Fall into Wine - IWEG Monthly Newsletter Oct. 05, 2017

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WSET Level 1 Award in Spirits - NEW!
Date: Thursdays, Oct 12th and 19th @ 6:30PM - 9:30PM
Location: IWEG Drinks Academy
Register Now!

WSET Level 1 Award in Wines
Date: Saturday, Oct 28th 9:30AM - 5:30PM
Location: IWEG Drinks Academy
Register Now!

WSET Level 1 Award in Sake + so much more
Date: Saturday, Nov 25th @ 9:30AM - 5:30PM
Location: IWEG Drinks Academy
Register Now!

WSET Level 2 Award in Wine and Spirits - @ Wine Academy
Date: Tuesdays, Oct 23rd - Nov 28th @ 6:30PM
Location: Wine Academy, 67 Richmond Street West # B101
Register Now!

WSET Level 2 Award in Spirits - NEW!
Date: Wednesdays Oct 25th - Dec 13th  @ 7:00 PM 
Location: IWEG Drinks Academy
Register Now!

WSET Level 3 Award in Sake - CONDENSED
Date: Saturdays and Sundays Nov 4th & 5th, 11th & 12th, and 18th at 9:30AM - 4:30PM
Location: IWEG Drinks Academy
Register Now!

French Wine Scholar 
Date: Mondays, Oct 23 - Nov 20th @ 11:00AM - 3:30PM
Location: IWEG Drinks Academy
Register Now!

The Wines of Portugal Academy Initiation Level 1 - NEW!
Date: Saturday, Nov 25th @ 1:00PM - 5:00PM
Location: IWEG Drinks Academy
Register Now!

Carolyn O'Grady-Gold is the Vice-President of Merchandising at the LCBO. We asked her to share her reasons for becoming a Wine Scholar:

 As someone working in the Beverage Alcohol industry and who is interacting with suppliers from all over the world, it is imperative that I am as educated about their products as I can be.  What I loved about the French Wine Scholar course was the incredible depth of information presented and the ability to focus so keenly on one country of origin.  Having already taken the broader-perspective WSET courses, I have found the Wine Scholar courses to be a natural follow-up, allowing me to gain more insight into one country at a time.  Moving on to the Italian Wine Scholar course was an obvious next step, and I have found it to be equally informative, particularly with such a diverse region with a truly incredible range of grape varieties to learn.  I am excited to continue my education through IWEG as the Wine Scholar Guild continues to evolve and make additional countries of origin available for further study.
French Wine Scholar 
Date: Mondays, Oct 23 - Nov 20th @ 11:00AM - 3:30PM
Location: IWEG Drinks Academy
Register Now!

The French Wine Scholar is an official certification course of study designed by the Wine Scholar Guild to provide current, accurate information on all of the wine regions of France and validate proficiency in the Wines of France. The program has an updated curriculum including a new study manual.  

The French Wine Scholar is developed and administrated by the Wine Scholar Guild with the support of the French Ministry of Agriculture, and the courses are designed to give you the most complete and current understanding of France's fine wines, through visual presentation, and of course tasting a wide range of French wines! 
4 Reasons to Become a French Wine Scholar:
  • Get the whole story on French Wines with information that is relevant today
  • Become more confident at buying and cellaring French wine by understanding what’s on the label and in the bottle
  • Get access to custom-designed maps on all French Wine regions:
           Download a free copy of our proprietary map of Southwest here!
  • Join a vibrant community of thousands of French Wine Scholars who consider this program, the benchmark for French wine education
“FWS offers a different approach than WSET, SWE or Court of Master Sommeliers. It gives a more in-depth look at each French region and gives lots of information that, together with tastings, help paint the whole picture about French wines.” - G. Josovic 

Course Overview
  • 25 hours of instruction with tutored wine tastings conveniently arranged over 6 days
  • Taste 50 different French wines
  • A 280-page, full-color FWS Study Manual
  • Access for 1 full year to the FWS Online Study Program
  • FWS exam registration, multiple choice exam
  • The French Wine Scholar (FWS) credential, certificate and lapel pin upon passing the FWS exam
  • Introduction to France: winemaking, viticulture, history
  • Detailed look at AOC's in these major winemaking regions:  Alsace, Champagne, Jura, Savoie, Burgundy, Loire, Bordeaux, Rhone, Languedoc and Roussillon, Southwest, Provence, Corsica
About the Instructor

After twenty five years in the Information Technology industry, including six years as Chief Information Officer of FedEx Canada, Nancy Reynolds decided to pursue her passion for the wine business. She started Worldwide Cellar, a boutique wine agency, specializing in representing family owned wineries from Spain, France and Australia. Nancy sold WorldWide Cellar in 2012 and continues to pursue her passion for wine as an instructor at the Independent Wine Education Guild (IWEG).

