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10 years ago @ 1 Wine Dude - On Demand Reviews: Das... · 1 reply · +1 points

Tasted a line-up of 2009's from Dasche at Snooth's offices. I don't normally drink Zin, but I was pleasantly surprised by the wines. However, we found the 2009 Old Vines to be a bit like ground-beef and pool cover mixed together. But it worked, I thought.

10 years ago @ 1 Wine Dude - Getting All Juiced For... · 1 reply · +1 points

Austria! Santorini! Chile!
Nope, I'm not biased.

Also a big supporter of the Champagne idea!

Congrats, Joe!

10 years ago @ The FN Dish - 5 Ways to Drink Devili... · 0 replies · +1 points

bobbing for apples in hard cider AND madeira?! best list of ideas ever

11 years ago @ WineLife365 - Go Big or Go Home · 1 reply · +1 points

Looks like quite a feast! Happy to see you got a chance to try the Santa Carolina wines, sorry they didn't deliver quite as well as hoped, but thanks for your notes! :)

11 years ago @ 1 Wine Dude - 1WineDude TV Episode 2... · 1 reply · +1 points

Hi Joe-

Having just (finally) taken my Advanced WSET exam, I've given this topic a lot of thought the past few weeks.

At the end of the day, traveling to the regions and tasting a *shit load* of wine as you said is definitely the best way - listening to the background information, exploring wine and the topics you're really interested etc. However, most people don't have the opportunity to do this (myself included... at least not on a large scale) so that is where the idea of school comes in.

I'm not so familiar with the other programs (though I haven't heard great things about others,) but here are my issues with the WSET:

1. You only need a 55% to pass... at a 55% you do not know your stuff. Obviously the goal is to pass with distinction, but, unfortunately, much like many college degrees people think that just because they have earned the certificate, they are automatically entitled to claim themselves as knowledgeable.

2. The information in the book is sometimes out-dated/about-to-change/misleading

3. The information in the book is largely skewed toward specific countries. Call be biased since I work with many of the "underdogs," if you will, but if you're really going to KNOW about wine you have to know about ALL of the wine regions... not just what grapes they have in Chile and every detail about France (unless, of course, you're specialty and/or only interest IS France. However, that being said, to fully understand any region I think it's important to learn every region with some depth in order to make proper comparisons, etc.

4. I'm just not a big fan of their specific style. I agree the tasting portion is good to some extent, but students were blatantly told they were wrong when describing flavors they were tasting and I'd venture to say it's very hard to be WRONG. Wine is too objective. Also the focus on the tasting portion was often mishmashed, unfocused and really brought no connection the information you just learned in the class/chapter other than you knew that these wines were from that place.

I agree that they are good because they force you to study and if you are honestly interested in learning rather just receiving an accreditation because they are becoming more and more widely valued now. I think it's also important to note that the advanced exam is just the first step (I'll be the first to admit that the more I learn the more I realize I don't know)... though at the end of the day it depends upon your personal goal and/or interests. I can't speak for the diploma, I know it's a much more in-depth program and my hope is that if you're going to spend the thousands of dollars to complete yet another course you'd really be into learning everything.

Just my two cents...