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  1. WSET : My opinion about the courses of WSET





    What is the WSET: Wine Spirit Education Trust, founded in 1969, is based in London. It is considered the reference for wine education. There are several levels 1, 2, 3 and 4. The most recognized are 3 and 4. The number 3 is 5 days; it gives good theoretical courses. The number 4 is based on personal work. then, it gives the right to make the famous master of wine. The number 3 can be done in Paris, Bordeaux and Macon. The number 4 may have spent in France in Macon but in English.



    Must do WSET Level 3: Yes of course ... .because it is widely recognized in the world


    For 5 days, we learned to taste and learn about the different areas, grape varieties and winemaking. The positive point : This session was cut in 2 sessionsf ... Perfect ... We were only 11 of 22 to have obtained. I worked my geography and tasting technique that is different from mine. I really played a game on my iPad called WSET Level 3 ... There are some mistakes, but it allowed me to revisited the basics of foreign vineyards


    Positif thing : 

    You learn the theoretical basis: winemaking and grape. For example I learned that wine for cognac or armagnac is distilled without adding sulfur and my name « Botte » means  vat oak in Italian language

    You' re learning geography about  country like Australie, New-Zeland, Argentine etc…..

    You 're learning very important thing :  climate of regions. 

    You 're  tasting rare wines as such as Pinotage carmerère etc….i.

    You 're  learning about another technique tasting: Tell about the color and  the aroma of the mouth. Now in my tastin notes, you can find aromas for the middle of wine.

    You re tasting  alcohols for a blind taste ... ..


     Pinot noir californien en levures indigènes



    How Wset can progress:


    I have now received a notice about the courses and diploma ... I am very happy ... .listen others person , to get an idea about their opinions is very smart.


    A / wine in general

    1.The organic wine with natural  yeasts:

    the Wine can be obtained :

    by spontaneous fermentation 

    by added yeast 

    For me My great proof are wine from Thomas Bockler. This alsacian winegrower uses for the first wine- added yeast- and for the terroir wine, the process is spontaneous fermentation.  The first is buccal without return of aromas, the second is spiritual with a long return of aromas after tasting  

     The second style is often organic with low sulfur.




    2 / Natural wine


    The creation of 4 associations of natural wines in Europe suggests that WSET should not neglect this kind of wine. Evidence: The arrival in the first 100 of the best wines in the world of Decanter magazine : Marcel Lapierre. And the growing success of wine fare such as unavoidable Raw in London and Vienna, Vinnatura of Italy and Dive bouteille of Saumur move many visitors ....




    3 Added or not added yeasts

    In school books given to students on winemaking, I've seen for ' a sauvignon: we must add yeast" ... .I think this formula is obsolete. Why not give the example to make a sourdough with ripe grapes to start the fermentation without the input help. In the book of Isabelle Sapporta Vino Business, a winemaker says "yeasts are mushrooms.If there is too much chemistry, yeasts are annihilated. "I think the WSET must consider my opinion because it is not alone. Read the larousse wines; where it is mentioned added or not added yeast, and added sulfuites and no added sulfittes  ... .The world of wine moves, follow it.


    4 / Oranges wines:


    Red, white, rosé  .... but   do not forget orange wine


     Quelques points à ne pas oublier

    B / Tasting:

    Our memory must be educated by giving words on the sensations palate ... ..I have about 50 courses to students .... These courses have been a way for me to judge the reaction of the students ....



    1 / The complexity of the wine:

    My master sommelier Michel Smolarek of Gilly-les-citeaux

    taught me something momentous there 20 years.  you have two noses 

    The first nose : you  smell the wine without moving the glass.

    The second nose : you move   the glass. and you smell.
    Many professional and wine lover forget that. When you forgot  this principle for a wine such as Château Fonsalette 2003, it is very too bad. The nose embalms your nostrils and sends you into a forest, the second nose offers other flavors.  When the first nose and second nose are different, the wine is complex. The nose and the second are the same, it's often the result of added yeast.


     2 / The evolution of wine

    For red, you see it with  orange  on the edge of the glass. IT is not explained in the course.



    3 / Purity:

    a second crucial thing of Michel Smolarek ‘s courses: always smell the nose of the empty glass. A good wine transmits the same flavors in the empty glass. I learned from my experience that a pure wine smells fruit in empty glass and wine with too much sulfur or chemistry gives burnt rubber notes or burnt matches. The essential phase purity of taste is completely omitted, and it is too bad. 


    4 / The retro-olfaction or after-taste


    , a Caudalie is a unit of measurement for the final of the mouth of wine. 

    For me caudalie is obsolete : 

    long retro-olfaction during 4-5 minutes. The name of this wine is spiritual wine 

    without return of aromas. the aromas stay in the palate. this name is buccale wine. 




    Retro-olfaction for me is the return of flavors during 4-5 minutes when the winegrowers use natural yeasts and organic farming. , it invades your nostrils and your palate. I think it represents the complexity of the wine. In Wset: For me retro-olfaction is an important step. Wset forget this phase and it's too bad... …


    Jean-Charles Botte avec BO2







    Level 3 and 4 is an enrichment for a cv.    Don’t forget my recommendations, my ebook. Rethinking winetasting /And if I'm contacted by officials of the WSET, I will be happy to present my theories.

    Jean-Charles Botte Décembre 2014