Cocktail Culture - IWEG News and Events Sep. 17, 2020

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IWEG and Vinequity Partner on Scholarship Initiative

Increasing access to wine education

Vinequity aims to ensure that people who identify as Black, Indigenous or People of Colour (including BIPOC people who identify as LGBTQ+ or are living with a disability) who work in all aspects of the wine industry are given equitable treatment and opportunities to access, grow and thrive as visible leaders in the Canadian Wine Industry.

IWEG is proud to partner with Vinequity as the national provider of Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) and Wine Scholar Guild (WSG) certification programs for their scholarship recipients. To maximize access to learning opportunities, IWEG will contribute 50 percent of the WSET and WSG course costs for every Vinequity scholarship recipient.

Learn more about Vinequity and this scholarship initiative. 


Spanish Wine Scholar 

Special enrollment offer at $995 (regular price $1,100)

The Spanish Wine Scholar provides current, accurate and in-depth information on the wines and wine regions of Spain. Developed and administered by the Wine Scholar Guild (WSG), the course is aimed at advanced students of wine whether professionals or serious wine hobbyists. The course will taught by IWEG's Spanish wine specialists and WSG approved instructors Kim Berdusco DipWSET and Caitlin Ferguson DipWSET.

The Spanish Wine Scholar provides detailed coverage of Spanish wine regions, as well as an introduction to Spanish history, geography, viticulture and winemaking. You will:

  • Develop specialist knowledge of the DO / DOCa regions in seven sessions involving: Green Spain; The Duero River Valley; La Rioja; The Ebro River Valley / Central Mediterranean Coast; Cataluña; La Meseta / Islands and Andalucia
  • Appreciate the cultural context of Spanish wine
  • Consider the vineyard and winery factors that contribute to wine styles
  • Taste a curated range of Spanish wines specially prepared for this course by IWEG WSG authorized instructors

The fall course comprises of seven interactive theory classes delivered remotely via the video conferencing platform Zoom on Thursdays, October 1st to November 12th from 6:30PM - 8PM. An in-person experiential tasting workshop will take place at IWEG on Thursday, November 19th from 6:30PM - 8:30PM followed by an in-person exam on Thursday, November 26. 

Sign up now!


WSET Level 2 Award in Wines

Meet the instructors, Karen LaVigne and Carrie Rau

WSET Level 2 Award in Wines is a beginner to intermediate level qualification exploring wines for those working in the industry, looking to join the industry or for wine enthusiasts. The October blended learning course will be taught by Karen LaVigne DipWSET and Carrie Rau DipWSET.

The course comprises of five remote (via Zoom) theory classes and three in-person tasting workshops. The final exam will offered remotely via WSET's Remote Invigilation Services.

Karen LaVigne DipWSET is a WSET Certified Instructor at IWEG for over 10 years and the Lead Instructor for the WSET Level 1 Award in Wines Foundation Program, an interactive and comprehensive introduction into wine and food pairing concepts.  After a successful career in the private and public sector, she pursued her passion for quality wines, spirits and specialty foods through certified sommelier courses and completing the various levels of WSET courses up to and including the Level 4 Diploma. She passed the Italian Wine Scholar certificate with Highest Honours. Learn more about Karen.Carrie Rau DipWSET is a Toronto-based food and wine professional. She is a graduate of the Stratford Chef’s School 04’ culinary program and red seal certified freelance chef. Carrie moved to Toronto in 2010 after working in some notable kitchens in her hometown of Stratford, ON and joined the ever-evolving hospitality scene where she discovered the wine community and fell in love! She has 17 years of professional cooking experience in restaurants, culinary teaching, culinary management and freelance work in research and recipe development. Learn more about Carrie.Sign up now!


Wine Scholar Challenge

Grand Prize a 2021 Wine Scholar Guild wine study immersion trip

Thursday, September 24th @ 7PM EST via Zoom

This competition is open to all IWEG students and alumni; you do not have to be a Wine Scholar Guild student to participate. IWEG instructors are not eligible to compete.

