“It’s crackers – a Wine & Spirits Course in Dry January as a Christmas gift – or is it??”

Written by Diana Lyalle

Why on earth would anyone want to study wine, let alone spirits, after the Festive Season – when some of us have had more than enough booze and crave respite in the form of Dry January.

This was my reaction when the idea of gift vouchers for WSET (Wine & Spirits Education Trust) courses was mentioned to me.

However – on reflection, it makes perfect sense to give a wine lover a wine and spirits tasting experience.  They would learn about key wine grapes, regions and styles, and how to pair food with wine, as well as gaining a tantalising introduction to the diverse and exotic world of spirits.

On the 3 day WSET Level 2 course, for example, they would taste approximately 30 grape varieties, not to mention the spirits (which they are encouraged to spit, not swallow, so no breaching Dry January rules).  They would also get a glossy textbook and workbook, as well as a wine tasting card, all for future reference.  They would spend each day all cosy inside The Railway Inn, Sandford – whose lunch platters, included in the cost of the course, are very comforting on a nippy January Monday.  Or they can do the course later in the year, maybe spread over 9 evenings in May/June.

If they don’t have time to do a 3 day course, WSET Level 1 is a one day course, either on a Sunday, or mid week.

Dry January would then be much easier to endure, surely……

Although these courses are required of those forging careers in the wine, spirits and hospitality sectors, in practice, just as many interested consumer students sign up to WSET courses as do students from the trade.  So when Dry January ends, they will have plenty of ideas for new wines to try, and food to experiment with.

There is a tincy wincy bit of home study to do as well (but what else would they be doing when it is wet and cold outside?) and for both courses there is a multiple choice examination at the end – just to prove they were listening and that you got value for money……..but as exams go, they are no problem for a committed wine lover, and their tasting skills won’t be examined – the slightly scary stuff only starts at WSET Level 3.

Level 1 costs £150 and Level 2 costs £325.  If that stretches the budget a little too far, family and friends can club together to buy gift vouchers towards the cost of the course – which might go down rather better than yet more perfume they don’t like, contraptions they give away, or heaps of chocolates they can’t face eating.

So if this sounds like the perfect gift for someone you know – or more importantly for your good self, gift vouchers can be bought from The Wine Shop Winscombe either at the Somerset Wine Fair on 27 October 2017 (if you already have tickets – if not, boo hoo – it is sold out) or from their newly refurnished and gorgeous wine shop/gin palace on Woodborough Road, Winscombe.

Or just give them a bell on 01934 708312 Tuesdays – Saturdays inclusive, 9.30am – 6.30pm.

Or email them on info@thewinetastingco.com

The next WSET Level 1 course is on Sunday 28 January 2018.  Other dates are available later in the year.

The next WSET Level 2 course runs on three consecutive Mondays i.e. 8, 15 & 22 January 2018 – only a few spaces left so act fast for the cosy winter warmer option! Other dates are available later in the year including the  nine evenings course in May/June 2018.

For more information about each course have a look at The Wine Shop website:http://www.thewinetastingco.com/wine-spirit-education-courses/

For more information about what students get out of WSET courses have a read of our blog: https://winetimeevents.wordpress.com/2017/08/01/why-do-wine-exams-and-why-do-wset-level-2/