So, just an hour ago i got the results of my WSET 3 exam, i which i passed the theoretical part, but failed the tasting part. I am a theoretical person, so this actually made me kinda happy, although i didnt pass.
Now i'm seeking advice on how to approach the tasting again, so that i can pass. I know that it is a more descriptive approach than what i'm used to. I really had to focus in order to put in descriptive sentences instead of a punctual format.
I try to drink a glass of wine everyday, and instead of just enjoying it, i try to analyze it the best i've learned. I don't focus as much on the grape, as to all the components as acid, body, flavour, smell, alcohol level, tannins etc.
What helped you pass this?
I just passed level 3 even though tasting was the one area I didn't receive distinction on so take my comments with a grain of salt.
As everyone as driven home know the SAT by heart. That's a given. Also I find it helps to memorize the lexicon as well of all descriptors though it's not required. The reason is for a undeveloped nose like mine it helped me to quickly run down fruits, flowers, herbs, spices, etc and focus on if something was there or wasn't. I don't have the nose yet to instantly pickup as many obvious markers but I found it's great when cluing in on wines that give structural or color clues (for example I don't get floral unless I focus on smelling specifically for rose, violet, lavender, blossom, etc and seeing if there's any there) That said, what actually helped me the most was remembering to break it down on structure. Think low / high (skip medium + and - at first) which will get you through quicker and more confidently. Acid low or high? Boom. Alcohol low or high? Boom. If it's truly medium amen, go with medium. Next component. AT the end come back and revisit any mediums to see if they truly lean medium + or medium -. It'll build your speed and trust of your gut.
Lastly, digging into the workbook chapter on the SAT was crucial for calibrating to me. Obviously you can't calibrate acidity or alcohol from reading but the textbook has incredible markers for color, concentration, length, balance, complexity, development etc. a lil cheat sheet I made for it here
would you also send me a copy? I am in the same boat and retaking in a month.
Hey Michael - same thing happened to me. Passed theory on my first go with merit, but failed tasting. I did some 1:1 tutoring with one of the teachers at my wine school and nailed tasting the second time around, passing with distinction. A lot of the techniques for tasting were super useful and I'd be happy to share with you via email.
I would love that. Royjay at me dot com. Thanks!
Hi Jennifer, same thing happened to me. I am currently practicing for the tasting but I do not have any tutoring or tasting group. Would you be able to share your useful techniques please. Thanks!!
Your post the most valuable tool I’ve ever seen for blind tasting... I sit for unit 3 in June —- Thank you! AJ