The WSET® Level 2 Award in Wines and Spirits online is a total waste of time and money.
Even if you are a complete beginner in the world of wine, you can save £240+ by doing a bit of self-study, and test directly into the next level, WSET® Level 3.
This is because WSET® 2 is a very short course on the very basics of wine. Anyone can get to the next level of the WSET® qualifications with very little effort. Even if you have never had a sip of wine in your entire life.
Plus, as an online course… IT’S SELF-STUDY ANYWAY. So save your £ and do the self-study… uhm, yourself.
I will provide all the details below on exactly how to do so, as well as providing all the (free) resources you need.
First, a few facts on WSET® Level 2:
- It is a “beginner to intermediate level” course, as stated on the official WSET® course description here. So, if you already have some wine knowledge, WSET® 3 will be a more appropriate level—you simply have to pass the online test.
- It is a four week course. The official course syllabus is here (yes I know, WSET®’s marketing department has made it look like a robust course. However, I’ll be breaking down every single wine fact you need to know so that you can skip all the BS and head straight into Level 3).
Self-study the full and complete curriculum below (it’s self-study if you take the online course anyway) and you can skip straight to Level 3.
The textbook they use is WSET®’s own “Wines and Spirits: Looking Behind the Label”. All readings for WSET® 2 are from this textbook. So, you will need to purchase the textbook directly from WSET® here (£20.85). Now that you have the textbook, you are all set to pass the WSET® Level 3 entrance exam. You just need to self-study the textbook. If you’d like to follow the same structure for students taking WSET® 2, fear not.
Below is the full course for WSET® Level 2 Award in Wine and Spirits:
Week 1: Factors Influencing Style, Quality & Price
- Wine Tasting (Study time: 30 mins)
- Factors Influencing Style, Quality and Price (Study time: 2.5 hours)
- Storage and Service (Study time: 1.5 hours)
- Week 1 Review
- Week 1 Tasting
- Aromatic unoaked white (preferably Gewurztraminer or Torrontés, alternatively German Riesling)
- Light bodied red (e.g. Beaujolais or Valpolicella – Note: Valpolicella should NOT be Classico, Ripasso or Amarone)
Week 2: White Grape Varieties (Study time: 5 hours)
- Chapter 7 (Chardonnay)
- Chapter 10 (Sauvignon Blanc)
- Chapter 12 (Riesling)
- Chapter 13 (Other White Grape Varieties and White Wines)
- Week 2 Review
- Week 2 Tasting
- Inexpensive neutral italian white (e.g. Soave or Pinot Grigio)
- Big brand new world oaked Chardonnay
Week 3: Black Grape Varieties (Study time: 5 hours)
- Chapter 8 (Pinot Noir)
- Chapter 9 (Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot)
- Chapter 11 (Syrah and Grenache)
- Chapter 14 (Other Black Grape Varieties and Red Wines)
- Week 3 Review
- Week 3 Tasting
- Full bodied high tannin red (e.g. Barolo or Chianti Classico. Chianti Classico should preferably be Riserva)
- New world Pinot Noir
Week 4: Sparkling, Sweet & Fortified Wines, Spirits & Liqueurs (Study time: 5 hours)
- Sparkling Wines
- Sweet & Fortified Wines
- Spirits & Liqueurs
- Week 4 Review
- Week 4 Tasting
- Any 2 other styles from those listed on pages 17-18 of the specification