Wine and Spirt Education Trust
During College and University whilst studying International Business & Hospitality Management, I also obtained my level 1-3 WSET awards.
My WSET journey started when I won a scholarship when at College to undertake my level 2. I was able to jump to level 2 due to studying hospitality and already having an understanding of wine. The 9 week evening course introduced me new grape varieties, the systematic approach to tasting and geographical information related to wine studies. After a set study time (around 6 weeks) I undertook the multiple choice exam and passed with Merit.
During my first and second year at College I was lucky enough to be a finalist in the Nestle Toque D'Or Professional Competition. Both consecutive finals took place over five days in London. Each day saw a different task including hosting formal dinners in Le Cordon Bleu and 30 St Mary Axe (The Gherkin), Prezzo and Las Iguanas at the O2 and undertaking my WSET level 1 at the WEST London Wine School. The WSET Level 1 course was a task both years, I have sat through the class twice, although only taking the exam once which was passed first time. In my second year of the competition, I was lucky enough to be awarded the Nestle Toque D'Or Professional prize, at the Dorchester with the rest of my Glasgow Team. From this came endless opportunities, including work experience at the Fitzroy London, Royal Ascot and the chance to undertake my WSET Level 3 exam.
I began the level 3 course in September 2018 at the beginning of my Third year of study, which was now at Edinburgh Napier University. The course provider, Justin at Lothian Wine School (now an MW), was an excellent teacher. His enthusiasm and support created a enjoyable learning environment. The intense nature of this course over 5 days, was an excellent way to learn. We were then given 9 weeks to self study before sitting the exam. 5 days, 90 wine tastings and 9 weeks of self study resulted in a pass.
During my Fourth and final year of University in 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic altered all plans but provided the opportunity to take a year and complete the intensive Diploma in Wine at the WSET school, London. I enrolled in the intensive study option, which was meant to take just over a year to achieve. Beginning in early September 2020, I travelled to London to begin the course. Due to continuous lockdowns and disruption to exam time tables, I am thrilled to say I received my Diploma in October 2022 (just 1 year longer than expected..)
The Diploma was by no means an easy feat. The intensive nature of the course and sheer magnitude of course content which students are required to learn was a little bit of a shock. The jump from level 3 to the Diploma is huge. I am very proud of my achievement. The countless hours of studying, wine tasting and tears all paid off!
Now the studies are over, I am having a full circle moment having been asked to join the teaching team at City of Glasgow College to lecture levels 1-2, the same establishment where I began my studies a few moons ago. Teaching part time whilst working in the wine trade allows me to experience different aspects of the wine world. With my studies officially over, the real adventure can begin...