Nancy passed the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (WSET) Diploma with Merit in 2010 and the Wine Scholar Guild’s French Wine Scholar and Italian Wine Scholar with Highest Honours. She was awarded the Drinks Ontario's Brian Kirkwood Memorial Scholarship Award in 2008 for her high mark in Unit 3 of the WSET Diploma program. She is the highest accredited educator for the Wine Scholar Guild; also completing all of their Master’s Level courses. A certified Bordeaux Tutor through the Le Conseil Interprofessionnel du Vin de Bordeaux (CIVB) and a Rhone Accredited Wine Educator through Inter Rhone, Nancy has travelled extensively through wine regions of France and the world.

Still not sure?

Read a complementary excerpt on the wines of Champagne pulled from the French Wine Scholar manual.  Please enter the password preview to access the excerpt.

Access to the FWS E-learning module on the wines of the Alsace for free. Please enter the password preview to access the module.  

French Wine Scholar 
Date: Mondays, Oct 23 - Nov 20th @ 11:00AM - 3:30PM
Location: IWEG Drinks Academy
Register Now!

WSET Level 3 Award in Sake
The only course that will teach you how to taste sake like a pro!

IWEG is pleased to offer the Wine and Spirit Education Trust Level 3 Award in Sake! The course aims to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the world of sake and explore the rich history of Japan’s national beverage.  

This course combines classroom and online study and a tour of the Ontario Spring Water Sake Company.

The course will cover: 
  • Overview of grades and styles 
  • Reading sake labels (including learning some of the most important kanji you will find on a bottle) 
  • In depth instruction of the steps of sake production 
  • Exploration of the key regions of sake production 
  • Proper storage, selection and service of sake 
  • Sake tasting using WSET’s Systematic Approach to Tasting (SAT) designed specifically for this course 
  • Taste between 50 to 60 sakes
  • Tastings will include samples found at the LCBO and an array of sake not readily available outside of Canada 
  • Sake Tasting includes weekly palate calibration to hone proper tasting techniques 
Exam: two parts consisting of a theory and tasting exam.  
Successful students will receive a WSET certificate and pin.  

Become a “Certified WSET Level 3 Award in Sake” graduate and enhance your credentials!
Course Details:
Date: Saturdays and Sundays Nov 4th & 5th, 11th & 12th, and 18th
Time: 9:30AM - 4:30PM
Location: IWEG Drinks Academy
Register Now!

The course curriculum is instructed by Michael Tremblay, IWEG's WSET Certified Sake Instructor and Ontario's first Advanced Sake Professional and Robin Morgan, IWEG's WSET Certified Sake Instructor, Canada's first sake sommelier and an Advanced Sake Professional.

“Interest in Sake continues to grow internationally, and in several of WSET’s largest markets this interest has reached the point where the industry really needs access to high quality training in this fascinating and unique product." - Antony Moss DipWSET, MW, WSET Director of Strategic Planning

IWEG's Education Director and spirits expert Julia Rogers DipWSET shares her insights on why wine enthusiasts and industry professionals should include spirits in their studies:

"Did you know the global spirits market surpasses the wine market in sales and volume, and is growing exponentially faster? More people in more parts of the world are drinking spirits over wine on more occasions and are spending more to do so.

Top beverage companies furthermore typically own both wine and spirit brands. For example, Pernod-Ricard owns Campo Viejo and Jacob’s Creek, along with Beefeater and Jameson.

No student of wine should ignore the importance of spirits, or their appeal as beverages with intriguing history, fascinating production methods, compelling flavours, and multiple contexts for enjoyment. 

I am pleased that we are now offering WSET Level 1 Award in Spirits in an enhanced format with an extended cocktail focus, and WSET Level 2 Award in Spirits (updated curriculum for Fall 2017) with an improved emphasis on cocktails and vermouth.

Both courses involve tasting of iconic samples, active learning, and expert guidance from IWEG’s Certified Spirits Specialists, Certified Educators, and industry guests. Successful course completion leads to an internationally recognized WSET Certification."

WSET Level 1 Award in Spirits
WSET Level 1 Award in Spirits will be led by IWEG's Education Director and spirits expert Julia RogersDipWSET, with an interactive cocktail lesson by Victoria Walsh, co-author of A Field Guide to Canadian Cocktails!

This course is ideal for someone curious about spirits and cocktails, who has little experience and no formal knowledge of the subject.  

Through a tutored tasting of premium spirits and cocktails, and a range of fun and educational activities, you will learn:
  • What to expect from the different spirits categories
  • Key facts about spirit production
  • How to describe the styles and flavours of different spirits
  • What the basic tools, glassware and ingredients are for famous cocktails and mixed drinks
  • How to use basic cocktail theory to develop your own specialty drinks
WSET Level 1 Award in Spirits
Date: Thursdays, Oct 12th and 19th @ 6:30PM - 9:30PM
Location: IWEG Drinks Academy
Register Now!
WSET Level 2 Award in Spirits
The WSET Level 2 Award In Spirits course is acomprehensive training that will develop your expertise in spirits and liqueurs. This qualification is ideal for bartenders and trade employeesworking with a variety of spirits, answering customer queries and making informed selections of spirits in a wide variety of situations.

