How is COVID-19 impacting online and in-person wine courses and exams?
Here in Las Vegas, like most of you across the country, non-essential businesses have been closed and gatherings restricted. This means we are not currently able to hold in-person courses or administer exams. We are actively running courses online for WSET Levels 1-3, please see course pages for more information and registration deadlines. We are also happy to ship any materials for students wanting to get a jump start on their French or Italian Wine Scholar courses (Units 1 or 2). Now is a great time to dig into your studies!
While we are not currently able to offer exams, we will offer examination dates (including resits) at the earliest, safest, opportunity. We know it is very difficult not having a certain date for your exams, and we thank you for your patience in understanding while we're in this waiting period. If you are registering for new classes, we will be in touch with you regarding your exam date. Once we are able to safely gather again all students waiting for an exam will be given several date options to find one that is the most convenient. We are hoping all scheduled June courses and exams will be able to be offered without issue. Any students on courses or exams that need to be postponed will be notified immediately. No reschedule or resit fees will apply throughout the duration of this crisis.
You are able to enroll in the online courses even if your exam date may need to be pushed back. We encourage you to keep on your studies, and even if you are waiting for an exam you can register and begin studying for the next level!
Stay safe and healthy, and we will ensure you get to test at the first available opportunity.
Why Should I Choose to Study with Wine Academy of Las Vegas?
We aren’t allowed to teach WSET courses without WSET’s complete evaluation of our teaching practices. In addition, our instructors have taken the WSET classes and exams, just like you are. We had to pass the test, and now we’re ready to help you pass yours.
We’ll give you a few more reasons why you should choose to do your wine education journey with us.
- Our school is founded on principles of quality educational practices, and our educators hold some of the highest degrees in academics. You can be sure that when you study with us you will be in a class utilizing educational strategies to help you succeed as a student. Our educators are constantly furthering their own personal wine education, just like you. We are passionate about learning, and we can’t wait to share it with you.
- Have you ever been to a wine class where you felt like everyone else in the class was smarter than you were and it made you question why you were there at all? We know that starting your wine education can be intimidating, our educators have been in your shoes. That’s why we make studying wine non-intimidating. With our instructors’ approachable teaching styles, a state of the art atmosphere, and hands-on activities, we take the stress out of learning about wine so you can spend more time actually learning.
- We’re in Las Vegas!! We can’t think of a better place to learn about wine, than right here! Not only are we minutes away from the Strip, but there are thousands of options of places to eat and drink just outside our door! After a long day in class, there’s no place better to go unwind (and drink wine!) than hitting the town. Plus, we’re the first local WSET provider in town, and we know all of its best kept secrets. During your time with us, we’ll make sure you learn a few of them too.
Why do I need a wine certification? Can’t I just learn it myself?
WSET certifications are industry-recognized, and show employers that you have put in the time and dedication to further your wine studies. By attaining an industry-recognized certification, employers know the level of knowledge you will bring to their organization. Employers recognize and respect candidates that hold professional certifications. Possessing these credentials is an invaluable resource to furthering your career in hospitality, retail, etc.
There are so many wine certifications, what’s the difference?! How do I know which one is right for me?
There are several different paths to pursuing your wine education. We have provided some information regarding each of the certifications, to help you decide which one best fits your goals and learning style. When pursuing your wine education, it’s important to make sure the provider of the course can give you an industry-recognized certification at the end. With so much time and money invested in your wine studies, you might as well get a professional designation for it!
WSET is the largest global provider of wine, spirits, and sake qualifications. The Wine & Spirit Trust is focused on the educational aspect behind wine, with a more academic focus. WSET classes consist of four levels, with each level building on the previous level. At the end of the Level 4 Diploma, candidates may choose to enroll to become a candidate for the Master of Wine exam. Candidates who choose the MW designation, rather than the Master Sommelier designation from the Court of Master Sommeliers (CMS) dive much deeper into the theory and science behind wine, while the Master Sommelier designation is heavily service-focused.
The Court of Master Sommeliers was established to improve standards of beverage knowledge and service in hotels and restaurants. CMS has four exams, the last of which is the elusive Master Sommelier exam. All levels must be completed in order. The CMS recommends students have a minimum of 3 years in the beverage service industry prior to enrolling in any of their courses.
Both certifications are industry-recognized, but contain different focal points. WSET is focused on the education side of things, with CMS more focused on the practical, restaurant/industry applications side of things. WSET candidates are focused on the “why” behind the wine world, whereas CMS candidates are very focused on learning producers, vintages, and all things service-related, to provide instantaneous recall of facts to guests tableside. WSET exams require not only factual recall (evidenced through correct selection of answers in multiple choice questions), but also short answer and essay questions as candidates progress through the levels. This exam style allows candidates to showcase their logical thinking, argument development, and writing skills, as well as the wine knowledge present in their answers. Additionally, WSET exams do not incorporate blind tasting until Level 3, to allow candidates to grasp a solid theoretical and scientific foundation of knowledge, before diving into blind tasting exams.
WSET classes require more in class time than the CMS classes, which are a much more independent study-like in structure. WSET classes allow candidates the opportunities to learn from industry-recognized instructors, who have passed the exams, and also to have in-class tasting practice with instruction. As WSET is academic in nature, classroom instruction provides ample opportunity to discuss the theoretical underpinnings of wine, as well as structured tasting techniques.
WSET is academic-focused, with many of its graduates becoming wine educations, wine writers, etc. There are no minimum requirements, or work experience requirements required for entry into WSET Level 1 or 2 courses. There are no practical service portions in the WSET exams, unlike the CMS exams. WSET classes begin from Level 1, requiring candidates to have no level of wine knowledge whatsoever, whereas CMS candidates should already have some basic understanding of wine.
In order to enroll in any CMS course, candidates must be 21 or over. For WSET exams, candidates may not taste any samples if they are under 21, however Levels 1 and 2 can be completed without incident. Candidates must be 21 to take the WSET Level 3 and 4 exams.
What if I require special accommodations for the course or exam?
Please contact us directly, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 702-900-8927, with any requests for special accommodations. Identification of the accommodation and supporting material must be received five (5) weeks prior to the start date of the course. This will allow for accommodations to be received, reviewed and approved by WSET Awards in advance of the course.
I don’t live in Las Vegas. Can I fly in to take the classes?
Absolutely! Why not combine wine education with a vacation! Please visit our “For Out of Town Students” page for more information. If you have further questions, please contact us and we will be happy to help.
Why am I asked for my birthdate during registration?
As wine tasting in an integral part of our courses, we abide by the legal drinking age and are unable to have any students under the age of 21 participate in any tastings. If you are under 21 but over 18 you are still permitted to sit for the exams, however you will not be able to participate in any tastings. Your birthdate is also used to distinguish you from any other WSET candidates who may have the same name. With WSET providers all across the globe, this is a very helpful way to differentiate between students.
Why do the exams need to be taken in person even if I'm enrolled in an online class?
You will be sitting for an exam from the largest provider of beverage qualifications in the world. In order to preserve the value of your certification, all exams are taken in person with us in Las Vegas. This ensures they are administered in accordance with WSET standards, and all students receive a fair and uniform exam process.
Do I need to arrange a ride to take me home after class?
We will be tasting alcohol in the classes, and thus strongly recommend students spit. If you feel you are not able to drive after class, we are more than happy to help you arrange for an Uber or Lyft pickup, at your own expense.
Do you offer group rates or corporate trainings?
We are happy to provide specialized classes to fit your team needs. If you would like to schedule a class for your employees, please email email@example.com prior to registering. Corporate pricing available.