Wine & Spirit Education Trust39–45 Bermondsey Street, London SE1 3XFemail: [email protected]: www.WSETglobal.com Wine & Spirit Education Trust 2014All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form orby any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or any informationstorage or retrieval system, without the prior permission in writing from the publishers.COVER PICTURESBackground: Victoria ClareTop: Michael BuriakMiddle: Antony MossBottom: The Dalmore DistilleryDesigned by Peter DoltonProduction services by Wayment Print & Publishing Solutions Ltd
CONTENTSContentsIntroduction3The Wine & Spirit Education Trust’s Qualifications4Introduction to WSET Level 2 Award in Wines and Spirits6Elements of the WSET Level 2 Award in Wines and Spirits7WSET Level 2 Systematic Approach to Tasting Wine 16Recommended Tasting Samples17Examination Guidance19Sample Examination Questions21Examination Regulations221
INTRODUCTIONIntroductionThis specification contains necessary information for both candidates and Approved ProgrammeProviders (APPs) about the WSET Level 2 Award in Wines and Spirits.The main part of the document is a detailed statement of the learning outcome and elements of theWSET Level 2 Award in Wines and Spirits. These should be used by APPs to prepare programmes oflearning, and by candidates to plan their studies, because the examination is specifically set to test them.The specification also provides a list of recommended tasting samples, guidance concerning theexamination (including syllabus weighting and sample examination questions) and the examinationregulations.3
4WSET LEVEL 2 AWARD IN WINES AND SPIRITS: SPECIFICATIONThe Wine & Spirit Education Trust’s QualificationsWSET AwardsWSET Awards is the qualifications division of the Wine & Spirit Education Trust, which provides qualityassured qualifications that help people to know more about alcoholic beverages and to develop theirtasting skills. This is done by: liaising with the drinks industry to set suitable specifications approving programme providers to offer our qualifications setting examinations issuing certificates to successful candidates.The development and awarding of WSET accredited qualifications is the sole responsibility of WSET Awards, the Awarding Body of The Wine & Spirit Education Trust.Qualification and Credit FrameworkThe UK Government has established a regulatory authority, the Office of the Qualifications andExaminations Regulator (OfQual), which regulates Awarding organisations that offer qualifications onthe Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF). Some WSET qualifications are included in the QCF aslisted below.Full Title: The WSET Level 1 Award in Wines (QCF)QCF Level 1 Accreditation number 600/1504/4Description: This qualification provides a basic introduction to the main styles of wines available tofront-line staff involved in the service or sale of wine. The qualification aims to provide thebasic product knowledge and skills in the storage and service of wines required to preparea person for their first job in wine hospitality or retail.Full Title: The WSET Level 1 Award in Wine ServiceDescription: This qualification builds on the knowledge and skills taught in the Level 1 Award in Wines,and shows how these can be used in a restaurant workplace. It is ideal for anyone who needsto gain basic skills in wine service, including those wishing to make their first steps into acareer as a sommelier.Full Title: The WSET Level 1 Award in Spirits (QCF)QCF Level 1 Accreditation number 600/1501/9Description: This qualification provides a basic introduction to the main categories of spirits available tofront-line staff involved in the service or sale of spirits. The qualification aims to providebasic product knowledge to prepare a person for a role in hospitality or the spirits industry.Full Title: The WSET Level 2 Award in Spirits (QCF)QCF Level: 2 Accreditation number 600/1507/XDescription: This qualification offers a greater breadth and depth of knowledge in the specific area ofspirits and liqueurs than that offered by the broader-based Level 2 Award in Wines andSpirits. This qualification offers focused coverage of all product categories in the field ofspirits, and end-use of the identified products together with the theory of tastingtechnique.Full Title: The WSET Level 2 Award in Wines and Spirits (QCF)QCF Level 2 Accreditation number 600/1508/1Description: This qualification offers broad coverage of all product categories in the field of alcoholicdrinks, together with the theory of tasting technique. It is suitable for those with littleprevious experience.
