Jan. 23rd, 2007

xiphias: (Default)
The best Hannukah present Lis got me (she claims it's not a present, but is rather a professional development course, and she's half right -- it IS a professional development course, and it's ALSO a present) is a four-session intensive wine course which will lead to an Intermediate level certification in Wine from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, an internationally-recognized professional certification. The WSET is an organization based in London which is more-or-less the successor to the London Wine and Spirits guilds, so you can think of this as a guild test. It's also used as a trade school graduation exam.

This course is usually taught as eight two-hour sessions; we're getting it as four four-hour sessions. Plus homework, of course. The Intermediate level test will be fifty multiple-choice questions, but they're hard questions. . .

If I ever decide to take the advanced test, that's harder -- longer multiple choice section, essay section, and tasting section. And the advanced course is like forty or fifty class hours, not sixteen. Plus homework.

Still, the sixteen hour course ought to give me a decent foundation in wine. It won't bring me up to [livejournal.com profile] jehanna's level, who's had a subscription to Wine Spectator since she was sixteen years old -- no matter how good the instruction, sixteen hours won't beat sixteen years -- but it will give me three related but distinct benefits: enough knowledge to handle any routine wine question in a bar or restaurant (wine suggestions, pairings, and so forth), enough confidence to feel comfortable doing these things, and an independent professional certification stating that I can do this.
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