In 7 weekly sessions, you will:
  • Taste and compare a variety of spirits each week
  • Learn and practice the Systematic Approach to Tasting Spirits
  • Understand production methods and characteristics of spirits and liqueurs
  • Explore key spirits and liqueurs brands
  • Understand the service of spirits and cocktails
WSET Level 2 Award in Spirits - NEW!
Date: Wednesdays Oct 25th - Dec 13th  @ 7:00 PM 
Location: IWEG Drinks Academy
Register Now!

Congratulations to Kamyar Faridanian for his outstanding performance in WSET Level 2 Award in Wines and Spirits. Kamyar is the recipient of a study scholarship from Wines of Argentina to continue studying with the WSET Level 3 Award in Wines at IWEG.

Wines of Argentina
Wines of Argentina is the organization that, since 1993, promotes the Argentine wine brand and image worldwide, spreading knowledge of the winemaking regions of Argentina. In addition, WOFA contributes to direct the country's export strategy by studying and analyzing changing trends in consumer markets. Its aim is to contribute to the consolidation of Argentina as one of the main wine exporting countries in the world and to the global success of the Argentine wine industry by enhancing its positive image in the wine trade, among opinion leaders and consumers. It currently provides services to member wineries from every Argentine wine region and helps them to promote their products around the world. It organizes numerous events such as fairs, trade shows, tastings and other activities in the USA, Canada, Latin America, Asia, Europe and elsewhere.

For more information on Wines of Argentina, visit the website atwww.winesofargentina.org, follow on Instagram and Twitter: @winesofarg orFacebook.com/winesofargentina

Michael Tremblay is instructing the upcoming WSET Level 3 Award in Sake. We asked him some questions about the course:

How many times have you taught WSET Level 3 Award in Sake?

This will be my fourth time.

Why are you excited about the upcoming WSET Level 3 Award in Sake?

First and foremost, it is very exciting to meet new people that share my interest in sake. For whatever reason that students decide to sign up, we all share a common love for sake. Given the length of the course, there is tons of time to get to know one another!  Secondly, with the vast amount of sake available in Ontario these days, its great to be able to arm the students with an in depth knowledge of sake that helps them understand what they are buying and tasting.  The WSET Level 3 Award in Sake is THE most extensive sake education out there, not only covering sake ingredients and how to make it in minute detail, but also exploring a multitude of sakes from all over the world and developing a common language when talking about sake with others.  

What is your favourite segment of the course to teach?

I enjoy teaching all segments since they all harbour some really fascinating facts about sake, but I would say I enjoy teaching about the sake ingredients the most, since the class can explore the different regions of Japan where some of the famous ingredients are from.  Japan has a very unique geography and climate, and connecting this with these ingredients is a lot of fun.

What recent sake-related projects have you worked on?

I recently finished teaching WSET Level 1 Award in Sakefor the second time.  I also was lucky to be invited to judge sake for the International Wine Challenge in London for the third year last April.  Currently, I am working on a sake education project and organizing three sake pairing dinners at ki modern Japanese + bar.  My hope is to visit Japan a few times in 2018 to continue my sake education.

WSET Level 3 Award in Sake - CONDENSED
Date: Saturdays and Sundays Nov 4th & 5th, 11th & 12th, and 18th at 9:30AM - 4:30PM
Location: IWEG Drinks Academy
Register Now!

The new CAPS @ IWEG Workshops are an exciting forum to encourage camaraderie, ongoing professional development, and networking for sommeliers within the food and beverage industry. A variety of workshops will provide the opportunity to continually develop the knowledge, service, and management skills required by Canadian sommeliers. 

Nov 11th: Aroma Seminar 2 - HUGE HIT!
Drawing on varied perspectives ranging from chemosensory science and dog cognition, to perfumery, wine and 'smell walking/mapping,' this 'activity-centric' workshop will teach you how (and why) to put your noses to the ground, rather than smelling with the mind. This is especially important in the context of wine education where sensory evaluation isn't about recalling one's own personal memories, emotions or associations as it is about understanding the relationships between the ecologies and processes that produce valued sensory characteristics.

You will also learn how to start your own 'DIY aroma library' and try out some creative techniques to document, represent and communicate your knowledge to others 'beyond words.' This is a unique, hands-on workshop where we will explore 6 aromas and 6 wines to investigate the importance of smell.

