How to prepare (and study!) for the WSET Level 3 Award in wines practice exam

Six glasses of different red wines, for a tasting

If you somehow landed here and missed part 1, here’s the link so you know how I would approach studying for the theory exam.

My one-sentence advice would be: maximise your chances… and now I’ll explain why.

The practice exam consists in blind tasting two wines, and describing them using the WSET’s SAT method.

At this level, you are NOT meant to identify which wine is it or which grapes was it made with. You’re just meant to describe it in terms of flavours, aromas and other variables such as levels of sweetness or acidity.

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How to study for the WSET Level 3 Award in wine (part 1: theory exam)

WSET London school class room - tables and chairs looking towards a big screen

(Following from my triumphal I finished the course post…)

I thought it could be interesting to document what I did to study for future reference. If I don’t pass, maybe it’ll help me fix what I did wrong. If I do pass the exam, maybe it helps someone else!

Please be reminded that I am not an official educator and so maybe some of what I suggest might be technically wrong. These are my own thoughts and opinions, take my advice with the appropriate caution, etc.

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I finished the WSET Level 3 Award in Wines!

Six different bottles of red wine, labelled with numbers one to six, for a tasting

If you were wondering where have I been and why have things been so quiet lately: it’s been because I was fully committed to the cause of studying for this course.

There’s no other way around this: either you go full-on or you just can’t retain the information 😬

I actually had the exam last Saturday but I have spent the week decompressing.

I still don’t know if I have passed the exam or not—they take a few weeks to come back with the results. So who knows if I will have to go back and re-study everything! 😆🤪

It’s very liberating to just BE DONE with it, but it is also very strange to not be thinking of what lessons I should be studying at every single moment of the day, including while you’re sleeping—I had not dreamed about wine before, but I have had a lot of weird dreams about wines and grapes and production methods during the last months! It sure shows how intense it is.

In the meantime: was it worth it?

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Casa Julio (Fontanars dels Alforins)

Casa Julio in Fontanars, on a very drab day

This was the second birthday surprise for my mum! Lunch at the famous Casa Julio in Fontanars.

The story goes that it was a traditional restaurant, then got an ambitious chef, they did really well, so well they got a Michelin star at some point, then got really stressed about the implications of having the star, and then gave it up and went back to just serving nice food but without the added stress of being in the Michelin guide.

Star or no star, we did want to go both for the first time and also back again—some of us thought we had been there before in one of the pre-star incarnations. But weren’t really sure, as when restaurants are “traditional” it’s sometimes hard to distinguish between them, specially when that visit was many years ago. Had we been there? Did it really matter? No!

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