• Manchester WSET Level 3 Award, 2018

    True Experts in their Field

    The Wine and Spirits Education Trust is proud to approve only educators who are true experts in their field. Watch out for the Certified Educator Logo, as seen below, which shows that John is best in class to deliver WSET programmes.

    WSET Manchester, Certified Educator

    Announcing our Manchester WSET Level 3 Award in Wines 2018

    Northern Wine School is pleased to announce that we will be holding Manchester WSET Level 3 Awards in Wines in Autumn 2018.

    For individuals seeking to delve deeper into the world of wines, this qualification provides a detailed understanding of grape growing and wine making. Upon completion you will be able to assess wines accurately, and use your understanding to confidently explain wine style and quality.

    Upon successful completion you will receive a WSET certificate and lapel pin, and will be able to use the associated WSET certified logo.

    WSET Manchester, Level 3 Awards in Wines

    WSET Manchester, Level 3 Awards in Wines

    Who is it for?

    This an in-depth and well-structured course for those who wish to gain a comprehensive knowledge of wines. You will be helped to understand the factors that influence style, quality and price of wines from the major wine producers of the world. If you are an employer our Manchester WSET Level 3 Course will give your staff the knowledge and confidence they need to move your business forward. 

    Key Points

    • check
      Students will learn analytical tasting skills, tasting over 80 wines
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      Level 2 wines is essential before tackling Level 3
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      There is a blind tasting element in the exam. One white, and one red wine
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      Multi-choice questions and short written sections in the exam

    What You'll Learn

    The key factors in the production of wine: Location, grape growing, wine making, maturation and bottling.

    How these key factors influence still, sparkling and fortified wines.

    How to apply your understanding to explain wine style and quality.

    Useful Links

  • Announcing Our WSET Scholarship Winner 2017 From Manchester Metropolitan University

    ​Our New Annual Scholarship for the Hospitality Business Management Department

    The students were given the challenge to investigate how the wines and spirits sector might get younger consumers more interested in wine. Northern Wine School offered the prize of a complete Level 2 Wines and Spirits Course.

    Wine Tasting Manchester, winner of our 2017 essay competition.

    The Inaugural Winner Is...

    ​Kinga Boczkaja-congratulations Kinga! We have reproduced her essay below.

    ​The Winning Entry

    How does the sector get younger ‘millennial’ consumers more interested in wines, in a world of ‘craft’ spirits, beers and cocktails?

    Introduction

    In the recent years there has been a significant increase in the number of new ‘craft’ breweries opened in the UK, which has reached 1,424 in 2015 (Mintel, 2016). According to Ascher (2012) craft beers are selling based on their taste and quality, and millennials are driving these sales, as they are more experimental than the other generations, and are willing to pay the higher price for their experience. However various factors such as continuously rising alcohol prices and an increased interest in living a healthy lifestyle, has caused many UK drinkers to switch to cheaper and healthier alternatives such as wine (Mintel, 2016; Aquilani B., et al., 2015).

    Various research has shown that the millennial generation relies heavily on word of mouth when purchasing alcoholic drinks, especially wine products. For example, Mintel (2015) has stated that 55% of millennials will only buy an alcoholic beverage that has been recommended to them, compared to 46% for older generations. Similarly, Hall, J., et al. (2004) suggests that the 18-25 year old group relies more heavily on advice from salespersons and waiters, and samples and in-house displays, when purchasing wine. This essay will explore ways in which millennials can be influenced to purchase wine as an alternative to other alcoholic beverages.

    Social Media

    “75% of social media users admitted that wine associated social media interactions can influence their purchases and increase spending on an individual wine purchase” (Fernández, R., et al, (2017).One of the most prominent characteristic of millennials is that they are a tech-savvy generation. 91% of millennials own a smartphone (Mintel, 2015), which means that it makes it effortless for them to look up product information whilst shopping, but also makes it easier to consult their friends to make a purchasing decision (Atkin, T., Thach, L., 2012). This implies that brands who promote their wine on social media are more likely to reach their millennial target market, and increase their sales.

    However winery brands should be systematic and thorough when posting content on social media. Research has shown that wineries that are more probable to report an increase in wine sales are the ones that have multiple social media platforms, and post frequently (Fernández, R., et al, 2017). The reason for this is that millennials use a variety of social media platforms, and by promoting their wine brand on numerous sites, the wineries are ensuring that they get maximum coverage, which means reaching a larger audience, and may consequently mean an increase in sales.