Melanie McBride is a Toronto-based educator and researcher and founder of the ‘Aroma Inquiry Lab’ at Ryerson’s Responsive Ecologies lab. Melanie's research investigates the ‘hidden curricula’ of aroma culture with a focus on learning inquiry and DIY making practices with aroma materials. Melanie has undertaken site-specific research of aroma-rich sites in Canada and France to explore the use of raw, living and processed aroma materials in various learning contexts. Her research contributes to providing a more ecologically situated and creative approaches to learning, communicating and making with aroma 'from the nose down.' For a more detailed overview of Melanie’s academic work and educational background please visit her website: melaniemcbride.net

Date: Saturday, Nov 11th
Time: 6:30PM - 8:30PM
Location: IWEG Drinks Academy
Fee: $95
Sign up now!

Limited spots available. Sign up early to avoid disappointment.

Amanda Davis is a candidate for the WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wine and Spirits and a Wine Scholar. We asked her to answer some questions about the French Wine Scholar:

1. Why did you complete the French Wine Scholar program?

I was in the last stages of completing the WSET Diploma and I truly thought I had an idea of how much there is to learn about French wine. But I had no clue! And I also started to gain a great love for the wines. The French Wine Scholar program allowed me dig deeper alongside tasting some amazing wines.

2. What was the most valuable thing you learned in the course?

Two big things. First, it really made me aware of the vast amount of styles of wine that come from France. I no longer hear "France" and immediately think only of Burgundy and Bordeaux. The other major component of the program that I really learned and loved is the historical aspect. The program really helps to paint a picture of the history of each region which is not only fascinating but helps to make real sense of every region. 

3. Do you have any advice you would give to someone thinking about taking the course? 

I would recommend it to anyone who has had some previous wine education. I think going into the program without having some fundamental wine knowledge would make this program overwhelming. The WSET Level 3 Award in Wines or a sommelier certificate would be highly beneficial. And if you have these credentials, I say go for it. The learning materials, the great instructors and the wine poured make it well worth the investment. But be ready to study!

French Wine Scholar 
Date: Mondays, Oct 23 - Nov 20th @ 11:00AM - 3:30PM
Location: IWEG Drinks Academy
Register Now!

One of the few wine regions of the world to cover multiple areas, the vineyards for Cava production are centered in north east Spain around the town of Sant Sadurní d'Anoia. While Cava producers are credited with inventing the gyropalette in order to facilitate the huge production of traditional method sparkling wines, there are an incresing number of excellent examples with interest and complexity abound.

This Masterclass will be lead by Elsa Macdonald DipWSET, CAPS Certified Sommelier, who is a candidate for the illustrious Institute of Masters of Wine qualification, and Director - Wine Education, Arterra Wines Canada, as well as one of IWEG's very own WSET Diploma instructors. It promises to be enriching for students sitting the Diploma Sparkling wines exam and interested consumers alike!

Come taste for yourself, and learn about the bubbly side of Spain!

The Sparkling Wines of Cava  
Date: Thursday, Oct 26 @ 7PM
Location: IWEG Drinks Academy
Register Now!

WSET Diploma candidate Aimee Fowler is an On Premise Territory Manager at Philippe Dandurand Wines. We invited her to share her story on how she began her career in wine:

Most career stories start with a mentor, a person that helps you, provides lessons, and encouragement. My story is not different. I had several mentors during my key education years that encouraged me, taught me lessons, and in fact pointed me in the direction of wine. I attended school for Hospitality Management and my initial goal was to be a General Manager of a large hotel. This was not meant to be, as I learned restaurants were more my home. Wine was not a focus for me either, until I took a mandatory beverage class during my undergrad. We spent 6 weeks analyzing wine, learning the basics of vineyard management, climates and varietals. I instantly fell in love, and wanted more. Lucky for me, there was an optional wine course, and I took that. This provided even more insight! I couldn’t believe what I had been missing, and how the world of wine was so intricate and amazing. The following fall, WSET courses were being offered. I immediately signed up for WSET Level 2 Award in Wines and Spirits. 

I graduated university armed with my hospitality degree and my WSET Level 2, ready to take on the world of restaurants. And i did, for a few years. I became a Sommelier and Supervisor at a private golf club and then a restaurant. I quickly discovered that I was no longer doing enough with wine. I decided to get my WSET Level 3 Award in Wines in the hopes of opening more doors for me. And it did! This is where my key mentor helped me to move forward with wine, and strongly encouraged a career move. He helped me get the Sommelier Fine Wine Sales Apprenticeship program at Mission Hill. It was a dream come true! I fell into a wine career. I now sell wine to restaurants. It allows me to stay close to the restaurant industry (which I love), talk about wine all day (which I love), and it even gives me the opportunity to try wine on a very regular basis (can’t go wrong!). Starting this new career path with a strong education in wine really helped. First of all, it provides confidence. Secondly, it provides the knowledge to speak to the wines – the region, the climate, the varietal, and so on. Lastly, you get to be part of a unique field, a place that is also changing and growing. Wine is very exciting!

