Wine & Spirit Education Trust vs Wine School of Philadelphia

A Comparison of Two Wine Education Models


Welcome to the WSET Philly & Wine School of Philadelphia comparison page! In February 2019, the Wine & Spirits Education Trust and their legal team asked us to change this page. Their legal counsel, Brooks Acordia, issued a 20 page cease and desist order, claiming the original page violated their WSET trademark. 


We do not agree with their assertions. However, we are not going to go to battle over this disagreement. The page had been created years ago and had almost no original content on it. To be honest, we had forgotten about this page until the Wine & Spirit Education Trust’s legal team reminded us about it.


From the beginning, the intent of this page is to compare the Wine School of Philadelphia with, the local WSET affiliate. We do not claim to be a WSET school, nor do we want to be apart of the Wine & Spirits Education Trust ecosphere. To stress the difference between the local WSET affiliate and the Wine School of Philadelphia, we have created the following comparison. We are not WSET Philly!


Comparative advertising—the act of conveying information about one’s own products or services by measuring them against those of another—is not only permissible but encouraged, according to the case law as well as regulatory pronouncements by the Federal Trade
Commission (“FTC”) and other agencies such as the Food & Drug Administration (“FDA”).

American Bar Association, 39th Annual Forum on Franchising


Overview of  the WSET Affiliate in Philadelphia

According to its website,  has been running Wine & Spirit Education Trust classes since 1988.


Reviews of WSET Philadelphia

Despite being around since Ronald Reagan was president, Philly’s WSET affiliate has zero positive reviews (as of  February 7th, 2019, when this screenshot was taken).  

Sadly, there are no Google Local reviews of to include here. 

Overview of the Wine School of Philadelphia

Since 2001, the Wine School of Philadelphia is an independent education center. It offers programs via the National Wine School.

Reviews of the Wine School of Philadelphia

The school has the quality and volume of reviews that are expected for a school that has been operating for twenty years. Screenshots were taken February 7th, 2019

Wine & Spirit Education Trust? Not Here.

While the WSET is a well-known name in wine education. However, it does come with some limitations.  WSET was originally designed for folks working in British restaurants, and that history is baked into their teaching styles. It’s a “one size fits all” model of wine education. That is a smart move for a firm that sells school franchises across the world, but we don’t think it serves wine students very well.

The industry needs creative problem solvers, who have hands-on experience in winemaking, and know how to develop a successful business. Cookie cutter approaches to wine education will not suffice. 

Instead, we recommend certification by the National Wine School (NWS). This certification offers the same academic credentials in the USA as the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET). We prefer to offer NSW due it’s transparency in certification, trustworthiness, and independence. Unlike other certification bodies, it is focused on the wine trade instead of the restaurant trade, which offers a great deal of latitude for our students. The NWS is not affiliated with the CMS or WSET.


Available Wine Courses



Intermediate Course (Fall Semester)

Sunday, October 4 from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
7 Seat(s) Available

Wine Foundation Course (Fall Semester)

Sunday, October 4 from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm
4 Seat(s) Available

Foundation Course (Online)

Sunday, October 4 from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm
5 Seat(s) Available

Core Wine Course (Winter Semester)

Sun, January 10, 2021 from 2:00 pm to 6:30 pm
14 Seat(s) Available

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