    One of the things that companies have to be aware of is that social media should not only be used for product promotion, but also for communication with consumers. Active communication with customers can help to build relationships with them, and make them more brand loyal, but it can also help with customer retention. Nevertheless, the research carried out by Fernández, R., et al, (2017), shows that although wineries all have a link to their webpage on social media sites, very few have disclosed an email address on which customers can contact them on. This could be an issue, as not only millennials, but other generations as well, have stated that email is their preferred channel for personalized communication, as shown in Appendices 1 (Bedor, L., 2016:online). 

    Label design

    The label design of a bottle of wine can have a huge impact on the consumers’ perception of the product, especially for millennials. Millennials place a higher importance on the attractiveness of the wine label compared to other generations. In fact, the highest rated element when purchasing a bottle of wine is an eye-catching label (Wolf, M., Thomas, S., 2007). Packaging design is quite important in promotion of wine, as it helps to distinguish it from the various similar competitors (Jenster, V.P., et al. 2008). According to Wolf and Thomas (2007) millennials are drawn to wine products based on label design, style of the font, and overall appearance of the product. This should be considered by wine producers when choosing the design of wine products, as distinguishing your product from competitor’s products can increase sales and sustain customer interest.

    Additionally, Henley, C. et al. (2011) have conducted an experiment by getting millennial participants to try the same wines before and after seeing the wine label. The results showed that “when the producer provided specific fruit characteristics, the informant perceived they tasted those fruits much more than without the information on the label” (Henley, C. et al. 2011). This shows how wine producers can unconsciously change a consumer’s perception of their product by including vital information on the label.

    Wine companies should also distinguish how to promote their products to different target markets via the labels. This is portrayed in appendices 2 (Atkin, T., Thach, L., 2012:online), which shows that although both millennials and the elderly pay the same amount of attention to the brand name when they shop for wine, millennials care more about the alcohol content, label imagery and medals won.  This also suggests that wine labelling is important to millennials as it is a means of distinguishing products and choosing the ones that match their values.

    Conclusion

    When trying to attract millennial customers, wine companies should keep in mind that they are a tech-savvy generation, who are always looking for innovation. The more social media platforms that the companies promote their product on, the bigger audience the product will reach. Additionally, wineries should remember that communication is key when acquiring new customers, but also when retaining existing ones, therefore they should remember to provide an email address or another direct way of contact on their social media sites. 

    As well as this, wine producers should focus on an effective way of labelling their products. They should ensure that the labels are simple and eye-catching, and that the back label is used as the heart of product information, meaning that taste characteristics must be stated clearly as this can unconsciously change the consumers mind, and encourage them to buy the product.

       

    Appendices 1 – which communication channel feels most personal when contacting a brand?

    (Source: Bedor, L., 2016:online)

    Appendices 2- Graph of importance of wine label information for Millennials and Elders.

    Source: (Atkin, T., Thach, L., 2012:online)

    References:

  • John Hosts Champagne Bureau Masterclass

    ​John recently hosted this Masterclass for The Champa​gne Bureau. It was held at Manchester Metropolitan University for the Hospitality Business Management students. He strongly endorses the value of WSET courses and qualifications.

    John @northwineschool recently hosted a Masterclass for The #Champa​gne Bureau.

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  • Vital Tips For Multiple Choice Exams

    What is a Multi-Choice Test?

    A multiple choice exam is a list of questions from which students are asked to pick out the correct answer. The set of options will usually include 3 or 4 wrong answers. Sometimes you will be asked to choose "true or false".

    Levels 1 and 2 exams consist entirely of these sorts of questions. This may seem easier ( being given the answer) but it does mean there is a much broader coverage of the subject.

    Here are our 10 tips to help you succeed

    • Make sure you read the question carefully before you look at the answer
    • Try to think of an answer before you look at the choices
    • Read every choice before you choose
    • Reject any answer you know is wrong
    • Mark your answer carefully and clearly. These tests are often machine marked
    • Answer each question. Do not leave any unanswered there is no penalty
    • If you don't know the answer, take a guess
    • Don't change your mind. Trust your first intincts. Research shows this is best
    • Research also shows a positive choice is more likely to be true than a negative one
    • Usually the choice with the most information is correct

    Key Point

    These tips will help but the best way to do well in the exam is to study carefully. Begin your revision early and take practice tests.
    Good luck-but if you follow this advice you shouldn't need it!
  • Wine Tasting Manchester-Essential Guide Part 2 WSET Courses

    Wine Tasting Manchester-Essential Guide Part 2 WSET Professional Courses

    Our wine tasting Manchester posts would not be complete without taking a close look at our WSET Awards. WSET stands for Wine and Spirit Education Trust in case you don't know. If you are not familiar with these world renowned qualifications you may not realise that wine tasting technique and the chance to taste a wide range of wines (or spirits) are a very important component of these awards.

