top of page

Short Tutorial - Differences in Blind Tasting WSET3 v Diploma

At the Diploma level, your tasting notes are going to be different.

  • As in WSET 3, you will have to name the color and appearance of your wine, for example, pale lemon.

  • You will also have to assess intensity of aromas...


Medium -


Medium +


  • You will then have to list at LEAST 5 aromas which can be primary (fruit, mineral, floral, herbal, etc), secondary (anything that has to do with maturation, butter, cream, yeast, bread dough, cinnamon, oak) and/or tertiary (any indication of bottle aging, forest floor, chocolate, cedar, tobacco, etc).

This wine has medium + intensity with aromas of bread dough, lemon, golden delicious apple, limestone, yeast, honey and unripened peach
  • Then you will have to assess SATBAMIF…Sweetness, acidity, tannin (quality of tannin if applicable, almost always red wine only), body, alcohol, mousse/ mousse quality (only applicable to bubbles), intensity and finish along with at LEAST 3 flavor descriptions. It is completely normal and actually a sign of good quality if your tasting notes closely resemble your aromas.

This wine is dry with medium + acidity, full body, medium alcohol, a frothy mousse, medium + intensity and a long finish with aromas of biscuit, honey, lemon juice, orange zest, ripe peach, mineral and dried blossom.
  • Quality Assessment is where things take a turn, You will still use BLIC to assess the quality of the wine, balance, length, intensity, complexity to determine if the wine is acceptable, good, very good or outstanding.

  • Every criterian holds a value of one point. 1 pt = Acceptable, 2 pt= Good, 3 pt= Very Good, 4 pt= Outstanding

Balance - Almost all wine is going to be balanced. It wouldn't be on your exam if it wasn't.

1 point

Length - Look back at your SATBAMIF calls. Medium + length = 1 point, Medium = 1/2

pt, Medium - or below = 0pt

Intensity - Same system as above

Complexity - Look back on your aromas/flavors. Did they “jump clusters” between

primary? More than 2 clusters? Did you write down any secondary or tertiary notes? If yes,

point for complexity. If all you wrote down was some citrus, it’s not complex.

  • Here is where the Diploma level requires you to take your Quality Assessment one step further. Now you have to defend your quality assessment call.

This wine is outstanding. This wine was perfectly balanced by high acidity and residual sugar. The flavors and aromas showed a high (medium +) level of intensity and concentration, jumping from the glass. This wine had a great deal of complexity jumping clusters of primary fruit (lemon, limestone, dried blossom), accompanied by secondary notes indicative of sparkling wine made by the traditional method (yeast, biscuit, bread dough) as well as tertiary notes of honey, indicative of bottle aging. Finally, this wine possessed a long, frothy finish that lingered on the palate.
  • Now for readiness to drink. The wine is either suitable for aging or should be consumed immediately. While your third level only required you to make a call one way or the other, your Diploma notes require you to defend your assessment. If the wine has high concentration, high alcohol and/or acidity and tons of fresh flavors, it can age, but keep in mind only very few wines in D4 & D5 will evolve in the bottle, including Vintage port and high quality Champagne.

This wine is suitable for further aging. Although this wine is showing some signs of development with tertiary notes of honey, the high level of acidity and concentration of aromas and flavors suggest this wine would continue to evolve in the bottle. The ripe primary notes would evolve into tertiary notes of dried fruits as well as almond and cheese cloth.
  • Any guess as to what sparkling this wine was? 😉

13 views0 comments


bottom of page