Portugal has a wealth of local grape varieties, which produce wines in a range of styles. The multitude of wine-growing regions has been undergoing a series of changes over the past decades, and there has been an overall increase in the quality of the wines produced. Vineyard restructuring and new wineries fully equipped with the most modern equipment: destemmers and crushers, cooling systems, different types of cap management ( including robotic lagares) have launched Portugal and its winemakers into the twenty-first century with the potential for world recognition.

ViniPortugal brings you the Wines of Portugal Academy Certified Training Program to IWEG. The Initiation Level will be offered at IWEG for the first time this summer. Students successful in the course will receive a professional accreditation from the Winesof Portugal Academy. Explore the history, taste a variety of wine styles, and further your knowledge of the native grape varietals of this great winemaking region!

The course will be taught by Sofia Salvador, official educator from the Wines of Portugal Academy. This one-day course is ideal for trade professionals seeking professional accreditation and Portuguese wine enthusiasts

The Wines of Portugal Academy Initiation Level 1 - NEW!
Date: Saturday, Nov 25th @ 1:00PM - 5:00PM
Location: IWEG Drinks Academy
Register Now!

Edel Ebbs is a candidate for the WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wine and Spirits at IWEG. Edel has always been a passionate, but informal, student of wine and began formal studies in 2014 through the WSET school in London, England. Following completion of the WSET Level 3 Advanced Award in Wine and Spirits with Distinction, she decided to take the leap and pursue the challenging Diploma program in Toronto with IWEG. She recently traveled to Sicily to discover the wines of Mt. Etna:

Mt. Etna: The Perfectly Unpolished Gem of Sicily

It was in my WSET Diploma class on Southern Italy, passionately taught by IWEG instructor and Diploma Coordinator, Peter Wearing that I made the decision to visit Sicily this past summer.  Mt. Etna, the brooding volcano with its treasure-trove of indigenous grapes; a tradition of winemaking dating back to the ancient Greeks who colonized the island; the promise of a warm and proud people; and a unique cuisine influenced by Greece and North Africa, all captured my imagination.  

In planning the trip I realized that Sicily is diverse and deep, and that the six days we had allocated to visit was just enough to tease rather than satisfy. Nonetheless, in early August my husband and I arrived in Catania and made our way to our hotel in Taormina, an ancient and breathtaking seaside town in the shadow of Mt. Etna. It was there that we were fortunate enough to connect with Valeria Càrastro, a native Etnaen and the owner of Etna Wine Lab which specializes in oenological consulting and education. I had arrived in Sicily armed with a list of wineries that I was eager to visit (thank you Peter!) and with her training as an agronomist and work in oenological research on Mt. Etna, Valeria was more than up to the task of making the introductions and providing exceptional background on the multitude of terroirs on the volcano as well as intimate knowledge of the soils and microclimates influencing the quality and styles of wine produced there.

The climactic influences on Etnaen viticulture are many and varied.  Due to its latitude it enjoys hot summers (it hit 42 celsius on our visit!) but also has the benefit of altitude (we visited one vineyard as high as 700m) and cooling ocean influences to moderate the high temperatures and provide cool nights which allow the grapes to maintain freshness and acidity. The vineyards are located mainly on the east side of the volcano in a backwards “C” shape, although notably Angelo Gaja, the Barbaresco icon, recently became the talk of the local industry with an investment in vineyard land on the hotter and less favoured southwest side.

Etnaen wine makers have a fierce pride in their indigenous grapes. The main varieties for making high quality wine are Nerello Mascalese for reds (either on its own or blended with Nerello Cappuccino) and Carricante for whites. Many of the best wines we tasted tended to come from old vines grown at higher elevations.  Vines  trained in the ancient staked style called Albarese Etneo are common, although newer plantings are often trellised.  The well-drained soils are volcanic and mostly lava-black with a variety of sizes of stones distributed throughout. 

Nerello Mascalese is viewed by many aficionados as a noble Italian variety in the class of Nebbiolo, Sangiovese and Aglianico. When the the grape is allowed to fully ripen (this means harvest can stretch to the end of October for cooler sites) and yields are controlled, Nerello Mascalese produces deceptively pale-coloured, highly structured dry red wines with aromas of bright red fruit, flowers and savoury herbs with an earthy/smoky undertone. The best examples will develop and improve with time. The second red grape of the volcano, Nerello Cappucio, produces softer wines with mellow tannins, tamer acidity and round fruit flavors,which on its own is rarely interesting (although we did have a delicious single varietal version of Nerello Cappucio at Benanti Winery which was served slightly chilled) but when blended with Nerello Mascalese can soften the edges of what can be an austere wine and make it more approachable in its youth.  Carricante, the white grape with the most promise in the region, is best produced in the area of the volcano nearest the Ionian sea where the ocean breezes provide cooler temperatures and allow the grape to produce wines with zesty acidity and a saline flavour. Carricante is also being earmarked for quality sparkling wines, and we sampled a number of these including a beautiful version with 60 months on lees that tasted of lemon custard and brioche with a dash of sea salt. Produced by Destro wines, a former hobby winery that is now the full time project of a retired marble importer, it is unfortunately not available outside of the local area.

