Get started in the world of sake - IWEG News Nov. 11, 2021

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A beginner’s guide to trying sake

Sake’s popularity is steadily increasing worldwide, and it’s beginning to appear on wine lists and shop shelves. However, it is still a drinks category that’s not widely understood and often needs explanation. Read this article from Natsuki Kikuya, Sake Product Development Manager at WSET for some top tips to get started in the world of sake.

Explore Japan's national beverage with Sake Samurai Michael Tremblay this Saturday!

WSET Level 1 Award in Sake is a beginner level introduction to sake for those starting a career in the industry or beginning to explore sake for personal interest. You will learn the basic principles of sake production, the main types and styles of sake, how to serve sake and factors affecting the flavour of sake. The course is taught by WSET Certified Sake Educator and Sake Samurai, Michael Tremblay.

This 6-hour, one-day course provides a hands-on introduction to the world of sake, and sake and food pairing. You will:
  • Explore the main types and styles of sake through sight, smell, and taste
  • Develop an understanding of the factors affecting sake aroma and flavour
  • Practice describing sake accurately, using the WSET Level 1 Systematic Approach to Tasting Sake
  • Learn how to serve and store sake
  • Experiment with food and sake interaction 
WSET Level 1 Award in Sake
Date: Saturday, November 13th @ 9:30am - 5:00pm
Register Now!

Keep wine fun with IWEG instructor Caitlin Ferguson

Caitlin Ferguson DipWSET got into the wine business as a result of her love for travel and culture after living in France for a year when she was 25. After experiencing the manual labour involved in harvesting grapes, she decided to experience the city side of wine, and headed to London, UK. In London she worked at Vinoteca Wine Bar & Shop, where she learned so much about wine and her passion for wine was confirmed. Caitlin returned home to Toronto in 2010, and has since been running a small import agency called Bogie's Best Imports as well as teaching WSET Level 3 Award in Wines, WSET Level 4 Diploma in Wines, the Spanish Wine Scholar and the French Wine Scholar. Caitlin is passionate about Spanish and French wines as well as sherry and she likes to keep wine fun, and leave the pretentiousness behind. 

Explore spirits with expert Chris Robertson 

Chris Robertson DipWSET is the Senior Director for Beer, Cider & Ready-to-Drink at the LCBO. He has over 20 years of experience in the beverage alcohol industry as a buyer, marketer and business leader. He has extensive knowledge of beer, spirits and wine, including the WSET Level 4 Diploma, and in 2019, Chris was awarded the David A. Churchill Memorial Scholarship for the highest score in the WSET Diploma’s The Global Business of Wine unit at IWEG.   

Chris has a particular passion for spirits. He conceived of and implemented the LCBO’s first-ever Spirits Summit and lead a similar initiative for gin that brought guests from the UK to collaborate with the local industry. Chris has had the privilege to taste thousands of different spirits throughout his career and has travel extensively to important producing regions like Scotland, Kentucky and the Caribbean. While he appreciates all spirits, he has a particular fondness for amaro, Scotch Whisky, gin and tequila.  

IWEG is delighted that Chris will be teaching our WSET Level 2 Award in Spirits. Here's what he had to say about his teaching approach and study tips:

I am excited to share my knowledge and first-hand experiences as an IWEG instructor. I believe the key to learning is a passion for the subject and I try to take students beyond the technical aspects of the material by exploring the trends, the people and places that enliven the subject matter. I also encourage students to connect with one another throughout the learning experience through study groups and tastings. I think meeting people in the industry or those just interested in beverage alcohol is one of the most rewarding elements of these courses. It enhances your learning and makes the whole experience fun.     

WSET Level 2 Award in Spirits is a beginner to intermediate level spirits course for enthusiasts or those working in the industry, or hoping to enter the industry.

This course provides fundamental product knowledge and systematic tasting skills. You will:
  • Explore major spirits categories and styles, as well as liqueurs, vermouth and cocktails
  • Learn in detail about the 4 main steps in spirits production
  • Learn what labelling terms mean
  • Develop assessment and description skills as you sample a range of benchmark examples using the WSET Level 2 Systematic Approach to Tasting Spirits® (SAT)
  • Understand basic principles of spirits storage and service
  • Learn about cocktail equipment, ingredients, basic techniques and main cocktail families
WSET Level 2 Award in Spirits
Date: Mondays, January 10th - February 7th @ 6:30pm - 8:30pm. 
Final exam via WSET Remote Invigilation Services.
Register Now!

In-class learning

WSET Level 1 Award in Wines 
Date: Saturday, December 18th @ 9:30am - 4:30pm
Register Now!

WSET Level 1 Award in Sake - starting soon!
Date: Saturday, November 13th @ 9:30am - 5:00pm
Register Now!

WSET Level 2 Award in Wines
Date: Saturdays, November 20th, 27th and December 4th @ 9:30am - 4:30pm
Register Now!

All WSET textbooks and study guides will be in an eBook format.

Online courses

Online Learning

WSET Level 1 Award in Wines 
Date: Monday, November 29th - Sunday, December 26th
Register Now!

WSET Level 2 Award in Wines
Date: Monday, November 29th - Sunday, January 2nd
Register Now!

WSET Level 2 Award in Spirits
Date: Monday, November 29th - Sunday, January 2nd
Register Now!

WSET Level 3 Award in Wines
Date: Monday, November 22nd - Sunday, January 23rd
Register Now!

All WSET textbooks and study guides will be in an eBook format.

Certificate in Irish Whiskey - 
NEW!
Eight modules at your own self-directed pace
Register Now!

Certificate in Scotch Whisky - NEW!
Eight modules at your own self-directed pace
Register Now!