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The New WSET Level 3 Wines Course

There is a completely new WSET Level 3 course as of Fall 2016, and the first new thing about it is its name. It has dropped the word “spirits.” The course will now focus solely on wine.

But despite dropping spirits, the course’s length has been expanded by two weeks. We will now have 15 weeks of instruction before a review week and the exam week.

There is a new textbook and a new study guide. The textbook has greatly expanded the sections on grape growing, winemaking and wine maturation. The study guide has more than 30 pages of the best wine maps I’ ve seen. Thirteen new videos have been created, covering the wine laws of various countries, so we don’t get stalled during class on those necessary, but tedious details. And the course has been completely re-organized.

While the textbook continues to be organized geographically, the weekly lessons will be organized around wine styles. Here’ s the schedule:

Week 1- Course Introduction and Tasting Technique

Week 2- The Natural Factors and Human Influences in the Vineyard

Week 3- The Human Factors in the Winery that Influence Style, Quality and Price

Week 4- White Wines of Germany, Alsace, Austria and the Tokaj region of Hungary

Week 5- White Wines of Burgundy, the Loire Valley and Bordeaux

Week 6- Red and Rosé Wines of Burgundy, the Loire Valley and Bordeaux

Week 7- Red Wines of Burgundy and the Red and White Wines of the Northern Rhone

Week 8- Wines of the Southern Rhone and Southern France; Red Wines of Spain (Part 1) & White Wines of Spain and Portugal

Week 9- Red Wines of Northern Spain and Red & White Wines o f Northern Italy

Week 10- Red & White Wines of Central & Southern Italy, Red Wines of Portugal & Red and White Wines of Greece

Week 11- Premium Red Wine Regions of the New World

Week 12- Premium White Wine Regions of the New World

Week 13- Regional Specialties of the New World

Week 14- Sparkling Wines

Week 15- Fortified Wines

Week 16- Review Session

Week 17- Exam

This new arrangement will permit some enlightening wine tasting pairings, such as Alsace Riesling alongside dry German Riesling. And the wines of hot Southern Italy have more in common with Greek wines than with wines from cooler Northern Italy. But, more importantly, each week we will revisit viticulture and vinification principles.

Based on two years of pilot programs in London, these changes have been enthusiastically received. We look forward to implementing them beginning this Fall.

More Information

The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Advanced Course (Level 3 Award) and its exam are very challenging; it is recommended that you first pass the Level 2 (formerly Intermediate) Award before attempting the Level 3 Course. However, individuals with extensive wine knowledge will be admitted without having received the Level 2 Award.

Read this page to determine whether you should begin with the Intermediate Course (Level 2 Award) or the Advanced Course (Level 3 Award).

Learn more about WSET Wine Courses.


Level 3 Course Offerings in Philadelphia

We typically offer the Level 3 Course two times per year, from January through April and from September through December.

For the latest scheduling and pricing information, view our schedule and our price list.

Home Study Option

Home study is an option for students wishing to pursue the Advanced Course at lower cost or at their own pace. Learn more about home study for the Advanced Course.

Online Course

With the online study option, students can take classes in a digital, global classroom under the leadership of an instructor from WSET. The courses are structured, interactive learning programs, but with the freedom of flexible scheduling. Learn more about the online course for the Level 3 Award.