THE WINE & SPIRIT EDUCATION TRUST’S QUALIFICATIONSFull Title: The WSET International Higher Certificate in Wines and SpiritsDescription: The International Higher Certificate gives more comprehensive coverage of the wines andspirits of the world, with an increased focus on tasting technique.Full Title: The WSET Level 3 Award in Wines and Spirits (QCF)QCF Level 3 Accreditation number 600/1511/1Description: The Level 3 Award in Wines and Spirits gives more comprehensive coverage of the winesand spirits of the world, with an increased focus on tasting technique.Full Title: The WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines and SpiritsDescription: This is a specialist qualification where detailed knowledge is combined with commercialfactors and a thorough system for the professional evaluation of wines and spirits. TheDiploma is recommended by the Institute of Masters of Wine for candidates wishing topursue membership.BS EN ISO 9001: 2008WSET Awards operates a Quality Management System that complies with the requirements of BS EN ISO9001:2008 for the management of awards for qualifications and examinations in the product knowledgeand tasting competence of alcoholic beverages.How to Prepare for a WSET QualificationWSET qualifications can only be offered by organisations approved by WSET Awards, known asApproved Programme Providers (APPs), and candidates wishing to study for a WSET qualification mustenrol with an APP. The candidate’s relationship is with their APP and the APP is responsible for thedelivery of the course and administering the examination, which is set by WSET Awards.Group study with an APP is the best way of learning how to taste, but some APPs also preparecandidates for our examinations by distance learning.A list of Approved Programme Providers (APPs) is published on the WSET websitewww.WSETglobal.com. Please contact the APP directly to find out about their programmes.If you are interested in becoming an APP please contact the APP Administration Team,[email protected] and Equality PolicyWSET Awards fully supports the principle of diversity and equality and is responsible for ensuring that allcandidates for its qualifications are treated fairly and on an equal basis. A copy of our diversity andequality policy can be obtained from the APP Administration Team, [email protected] Service StatementThe quality and scope of service that customers can expect from WSET Awards is published in our CustomerService Statement. A copy can be obtained from the APP Administration Team, [email protected] the unlikely event of any dissatisfaction with the service received, please contact the registered APPin the first instance. If the issue is not resolved please contact the APP Administration Team,[email protected] SchemeScholarships are awarded for each academic year, which runs from 1 August to 31 July. Candidates whoachieve outstanding marks in their examinations may be eligible for a scholarship. The scholarships aremanaged by WSET Awards, and eligible candidates will be contacted by WSET Awards after the end ofeach academic year once all the results for qualifying examinations have been collated.There are many scholarships on offer; please go to the scholarships page on the WSET website formore details, ase note that these scholarships do not take the form of financial grants to fund studies, but are inrecognition of examination performance.5
6WSET LEVEL 2 AWARD IN WINES AND SPIRITS: SPECIFICATIONIntroduction to WSET Level 2 Award in Wines and SpiritsQualification AimsThe WSET Level 2 Award in Wines and Spirits is intended for those who have little or no previousknowledge of the broad range of wines and spirits. It is suitable wherever a sound but simple level ofproduct knowledge is required to underpin job skills and competencies for example, in the customerservice and sales functions of the hospitality, retailing and wholesaling industries. It is also useful forthose who have a general interest in the subject.Successful candidates will be able to interpret the labels of the major wines and spirits of the world andgive basic guidance on appropriate selection and service, as well as understand the principles of winetasting and evaluation.Qualification StructureIn order to meet the qualification aims there is one learning outcome.Learning OutcomeIdentify the key influences on wine types and styles; identify and describe the characteristics of identifiedstill, sparkling and fortified wines; state how to store, select and serve still, sparkling and fortified wines;identify the key methods of production for international spirits and describe the styles of identified spirits.Element 1: Demonstrate a basic understanding of the factors that influence wine style.Element 2: Describe the characteristics of the principal grape varieties used in still wine production andthe style and quality of wines produced from these grapes in the key wine producingcountries and regions of the world.Element 3: Describe the style and quality of both still wines made from regionally important grapevarieties and other regionally important named wines made in the key wine producingcountries of the world.Element 4: Outline the methods used in the production of sparkling wines and describe the style ofthese wines produced in the key wine producing countries of the world.Element 5: Outline the methods used in the production of sweet and fortified wines and describe thestyle of these wines produced in the key wine producing countries of the world.Element 6: Outline the key principles and methods used in the production of the principal categories ofinternational spirits and describe the styles of the spirits produced.Element 7: Demonstrate an understanding of the process and principles involved in the storage,selection and service of wine.EnrolmentThere are no restrictions on entry to the WSET Level 2 Award in Wines and Spirits. Candidates who are underthe legal minimum age for the retail purchase of alcoholic beverages in the country where the examinationis being held will not be allowed to sample any alcoholic beverage as part of their course, but this is not abarrier to successfully completing the qualification. Similarly, candidates who choose not to taste alcohol forhealth, religious or other reasons will not find this a barrier to successfully completing the qualification.Guided Learning HoursIt is recommended that a candidate should allocate a minimum of 28 hours of study in order to preparesuccessfully for the WSET Level 2 Award in Wines and Spirits. The hours will usually be a combination oftaught and private study time. It is recommended that the teaching delivery time be no less than 16 hours.Recommended Progression RoutesThe WSET Level 2 Award in Wines and Spirits, or an equivalent level of experience, is recommended forentry to the WSET Level 3 Award in Wines and Spirits programme.
