DIPLOMA, an exciting experience reserved for wine enthusiasts

7 May 2024

Today we’re talking to Nathan MENOU, and his DIPLOMA adventure with WiSP. 

As I said in my introduction, the intensive Diploma course is reserved for the most determined wine enthusiasts. But the WiSP team, the trainers, the other participants and the WiSP Alumnis are there to ensure that you pass your exam and surpass yourself. This prestigious WSET-certified course (, designed to prepare professionals for the Master of Wine, offers total immersion in the complex world of wine and provides in-depth expertise on the world’s wines and the economic mechanisms of the modern wine industry. Find out how this intensive experience has transformed my vision.

The intensive Diploma programme:

When I chose this demanding path, my objective was clear: to prepare for the prestigious Master of Wine.Alongside my studies in oenology, I opted for this intensive programme to gain a broader understanding and a mosaic of wine analysis tools.The intensive programme enabled me to surpass myself in achieving my objectives.

The timetable was drawn up in a uniform way so that I could follow the whole course.A schedule that had to be strictly adhered to in order to meet the training requirements. So I ‘landed’ in two classes, in the first and second year.

I had to develop intellectual gymnastics in order to make progress on the technical side (production, business, knowledge of sparkling and blended wines), but also to absorb the information on the most massive part of the programme, around the wines of the world.

The Diploma, a unique tasting method

The Diploma or WSET level 4 in wine not only enables you to develop an extremely precise international wine culture, but also to acquire genuine expertise in production methods and the economic and financial mechanisms that make up the modern world of wine.

The tasting method allows us to adopt an almost scientific approach, very different from the Latin way of thinking. This reasoning really sharpens the senses, and calibrates the receptors against a frame of reference.

It’s a set of codes that enable us to take a more pragmatic approach, and one that’s less emotional, so that we can communicate with professionals in the field in the same ‘language’, despite linguistic or cultural differences.

As a developer of international projects and a judge in numerous competitions, these different methods have enabled me to add another dimension to my tastings: they are now more precise, faster and more consistent. These tasting techniques have also enabled me to arrive at hypotheses in my conclusions, in order to determine the value of a wine, as well as its potential for evolution. This is a necessary component in a buyer’s appreciation of a wine.

Diploma is also about meeting people.

My classes were made up of tasters and professionals from all over the world. We were able to discuss our respective visions of the world of wine, make professional connections and create new friendships. The group dynamic, both for revision and tasting, is really important. However, it’s difficult to take part in the group sessions outside the course when we’re assigned to both classes.

Some advice for future students:

For future candidates who would like to follow the intensive DIPLOMA programme, I would strongly advise them to set aside time for revision, to devote time to selecting and synthesising information, but above all to perfecting their response method, which is essential for passing the exams.

The essay, or dissertation, is a form of scientific reasoning designed to give a complete and precise answer on a specific subject.

It is important to complete all the exercises suggested by WISP in order to perfect your method. You should also not hesitate to participate and ask questions during the group sessions in the institute.The vast majority of WiSP trainers are Masters of Wine.They are the ones who will help you prepare for the exams.They are the wellsprings of information you need to succeed in the exams.

Personally, I had to take up the challenge of relearning everything in a language that was not my own. Having worked in various branches of the wine world, whether in sommellerie or production, I had to relearn the English lexicon. It’s an experience that can be frustrating but necessary.

Despite the sacrifices and challenges involved, the satisfaction of having successfully completed each module is immense. Thanks to WISP’s attentive support, I was able to understand the training in all its complexity, enriched by exchanges with the great professionals that are the trainers and the students.

I would therefore recommend doing your DIPLOMA training with WiSP.

Nathan Menou, General Manager, Experimental Group




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