Gosling to host wine school
In a normal year, wine educator Christian Esser travels more than 100,000 miles to share his knowledge and passion for wine.
But this isn’t a normal year, and so Mr Esser is looking forward to a 1,300-mile trip to Bermuda next month, the first away from his Cayman Islands home since early last year.
Mr Esser is managing director of Wineschool3, the Cayman-based provider of the internationally-recognised Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) qualification.
Wineschool3 has partnered with drinks merchant Gosling Brothers Limited to offer three levels of courses here for wine enthusiasts and professionals working in wine-related industries.
They will take place in the Gosling’s wine cellar on Dundonald Street in Hamilton, and will be led by Mr Esser, who set up the school in Cayman in 2014 and has visited 33 countries as a wine educator.
He said: “I haven’t left Cayman for 19 months. Our airport opens up on October 14 to tourists. We have been in lockdown here, more or less.
“I have booked a dive trip already, too. If weather permits, I will go diving in Bermuda. I can’t wait to get out.”
Over the last two years, with travel restricted, Mr Esser said Wineschool3 has presented courses to 1,200 students virtually via Zoom, including 25 from Bermuda.
WSET level I is an introductory course, while level II is more detailed, successful completion of which bestows a junior sommelier designation. Passing the level III exam qualifies a person as a sommelier.
Mr Esser said: “Some of the students who took the course two years ago in person in Bermuda did the level two course online with us.
“Bermuda is a great, supportive community for our programme and our school.”
The courses attract both wine buffs and people working in restaurants, hotels and the wine industry, Mr Esser said.
Pass rates globally for levels I and II are 90 per cent. The number drops to 50 per cent for level III, Mr Esser said.
He added: “Levels I and II everybody can manage as long as you like wine. For level III, you need to have the time, and be properly dedicated.”
Mr Esser holds a level IV WSET wine qualification, just one level below that of a master sommelier. There are just 280 master sommeliers worldwide.
The WSET level I award in wines course will be held on Monday October 18 from 9am until 4pm. An exam will be held on Tuesday, November 9. The cost of the course is $350, including study materials and 13-plus wines to taste.
Organisers say the hands-on course will teach participants to understand more about wine through sight, smell and taste. By the end of the course, participants will be able to taste wine using a systematic approach, identify key styles of wine and know the characteristics of important grape varieties. Participants will also learn the key principles of food and wine pairing and how to apply these to their own food and wine choices.
The WSET level II award in wines course will be held Tuesday through Thursday, October 19 to 21, from 9am to 4pm daily. An exam will be held on December 1. The cost of the course is $895, which includes study materials and 40-plus wines to taste.
Organisers say the structured and informative course explores the major grape varieties and important regions that define the world's key wines. Participants will learn about production, key labelling terminology and major classifications to help them identify wines with confidence.
The WSET level III award in wines is a nine-week, online programme with an online educator to guide participants. Registrants have access to course materials for a full year.
A tasting workshop will be held in Bermuda on Friday, Saturday, and Monday, October 22, 23 and 25 from 9am to 4pm.
An exam will be held on December 13. For registrants who have not completed the course by that date, an exam will also be held early next year.
The cost of the course is $1,695, which includes 50-plus wines to taste.
Organisers say the hybrid level III course is an advanced level qualification for professionals working in the wine industry and for wine enthusiasts. For individuals seeking to delve deeper into the world of wines, organisers say, this qualification provides a detailed understanding of grape growing and winemaking. Upon completion, participants will be able to assess wines accurately, and use their understanding to confidently explain wine style and quality.
Class size for each course level is capped at 12. Registration closes on October 3.
The courses are SafeKey events.
To register, see the website www.wineschool3.com. For more information, firstname.lastname@example.org.