In celebration of its 15th anniversary, the Wine Scholar Guild and its network of program providers in over 30 countries will invite students of wine to compete in local "options game" competitions for fun, prizes and a chance to qualify for the global finale!

IWEG's three local winners will receive a one-year Wine Scholar Guild membership and move on to compete in the global options game finale on Thursday, October 29th @ 10AM EST. The final global winner will receive a 2021 wine study immersion trip of their choice to France, Italy or Spain (Airfare is not included. Trip value is approximately $4,000 USD depending on the destination).

Learn how to register and participate in this competition.

Sign up now!


Femmes du Vin Harvest Seminars

10-part virtual seminar series with international moderators and panellists

This season’s seminar series will be held on Mondays, September 28th through to November 2nd with morning sessions starting at 12pm ET and afternoon sessions kicking off at 2pm ET. Seminar tickets are pay-what-you-can, with a suggested donation of $10/seminar or sign up for all 10 with the $75 FDV all access pass! All donations go towards the Femmes du Vin Inclusivity Scholarships, supporting all women in wine! Sign up for a seminar now. 


Christina Veira on Drinks International’s 2020 Bar World 100

The industry's most influential figures 

Shout out to our WSET Certified Spirits Educator Christina Veira for making Drinks International's 2020 Bar World 100 list. Read the full list of the industry's most influential figures here

Christina will be teaching our fall WSET Level 2 Award in Spirits in a blended learning format:

  • Five 2-hour synchronous online sessions (live and recorded) on the Zoom platform on Monday, October 19th - November 23rd @ 2:30PM - 4:30PM
  • In-class tasting and exam preparation workshops at IWEG on Monday, November 9th and 30th @ 6:30PM - 8:30PM
  • Remote invigilation exam in December

Sign up now!


WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines 

Last chance to join the online Diploma class!

This year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the online WSET Diploma program will begin in October and a condensed in-class WSET Diploma program is planned for January. 

If you are interested in the WSET Diploma program and would like to learn more, we would be happy answer your questions. Please email Krystenne MacMullin at krystenne@iweg.org


Fall Courses

Mix of Remote and In-Person Delivery

WSET Level 2 Award in Wines


Date: Saturdays, October 17th - December 5th @ 9:30AM - 11:30AM
Register Now!

WSET Level 2 Award in Spirits

Date: Monday, October 19th - November 23rd @ 2:30PM - 4:30PM
Register Now!

WSET Level 3 Award in Sake

Date: Mondays, November 2nd - 23rd @ 10:30AM - 1:30PM
Register Now!

Spanish Wine Scholar 

Date: Thursdays, October 1st - November 19th @ 6:30PM to 8PM
Register Now!

Italian Wine Scholar: Unit 2

Date: Thursdays, November 5 - December 17th @ 6:30PM to 8PM
Register Now!

Online Learning

WSET Level 1 Award in Wines


Date: Monday, November 9th - Sunday, December 6th
Register Now!

WSET Level 1 Award in Spirits

Date: Monday, November 9th - Sunday, December 6th
Register Now!

WSET Level 1 Award in Sake

Date: Monday, November 9th - Sunday, December 6th
Register Now!

WSET Level 2 Award in Wines

Date: Monday, September 28th - Sunday, November 1st
Register Now!

Date: Monday, October 19th - Sunday, November 22nd
Register Now!

WSET Level 2 Award in Spirits

Date: Monday, September 28th - Sunday, November 1st
Register Now!

Date: Monday, November 16th - Sunday, December 20th
Register Now!

WSET Level 3 Award in Wines

Date: Monday, October 12th - Sunday, December 13th
Register Now!

Date: Monday, November 9th - Sunday, January 17th
Register Now!

All WSET textbooks and study guides will be in an eBook format during the 2020-21 academic year.