Mt. Etna is in many ways a study in contradictions. There is extreme heat but also extreme coolness. There is both ocean and altitude. There are multigenerational producers such as Benanti, Terre Nere and Planeta with long traditions of winemaking but also an influx of new investment and interest both from ambitious first-time winemakers and industry stars such as Gaja. There are many generic overcropped and poorly structured wines, but also some of the most captivating and beautiful wines in all of Italy.  Despite the long history of wine production in the area, the industry feels young - winemakers are only recently beginning to understand the varied terroirs and match specific varieties to particular sites to maximize ripeness and the quality of the resulting wine; there is no formal industry association to support winemakers and promote the wines in export markets, and the region is constrained in terms of infrastructure with many of the smaller, promising wineries bottlenecked by a lack of winemaking, packaging and distribution facilities. All of these factors underline the opportunity and potential in the region and help explain the rising excitement in the wine world around Mt. Etna, and what makes it such a fascinating and rewarding travel destination for wine nomads like me.

Royal Wine Fair: Open for Entries
The Royal’s Wine Competition is now open. Enter your best vintages for a chance to claim the title of Best in Show Royal Grand Champion along with new promotional, sampling and endorsement opportunities for top place in each category. Find out more here.

Wine Competition launch: July 17, 2017
Deliveries: after September 5, 2017 and before October 11, 2017
Judging: October 14, 2017 

Inquiries? Contact Shaniece Mitchell: smitchell@royalfair.org

Tutored Wine Tasting
Join us on Thursday, Nov 9th 6:00PM - 7:30PM as IWEG Head Judge at the Royal Wine Competition Christopher Waters, leads a small group of wine enthusiasts through a 90 minute sensory discovery of 6 award winning Ontario VQA wines. Ticket includes general admission to the Fair after 4pm. Buy tickets!

Tutored Tasting Classes
Ever wondered how long it takes to become a wine expert?

WSET Global has joined forces with the Tutored Tastings program at the Gourmet Food & Wine Expo to showcase exactly how you can sound like a pro in less than an hour!

WSET Global’s Tutored Tastings’ line-up of engaging and enjoyable wine and spirit seminars, presented by a who’s who of Canadian experts (many of whom are IWEG instructors) including IWEG’S Diploma Program Coordinators, Peter Wearing, DipWSET and Master of WineEugene Mlynczyk, Master Sommeliers John Szabo and Jennifer Huether, The Thirsty Traveler Kevin Brauch and IWEG Head Judge at the Royal Wine Competition and VINES Magazine co-founder Christopher Waters. This is an unrivalled opportunity to taste incredible wines and learn what makes them so special.

Purchase admission to the Gourmet Food & Wine Expo and the Tutored Tastings here!

Taste Like a Pro with Peter Wearing, DipWSET
Thursday, Nov 16th @ 6PM - 7PM
Peter will take you on a journey from absolute novice to tasting like a professional in just one hour. This session will change the way you approach wine — showing you how to be more adventurous, bold and confident in your choices and how to find the best quality wines in the myriad options out there. Learn how to train your palate and sound like a pro! Buy tickets!

An Exploration of Sparkling Wine with Elsa Macdonald, DipWSET
Friday, Nov 17th @ 5:30PM - 6:15PM
What makes Champagne different from Prosecco? Where does Canadian Sparkling Wine fit into this? This session will introduce the main production methods of sparkling wines and take you on a guided tasting of diverse styles to fit all budgets! Ever wondered how the bubbles get into your glass? If so, then this session is for you! Buy tickets!

Robert Mondavi, Napa Valley Pioneer with Eugene Mlynczyk, MW
Friday, Nov 17th @ 7PM - 8:30PM
It’s impossible to imagine the success of the Napa Valley or even California wine without the pioneering efforts of Robert Mondavi. The From the origin of Fumé Blanc (a dry oaked Sauvignon Blanc) to the advancement of site-specific Cabernet Sauvignon production from Napa and its sub-regions, including the revitalization of the legendary To Kalon Vineyard located behind the winery in Oakville, Robert Mondavi ushered in the modern era of wine in North America by rallying an industry around quality wine production. Join Master of Wine Eugene Mlynczyk for a tasting class tasting of specially selected wines that illustrate the legacy of fine winemaking at Robert Mondavi Winery. Taste history and toast an  American legend. Buy tickets!

