 4. For more information regarding Level 4 please visit the WSET’s website.