ELEMENTS OF THE WSET LEVEL 2 AWARD IN WINES AND SPIRITSElements of the WSET Level 2 Award in Wines and SpiritsELEMENT 1Demonstrate a basic understanding of the factors that influence wine style.Assessment Criteria1. Define the conditions needed for the vine to produce healthy grapes.2. Describe the impact of the growing environment on the grapes.3. Outline the vineyard activities undertaken to produce healthy grapes.4. Outline the winemaking processes used for identified wine types and describe their effect on wine style.5. Outline the maturation processes used for identified wine types and describe their effect on wine style.RangesRange 1: ConditionsConditionsWarmth, sunlight, nutrients, waterRange 2: Growing environmentClimateHot, moderate, coolWeatherVintage variationSoils and slopesDrainage, nutrients, water, aspectRange 3: Vineyard activitiesVineyard activitiesPruning, yields, pests and diseases, harvestRange 4: WinemakingProcessesCrushing, pressing, fermentation, types of vessels, temperaturesStylesRed, rosé, whiteRange 5: MaturationMaturationTypes of vessels, effect of oxygen7
8WSET LEVEL 2 AWARD IN WINES AND SPIRITS: SPECIFICATIONELEMENT 2Describe the characteristics of the principal grape varieties used in still wine production and the style andquality of wines produced from these grapes in the key wine producing countries and regions of the world.Assessment Criteria1. Describe the characteristics of the principal grape varieties.2. Describe the effect of climate and, where relevant, winery influences on the style and quality of stillwine produced from the principal grape varieties.3. Identify key wine producing countries and regions of the world for the production of still wineproduced from the principal grape varieties. Describe the styles and qualities of these wines using theWSET Level 2 Systematic Approach to Tasting Wine .4. Define the meaning of regionally important and other labelling terms that are commonly used toindicate the style and quality of still wines produced from the principal grape varieties.RangesRange 1: Principal grape varietiesWhiteChardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, RieslingBlackPinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah/Shiraz, Grenache/GarnachaRange 2: Climatic and winery influencesClimateHot, moderate, coolWinery(where relevant)Malolactic fermentation, lees, oak, maturationRange 3: Most important countries and traliaNew ZealandSouth AfricaBurgundy: Bourgogne, Chablis, Puligny-Montrachet, Meursault,Mâcon, Pouilly-FuisséCalifornia: Sonoma, CarnerosMendozaCasablanca ValleyYarra Valley, Adelaide Hills, Margaret RiverMarlboroughWalker BayBulk/inexpensivePays d’Oc, Southern Italy, California, Argentina, Central Valley (Chile), South EasternAustralia, Western CapeBlendsChardonnay Semillon, Chardonnay local varietiesSAUVIGNON BLANCPremiumFranceUSAChileNew ZealandSouth AfricaLoire: Sancerre, Pouilly-FuméBordeaux: Bordeaux BlancCalifornia: Napa ValleyCasablanca ValleyMarlboroughElgin, ConstantiaBulk/inexpensivePays d’Oc, Val de Loire, California, Central Valley (Chile)BlendsSauvignon Semilloncontinued opposite
ELEMENTS OF THE WSET LEVEL 2 AWARD IN WINES AND aBulk/inexpensiveGermanyPINOT NOIRPremiumFranceGermanyUSAChileAustraliaNew ZealandSouth AfricaBulk/inexpensiveAlsaceMosel, Rheingau, PfalzClare Valley, Eden ValleyBurgundy: Bourgogne, Gevrey-Chambertin, Nuits-Saint-Georges,Beaune, PommardPfalz, BadenCalifornia: Sonoma, Carneros, Santa Barbara CountyOregonCasablanca ValleyYarra Valley, Mornington PeninsulaMarlborough, Central OtagoWalker BayChileCABERNET SAUVIGNON AND MERLOTPremiumFranceBordeaux: Médoc, Haut-Médoc, Pauillac, Margaux, Graves,Pessac-Léognan, Saint-Émilion, Pomerol, BordeauxUSACalifornia: Napa Valley, Oakville, Rutherford, Alexander ValleyArgentinaMendozaChileMaipo Valley, Colchagua Valley, Cachapoal ValleyAustraliaMargaret River, CoonawarraNew ZealandHawke’s BaySouth AfricaStellenboschBulk/inexpensivePays d’Oc, California, Central Valley (Chile), Mendoza, South Eastern Australia,Western Cape, Northern ItalyBlendsCabernet Merlot, Cabernet ShirazSYRAH/SHIRAZ AND GRENACHE/GARNACHAPremiumFranceNorthern