What is the difference between Virtual Classes and WSET Global Classroom?
Virtual Classes (either AWS or WSET) take place at a specific time on a specific date. They include instructor-led lectures just like live classrooms lectures. Attendees can ask questions and participate in tastings in real time. Classes are recorded so participants can watch a class again or can catch up in the event that they missed a class. The WSET Global Classroom offers flexibility in that there are no live, instructor-led lectures. Instead, participants watch videos, take quizzes, and answer homework questions under the guidance of an online tutor.
Where should I start my wine education?
In addition to AWS Wine Classes and the Wine Scholar Guild programs, the American Wine School offers all 4 Levels of study within the WSET framework. While it is not necessary to take all levels of study, it is important to start at the correct level. The following details will help you determine where to begin your WSET wine education:
WSET Level 1
If you are new to wine, but are looking to hone your skills, this course may be right for you. The course begins by exploring how wine is made and the major grape varieties, but does not delve into wine regions of the world. Good for restaurant servers and novice wine sippers, Level 1 offers an educational snapshot of wine. A 30 question, multiple-choice exam is given the last day of class.
WSET Level 2
For those who are already familiar with the differences between red and white winemaking, Riesling and Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, then Level 2 might be a good place to begin. Level 2 reviews the winemaking process, but then focuses on the major grapes of the world. WSET level 1 is not a requirement for this course. Students should plan a moderate amount of study time to pass the 50 question, multiple-choice exam. This course is on par with the Introductory Sommelier Course offered by the Court of Master Sommeliers (Note: WSET does not include restaurant service as part of the course).
WSET Level 3
While WSET Level 2 is not a prerequisite for taking Level 3, unless you have extensive experience and a good understanding of the major wine regions of the world, it is highly recommended. WSET Level 3 is on par with the experience required to pass the Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) awarded by the Society of Wine Educators and the Certified Sommelier Exam offered by the Court of Master Sommeliers. While the WSET Level 3 course does not include restaurant service, it does include blind tasting of 2 wines and a theory section comprised of both multiple choice and short/long answer. Students should order the study guide and text early to have as much study time as possible.