IWEG Sponsors at GFWE
Many of IWEG's generous sponsors will be exhibiting at  Gourmet Food & Wine Expo from Nov 16 -19, 2017. We encourage you to visit their booths to learn more about their offerings:

Arterra Wines Canada
California Wine Institute
Kolonaki Group
Rosewood Estates Winery
Woodman Wines and Spirits
Vieni Estates
Villa Maria Wines New Zealand
VINES Magazine
Wines of Argentina
Wines of Germany
Wines of South Africa

The Fall 2017 Signature Series is up! Further your education, develop your tasting skills, and network in the industry at our upcoming Signature Series events!

“IWEG’s signature series offers a superb opportunity to dive deeply into specific areas, illustrated by top quality wines. They should be part of everyone’s ongoing education."  John Szabo MS, DipWSET  @johnszabo

 Oct 5th: The Sparkling Wines of Cava
Led by Elsa Macdonald DipWSET, CAPS Sommelier and candidate for the Master of Wine

One of the few wine regions of the world to cover multiple areas, the vineyards for Cava production are centered in north east Spain around the town of Sant Sadurní d'Anoia. While Cava producers are credited with inventing the gyropalette in order to facilitate the huge production of traditional method sparkling wines, there are an increasing number of excellent examples where interest and complexity abound.This Masterclass promises to be enriching for students sitting the Diploma Sparkling wines exam and interested consumers alike. Come taste for yourself, and learn about the bubbly side of Spain! Sign up now!

Nov 2nd: Bordeaux Futures: A Primer on Primeur
Led by Igor Ryjenkov MW

Have you ever been curious about Bordeaux Futures? What is the purpose, how does it take place and what do the wines taste like? Join us as we take a deep dive into the What, When, Why, How, and Who of this important industry impetus and taste some exciting wines! Sign up now!

Dec 5th: An Exploration of Canadian Whisky
Led by Davin de Kergommeaux, author of the award-winning book Canadian Whisky

With a past rooted with early Canadian settlers, and notoriously linked to U.S. prohibition, Canadian whiskies are as important as a category of spirits as rye is a base ingredient. Join us, just in time for all the holiday celebrations as lead Canadian whisky author and certified Malt Maniac Davin de Kergommeaux takes up through the world of Canadian whisky, one dram at a time! Sign up now!

Dates and times are subject to change.

More than any other consumer product, the alcoholic beverage industry has the ability to weather periods of slow or negative economic growth. Statistics Canada recently reported that net income among the provincial liquor authorities in 2014 rose 3.6% to $6.2 billion. More than half this amount is from the sale of imported wine, beer & spirits.

In Ontario, the LCBO reported imported beverage alcohol sales of $2.8 billion during their most recent fiscal year, a 4% increase over the previous fiscal.

“As Canadians’ thirst for more diversity in the alcoholic beverages that they consume, this presents a very real opportunity for new agents & importers,” states alcoholic beverage industry expert Charles Steven Trenholme.

Join Charles Steven Trenholme for the day-long seminar Importing for Wine, Beer & Spirits For Pleasure & Profit, which provides insights into the dynamics of importing wine, craft beers & spirits into Canada. Charles Steven brings to the seminar 35+ years of experience working in various capacities including managing national sales agency, brand management, sommelier and as educators.

Charles Steven knows first-hand that there are still hundreds of suppliers around the world actively looking for importers to represent them in Canada, providing the opportunity to develop a full or part-time career in this dynamic industry. There are also sales and brand ambassador positions available for those with certified sommelier training.

“Wineries, craft breweries & distilleries around the world are opening at a rapid rate creating more supply than existing agents can handle,” reports Trenholme . “To establish a start-up agency requires little financial investment.  The most important asset is having the knowledge of the beverage industry channels & knowing how to leverage them in order to be successful. Our seminar offers this insight & information as well as customized support to ensure that every participant has the tool set needed to get started & ultimately succeed.”

Many of Ontario’s top importers & agents started their careers after attending Charles Steven’s seminar.  They readily agreed that they gained valuable insight to the ins & outs of importing beverage alcohol, as well as the operations of the LCBO.

Charles Steven has offered this seminar since 1993 receiving rave reviews from The Globe & Mail, Wine Tidings, Toronto Life, Toronto Sun, The Hamilton Spectator, Wine Access, Vines Magazine as well as CBC Radio. 

Date: Saturday, Nov 4th
Time: 9:30PM - 4:30PM
Location: Novotel Toronto Centre - 45 The Esplanade Alsace Room 2nd Floor , Toronto, ON 
Cost: $325 (HST exempt) includes course material, lunch, 30 days of post-seminar email support.

IWEG students, instructors and graduates will receive a 10% discount on the seminar by using the Promo Code IWEG when they register.

Register here!

Are you a WSET Diploma student at IWEG? Join our Facebook Group! This group is for you to share resources, questions, connect and keep up with the industry. IWEG will be posting industry events and useful resources to the group. Please feel free to share your own tips and updates. Click here to join the group.

Ideal for the industry novice and the trade professional, the WSET Level 2 Award in Wines and Spirits provides fundamental product knowledge and lays the foundation for the Systematic Approach to Tasting. 

