Have You the Right Nose for the Job? If You Want to Start a Career in Hospitality, Run Your Own Business or Get Ahead in Retail or the Trade, the Wine & Spirit Education Trust Provides a Globally Recognised Education and Qualifications

The Evening Standard (London, England), August 16, 2016 | Go to article overview

Have You the Right Nose for the Job? If You Want to Start a Career in Hospitality, Run Your Own Business or Get Ahead in Retail or the Trade, the Wine & Spirit Education Trust Provides a Globally Recognised Education and Qualifications


Byline: Niki Chesworth

IF YOU have ever wondered how those celebrity wine experts learned to appreciate the finest vintages, then look no further than the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET).

In the academic year that has just finished, more than 72,000 candidates globally sat one of the WSET exams with more than 16,000 of them in the UK.

Although some are simply pursuing a passion for their own personal pleasure, the roots of WSET is in training those who work in the sector, and the fact that thousands of enthusiasts and students embark on its courses each year shows just how much of a gold standard WSET has become.

One of the most famous wine experts in the UK, Jancis Robinson MW, OBE, who you have probably seen on TV, was an early student and currently writes a weekly column for the Financial Times.

"Thanks to the Wine & Spirit Education Trust my education in wine at least started out in a miraculously methodical manner and gave me a sure foundation in this wonderful world of wine," she says.

Award-winning wine writer Tim Atkin MW, who tours the country giving tastings with the Three Wine Men (also featuring Oz Clarke and Olly Smith), achieved WSET qualifications and says it is "the best place to start and continue your professional appreciation of wine".

The aforementioned Smith, who regularly appears on BBC1's Saturday Kitchen and ITV's This Morning, holds a WSET Level 3 Award in Wines and Spirits.

Of course, not all WSET alumni are celebrities. Starting with a one-day Level 1 Award in Wines, the courses are highly accessible and are a great addition to the CV of anyone wanting to start a career in wine or hospitality.

Those already working in the sector also use WSET's suite of globally recognised qualifications to enhance their skills and open doors.

"I have more confidence when recommending wine to customers," says one alumnus.

Many have gone on to win awards attesting to the quality of a WSET education.

Terry Kandylis, head sommelier at 67 Pall Mall, who has a WSET diploma, recently won the Moet UK Sommelier of the Year 2016 title after beating 11 other hopefuls in a keenly contested final at the Mandarin Oriental hotel, while Julie Dupouy, another diploma holder, has just taken bronze in this year's prestigious World Sommelier competition.

Many employers send staff on WSET courses to further enhance their knowledge, including the Hotel du Vin whose founder, Gerard Basset MW MS OBE, is another with a WSET diploma. …

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