Have you ever struggled with wine menus in restaurants, or made a bad choice of wine for a meal (we’ve all been there …)? Or maybe you’re looking to take your knowledge of wine to the next level? Then read on …

I recently attended a tasting event at The Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) School in London, the largest global provider of wine and spirits qualifications which offers beginner to expert courses in wine, spirits and sake through Approved Programme Providers across the world for enthusiasts and professionals. Their flagship, WSET School located on Bermondsey Street, offers a full suite of courses, from one day Level 1 Awards in Wine, Spirits or Sake to the expert Level 4 Diploma. They also host regular tasting events and introductory sessions for people looking to learn a little more about wine but aren’t quite ready to commit to a course.

I tried out the food and wine pairing, which is a great introductory session for beginners. Six samples were laid out in front of us to taste throughout the session, accompanied by a platter of sweet and savoury food samples. We began by identifying the key elements of wine such as the sugar content/sweetness, acidity, tannins, flavour intensity.  The first was a sparkling Cremant De Limoux, followed by a couple of white wines: Domaine Bruno Sorg Gewurztraminer 2016 & Chateau Brown 2013). We then progressed onto the red wines: Domaine de Gry Sablon Beaujolais-Villages 2016, and a deep ruby red Bramare Vina Cobos Lujan de Cuyo Malbec (I do love a Malbec …), before finishing off with a sweet Noval 10 Yr Old Tawny Port.

After tasting each wine, we started pairing them with the different food samples and discovering how they impacted the flavours of the wines. The session was nicely broken down to the basics that was educational and easy to grasp. It thought us how to look beyond the core ingredient of a dish and to instead use a dish’s flavour profile (e.g. acid, salt, sweetness, heat) to select a the perfect wine for pairing.

Overall, it was a great introductory and practical session, presented in a friendly and unpretentious environment, where you will learn how the main flavours in food impacts the perception of different types of wine – definitely a handy skill to learn for the next time you’re looking through a wine list or picking up a bottle from your local wine shop.

WSET courses are available in 19 languages through over 700 Approved Programme Providers in 70 countries, and are open both to industry professionals and interested enthusiasts.

For more information about WSET courses, or to find an Approved Programme Provider near you, visit

Or to view the schedule of upcoming tasting events at WSET School London, visit


* I was invited as a guest to review


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