You will:
  • learn how to taste professionally and make quality assessments
  • taste a minimum of 32 wines that illustrate typicity 
  • learn about the factors that impact the style and quality of wines
  • learn about key grape varietals and wine regions across the globe
  • learn about still wines, sparkling wines, sweet wines, fortified  wines and spirits
  • obtain a globally recognized professional accreditation which is regarded as a foundation and required level of study for the further pursuit of wine education and career enhancement in the wine and spirits industry
WSET Level 2 Award in Wine and Spirits - @ Wine Academy
Date: Tuesdays, Oct 23rd - Nov 28th @ 6:30PM
Location: Wine Academy, 67 Richmond Street West # B101
Register Now!

WSET Level 2 Award in Wine and Spirits
 - 3 Days!
Date: Saturdays, Nov 4th, 11th and 18th @ 9:30AM - 4:30PM
Location: IWEG Drinks Academy
Register Now!

WSET LEVEL 1 AWARD IN WINES + so much more
Our unique WSET Level 1 Award in Wines is a perfect starting point for structured wine studies for the wine enthusiast. Students will complete the requirements of the WSET Level 1 Award in Wines and also discover the key elements of food and wine taste interactions such as sweetness, acidity and saltiness in food.

Students will have the opportunity to experience key pairing principles through 5 gourmet tastings and discuss pairing wines with dishes from non-European cuisines, as well as menu design. 

Students will meet WSET Level 1 learning objectives and leave with practical knowledge to put to use when selecting or recommending wines for diverse dining occasions.

The course will be led by Karen LaVigne and Carrie Rau.

 Carrie Rau 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.  Combined with wine training at the Court of Master Sommeliers and a candidate in the WSET Diploma program at IWEG her experience has gained her a passionate footing in both worlds.

WSET Level 1 Award in Wines
Date: Saturday, Oct 28th 9:30AM - 5:30PM
Location: IWEG Drinks Academy
Register Now!

September Social Media Contest Winner
Congratulations to Federica Cecchini for winning this month's social media contest! Here is Federica's winning post from the CAPS @ IWEG Aroma Seminar.

Social Media Contest 
We encourage you to share any photos, videos or messages about your IWEG experience in and out of the classroom on your social media! Tag us in your next social media post for a chance to win tickets to upcoming tastings and other special prizes. Each post will be entered into a monthly draw. Winners will be notified and featured in our monthly newsletters.

Be sure to include one of our social media handles in your post:

IWEG's Social Media handles:
Twitter: IWEG_Canada 
Facebook: IWEG Drinks Academy
Instagram: IWEG_Canada
Hashtags: #iweg and #iweg40

Student and Instructor Photos 
Do you have any photos of your experience at IWEG? We want to share them on our social media channels and in our newsletters. Send any photos to marketing@iweg.org.

Brand Ambassador at Karma Casting - find out more here!

Sommelier at Buca Yorkville - find out more here!

Wine Sales at Mark Anthony Wine & Spirits - find out more here!

Student Registrar at IWEG. - find out more here!

Looking to post a career opportunity at your company? Please contact Adelaide Smith for assistance.


France's first blue wine launches at Frieze - The Drinks Business (10/03/2017)
U.S. files 2nd WTO complaint over alleged unfair B.C. wine sales practices - CBC(10/02/2017)
Saijo sake scene - Vancouver Courier (09/26/2017)
Fall’s biggest cocktail trend? Back to basics - Vogue (09/24/2017)


Thursday, Oct 26th @ IWEG Drinks Academy: The Sparkling Wines of Cava at 7PM. $95. Led by Elsa Macdonald DipWSET, CAPS Sommelier and candidate for the Master of Wine. While Cava producers are credited with inventing the gyropalette in order to facilitate the huge production of traditional method sparkling wines, there are an increasing number of excellent examples where interest and complexity abound.This Masterclass promises to be enriching for students sitting the Diploma Sparkling wines exam and interested consumers alike. Come taste for yourself, and learn about the bubbly side of Spain! Sign up now!

Saturday, Nov 11th @ IWEG Drinks Academy: CAPS @ IWEG Workshop Series: Aroma Seminar at 6:30PM. $95. Drawing on varied perspectives ranging from chemosensory science and dog cognition, to perfumery, wine and 'smell walking/mapping,' this 'activity-centric' workshop will teach you how (and why) to put your noses to the ground, rather than smelling with the mind. Sign up now!

Do you have an event you'd like to share with the IWEG community? Please send all event details to marketing@iweg.org.


Thank you to our partners for supporting IWEG's educational programming. For a full list of our partners, visit here.

"When people tell me they want to get into the wine trade,or simply advance their wine knowledge for their personal enjoyment,I always draw their attention to the WSET courses" - Jancis Robinson, Master of Wine