What Worked? What Should I Have Done Differently?
I spent the weekend at Bodegas Muga in Haro (La Rioja, Spain) doing the WSET Level 2 Award in Wines. It was an intense, wine-filled weekend. I can confidently say that I learned a lot! While I won’t know how I did on the exam until after Christmas, I did want to share a few thoughts about what helped me study and what I wish I had done differently.
What Worked: Class
I really enjoy online classes. I don’t have to leave my house. I don’t have to find someone to take care of my kid. I can take a course with a teacher in another country. Studying online works really well for me at this point in my life.
I am glad I did WSET 2 in person. Being able to sample the wines you study really does help you learn the content. It was also nice to be part of an in-person course with folks from different fields, regions, and even countries for the first time since 2020. If you’re looking for WSET classes in Spain, I recommend working with Jeni and the team at https://vinclass.com/
What Worked: Podcasts
The UK Wine Show has a great playlist on Spotify with all of their episodes that cover WSET Level 2 content. Take advantage of your daily commute! At just twenty minutes an episode, I found that the podcast was a great complement to the book. I wish I had found it sooner!
What Worked: Flashcards
I’ve never been the type of person who can just read a book, take notes, and retain the information. I need to study. Lots! Thankfully, someone mentioned the Brainscape Certified Class for WSET 2. This course is designed to complement the WSET 2 curriculum. It follows the book quite well. The only drawback is that the flashcards do not give you multiple choice options like the exam does. However, that forces you to really learn the content, and not just guess which answer is correct. The Brainscape app makes studying anywhere effortless. I purchased a one-month subscription in order to access the content. I’m glad I did!
What Should I Have Done Differently?
I have two regrets:
1- I should have started to study earlier. The content on wine regions and wines of the world is no joke, and you need to dedicate quite some time to learning which wine is made where, and the characteristics of each region. Life got in the way, and I wasn’t able to dedicate enough time to this part of the course content. I regret that. I should have started studying a month or two before the course.
2- I should have used the materials I have at home. Both the Wine Folly Magnum Edition: The Master Guide and Amble Wine’s Explore/Practice Wine Maps would have been a huge help.
If you’re not familiar with Amble Wine, do take a minute to check out what they offer. Their Explore Wine Maps: World Edition books are far more thorough than I needed for the WSET 2, but they would have been a great way to study. Remembering the location of each wine region was one of the most difficult tasks for me!
Are you taking an exam soon? Best of luck with your wine studies!