    Why You Should Consider WSET Awards

    Taking a WSET accredited course is a fantastic way to improve your appreciation of wine, and will be really helpful to anyone starting out on a career in the drinks business. If you are looking to establish your credibility as an existing worker in the wine and spirits business or you just want to challenge yourself and have fun at the same time, these courses are for you. The chance to taste lots of different wines (about 8 on Level 1 over 40 on Level 2!) is a very important and enjoyable part of your Manchester wine tasting experience.

    The Wine & Spirit Education Trust provides globally recognised education and qualifications in wines, spirits and sake, for professionals and enthusiasts.

    WSET Courses Offered by Northern Wine School

    We offer one-day beginner (Level 1) courses in wines and also spirits. Beyond that we provide more advanced awards which involve substantial wine tasting at our Manchester courses, and in-depth study by students. (Levels 2 and 3 in wines and spirits)

    Sign up to our newsletter or better still become a free member of our WSET section of the website.

    WSET Level 1 Award in Wines

    Wine tasting Manchester-WSET level 1 wines

    This one day course will give you a basic introduction to wine. You will also get an insight into basic food and wine matching. It will suit the keen beginner as well as boosting the confidence of new or inexperienced staff in the wine and spirits industry.

    To gain the qualification you must pass the test at the end of the day-a multiple choice paper of 30 questions.

    Find full details of Level 1 wines on our dedicated page here.

    WSET Level 1 Award in Spirits

    Also a one day course which will give you a basic introduction to spirits. You will get an insight into the production and distillation of the major spirits of the world. It will suit the keen beginner as well as boosting the confidence of new or inexperienced front line staff in bars, hotels and restaurants.

    To gain the qualification you must pass the test at the end of the day-a multiple choice paper of 30 questions.

    Find full details of Level 1 spirits on our dedicated page-scroll to bottom of page.

    WSET Level 2 Award in Wines and Spirits

    Wine tasting Manchester-WSET Level 2 wines and spirits

    This is a three day course held over successive Sundays. It will appeal to those enthusiasts who want to gain more in-depth knowledge of wines and spirits. The award will also provide a good basic grounding to anyone employed in the drinks and hospitality industries.

    The course goes into the details of how wine is made, key grape varieties and major wine producing regions. An essential part of the course is food and wine pairing, label terms and how to taste wine systematically. Currently the study of spirits and liqueurs is included in this course.

    To achieve this internationally recognised wines and spirits award, you must pass a multiple choice paper of 50 questions. This is taken at the end of the last day.

    Find full details of Level 2 Wines and Spirits on our dedicated page.

    WSET Level 2 Award in Spirits

    Wine tasting Manchester-WSET Level 2 Spirits
    A beginner to intermediate level qualification exploring spirits and liqueurs for those working in the industry or spirits enthusiasts.

    This is a three day course held over successive Sundays. It will appeal to those enthusiasts who want to gain more in-depth knowledge of spirits. The award will also provide an excellent grounding to anyone employed in the drinks and hospitality industries, especially bars, pubs and cocktail bars.

    This course covers spirits production and the tasting of spirits, including fruit, grain, sugar cane and agave spirits. You will also study and taste flavoured spirits and liqueurs. Classic cocktails and the preparing of drinks and cocktails has been included as well.

    Students will taste at least 30 spirits and liqueurs over the three weeks.

    To achieve this internationally recognised spirits award, you must pass a multiple choice paper of 50 questions. This is taken at the end of the last day.

    Find full details of Level 2 Spirits on our dedicated page. Scroll to bottom of page

    WSET Level 3 Award in Wines

    Wine tasting Manchester-WSET Level 3 Wines
    An advanced level qualification for professionals working in the wine industry and for wine enthusiasts.

    Normally this is a five week course consisting of five full Sundays. It is for those of you seeking deeper detailed understanding of the world of wine. The wine tasting Manchester element of this course is even more rigorous and involves tasting 50-60 wines including sparkling and fortified.

    The exam consists of a two hour theory paper of two parts. The first part is 50 multiple choice question, with the second part made up of short written answers to four questions. The written answers are worth 25 marks each. There is also a blind tasting exam of two wines.

    This Level 3 Manchester wine tasting WSET course is coming soon (early 2018).

    Sign up to our newsletter or better still become a free member of our WSET section of the website.

    Wine Tasting Manchester

    Remember- wine tasting Manchester at our WSET courses is a very important part of learning, over 40 wines and spirits are tasted for this Level 2 Wines and Spirits Award!

    See the WSET Qualifications Page here. There is a full description of every Award and specifications for you to download

    See Parts 1 and 3 of Our Series

    Wine Tasting Manchester Guide Part 1

    Wine Tasting Manchester Guide Part 3