WSET Level 3 Exam Tips


  • If you believe a wine is simple make sure you write the word “simple” in both the nose and palate sections, it’s worth a mark
  • Ensure you comment on all aspects of palate – sweetness, acidity, alcohol, body, finish and flavour characteristics; create a mnemonic to ensure you remember them all SAABFF so you don’t give away potential marks
  • Ensure you use the correct terminology, for example pronounced intensity, not high intensity
  • Write at least 5 aroma and at least 3 flavour characteristics, remember there is no negative marking; but be reasonable, it is unlikely that a wine smells of lemon and blackcurrant; however if it smells of lemon then it may well have an aroma of lime too
  • If you detect a characteristic then write it in both the aroma and flavour sections
  • Make it easy for the examiner to give you marks by clearly separating the different parts of your answer
  • Where you use (-) or (+) put them in brackets so they don’t get confused for a hyphen or ampersand


  • The manual is called “Explaining Style and Quality”, there is a reason for that.  Read what the question wants and don’t just state facts, say what their impact is on the style and/or quality of the wine.  For example, don’t just say “the climate is cool” say “the climate is cool which means the grapes retain freshness and acidity”; don’t just say “fermentation is in stainless steel” say “fermentation is in stainless steel in order to retain the primary fruit character”.  Think about using the phrase “which means that …”
  • Look at the marks available and ensure you make at least that number of relevant points
  • Learn the sequence of winemaking from harvest to bottling and apply it to your answer if relevant