Taking the WSET Intermediate Exam


It’s over. The six-week WSET Intermediate class I took at Capital Wine School concluded tonight with the promised 50-question-multiple-choice test. I was very prepared. I took my time going through the questions, and then I went through the entire exam a second time. Yet, I was still one of the first students to finish (I think I may have been the 4th or 5th one done). The practice tests were only slightly easier than the difficulty of the real thing. The trick with this course and exam: There’s a lot of information to know. Of the 50 questions, there were about a handful I wasn’t confident about. At least three I looked up when I got home, and I now know I got them wrong. But I’m not kicking myself. They were items that I didn’t focus on enough. Funny thing is, some of the items I fretted over were no where to be found on the exam. So be it.

So what now? Results come out in about two weeks, I think. I should feel relieved, but I’m sad. I thoroughly enjoyed each class. Studying wasn’t the boring, frustrating task it was in my high school and college days. I loved reading new chapters, and conquering the practice questions. I loved learning about grape varieties and parts of the world that hadn’t yet crossed my path. And I have a new joy seeing wine labels in a wine shop or while reading a wine list – it’s like I’ve finally cracked a code, or rather, the language of wine.

I knew one of my weaknesses going into this class was communicating effectively about the taste of a wine. And while I still have a way to go, I’m not disappointed that I didn’t conquer it. To really resolve that, it means tasting more wine and trying new foods so I can correctly identify flavors. That doesn’t seem like such a bad problem to have.


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