Rhône: Crozes-Hermitage, Hermitage, Côte-RôtieSouthern Rhône: Côtes du Rhône, Côtes du Rhône Villages ( name),Châteauneuf-du-PapeLanguedoc-Roussillon: MinervoisSpainRioja, Navarra, PrioratAustraliaBarossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Hunter ValleyBulk/inexpensiveSouth Eastern Australia, Côtes du Rhône, Languedoc, Pays d’Oc, SpainBlendsGrenache Shiraz, Shiraz Cabernet, Grenache local varieites, Shiraz/Syrah local varietiesRange 4: Common labelling terms indicating style or qualityFranceGermanySpainUSAGeneralAppellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC), IGP, Vin de Pays (VdP)General: Rouge, rosé, blanc, sec, demi-sec, moelleux, douxBurgundy: Premier Cru, Grand CruBordeaux: Supérieur, Grand Vin, Cru Bourgeois, Grand Cru ClasséAlsace: Grand CruQualitätswein, Prädikatswein, Trocken, Halbtrocken, Kabinett, Spätlese, AusleseDOCa, DO, Vino de la Tierra, tinto, rosado, blanco, seco, Joven, Crianza, Reserva, Gran ReservaFumé Blanccuvée, oaked/unoaked, barrel/barrique-fermented/aged, organic, unfined/unfiltered,vieilles vignes/old vines, vintage, alcohol content9
10WSET LEVEL 2 AWARD IN WINES AND SPIRITS: SPECIFICATIONELEMENT 3Describe the style and quality of both still wines made from regionally important grape varieties andother regionally important named wines made in the key wine producing countries of the world.Assessment Criteria1. Identify the regionally important grape varieties used in the key wine producing countries of theworld and describe the style and quality of the still wines made from these grapes.2. Identify the regionally important named wines in the key wine producing countries of the world anddescribe the style and quality of these wines using the WSET Level 2 Systematic Approach to Tasting Wine .3. Define the meaning of regionally important and other labelling terms that are commonly used toindicate the quality and style of regionally important still wines.RangesRanges 1 & 2: Regionally important grape varieties and named winesFRANCEGrape varietiesNamed winesITALYGrape varietiesNamed winesSPAINGrape varietiesWhite: Chenin Blanc, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, ViognierBlack: GamayLoire: Muscadet, VouvrayAlsaceBeaujolais: Beaujolais, Beaujolais Villages, FleurieWhite: Pinot Grigio, Trebbiano, VerdicchioBlack: Nebbiolo, Barbera, Sangiovese, Montepulciano, Primitivo, AglianicoPiemonte: Barolo, Barbaresco, GaviVeneto: Valpolicella, SoaveTuscany: Chianti, Brunello di MontalcinoWhite: AlbariñoBlack: TempranilloNamed winesRías Baixas, Rioja, Ribera del Duero, CatalunyaPORTUGALNamed WineDouroUSAGrape varietiesBlack: ZinfandelARGENTINAGrape varietiesWhite: TorrontésBlack: MalbecNamed winesCafayate, MendozaCHILEGrape varietyBlack: CarmenèreAUSTRALIAGrape varietiesWhite: SemillonNamed WineHunter ValleySOUTH AFRICAGrape varietiesWhite: Chenin BlancBlack: Pinotage
ELEMENTS OF THE WSET LEVEL 2 AWARD IN WINES AND SPIRITSRange 3: Common labelling terms indicating style or qualityFranceAppellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC), IGP, Vin de Pays (VdP)General: Rouge, rosé, blanc, sec, demi-sec, moelleux, douxBeaujolais: NouveauLoire: Sur LieAlsace: Grand CruItalyDOCG, DOC, IGT, rosato, rosso, bianco, secco, Classico, Riserva, AmaroneSpainDOCa, DO, Vino de la Tierra, tinto, rosado, blanco, seco, Joven, Crianza,Reserva, Gran ReservaUSAFumé BlancGeneralcuvée, oaked/unoaked, barrel/barrique-fermented/aged, organicunfined/unfiltered, vieilles vignes/old vines, vintage, alcohol content11
12WSET LEVEL 2 AWARD IN WINES AND SPIRITS: SPECIFICATIONELEMENT 4Outline the methods used in the production of sparkling wines and describe the style of these winesproduced in the key wine producing countries of the world.Assessment Criteria1. Outline the important methods of production used to produce sparkling wines.2. Identify the most important countries and regions for the production of sparkling wines and, whererelevant, the grape varieties used. Describe the style of these wines using the WSET Level 2 SystematicApproach to Tasting Wine .3. Define the meaning of regionally important and other