WSET 3 Systematic Approach to Tasting Wine

Happy Wine Wednesday! What are you drinking tonight? Me, I’m just having some tea and then passing out.

What I feel like doing right now. This is Fancy, my cat who sleeps all day and becomes a ninja at night. Follow her on instagram @Fancy__P

What I feel like doing right now. This is Fancy, my cat who sleeps all day and becomes a ninja at night. You can follow her shenanigans on Instagram. Her handle is Fancy__P (two underscores).

It’s been a hectic two weeks and two weeks from yesterday, I’ll be writing the WSET 3 exam. Am I ready? Short answer, no! Emphatic no!

As you may or may not know, there’s a tasting component to it which I am more confident with than the theory part. We practiced the tasting in the last class, and although I didn’t do nearly as poor as I did with theory during the mock exam, I still didn’t do very well, hovering in the 60% range. This low mark is partly attributed to the fact I forgot to mention an easy note, the level of sweetness. And I forgot to mention flavour intensity in one of them. I’m basically throwing marks away if I do this!

The easiest way to ensure you haven’t missed anything, the teacher insisted, is to remember acronyms for the systematic approach to tasting wine. CIC, CIDA, SAT AB FFF, Quality and level of readiness to drink.

CIC is for the appearance: Clarity, Intensity, Colour, plus other observations like bubbles or the colour of the rim.

CIDA is the acronoym for points for the nose: Condition, Intensity, Development, Aroma characteristics.

SAT AB FFF are the first letters for points for the palate: Sweetness, Acidity, Tannin, Alcohol, Body, Flavour Intensity, Flavour Characteristics, Finish.

It’s easy to miss one or two of these, so it is best to remember them by the acronyms. I completely agree with the teacher here. I consistently forgot to comment on level of sweetness for each wine and that’s one of the easiest to get right! I will not, I repeat, will not throw away any points on the exam. CIC, CIDA, SAT AB FFF, Quality and Level of Readiness to Drink.

When you’re studying, do you find acronyms effective?

4 thoughts on “WSET 3 Systematic Approach to Tasting Wine

  1. I was browsing through pinterest with the “wset” tag & stumbled upon your blog! I’m currently studying for my wset lvl 3 exam as well and it’s nice to be reading your blog on the side. good luck on your exam! 🙂

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