WSET wine course in Leiden

After years of enjoying many and more glasses of wines and spirits I decided to sign up for the International Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), qualification Level 2 and 3. The WSET wine course is the largest wine educator in the world with 56,000 students per year in 62 countries. The institution has become the international standard for sommeliers, importers, retailers and hospitality. This action does not come as a surprise for my inner circle, who are familiar with my entrepreneurial history in the restaurant business. The enrollment was just a delay due to travel and living abroad. What’s not to like in another discovery trail and acquiring a certificate for wine appreciation it is hitting two birds with one stone.

WSET wine course in Leiden

The above mentioned WSET wine course has approved program providers in The Netherlands ensuring the high standards of teaching. From the listed companies on the WSET wine course page in Dutch I have chosen the Dutch educational company “Wijnstudio”. The Wine Studio claims since 2005 the highest exam results for the International Wine Certificate with 99 graduates in one take and 71 graduates  for Wine Professional (Source:

The Winestudio is an independent company, who does not sell wines nor being tied to an importer. The company also focuses in addition to the educational courses on gastronomy, the pairing of wine and food taste in flavor and aroma. For those who aspire a professional career and wonder what the education differences entails here are two summarized articles to consider on wine courses; comparison of wine certificationsGuide to Wine education courses. More information in the Wine education widget as listed on our Asianfoodtrail ZEEF page.

Having viewed Dutch wine educational websites information and comparing course fees, it was enlightening to notice their graduates success rate. While this is encouraging information, the decision maker however was distance for preferred location. The WSET wine course program is being held in my present hometown Leiden at a new course location this year. Instead of a bored meeting room it is being hosted now at the wine shop La Bordelaise which lies conveniently in the heart of the city.

Last night entering the class room, all students received the course material and the box with tasting glasses. The Level 2 Award course began with our teacher opening the first bottle of the evening, a Royer Brut Champagne, France. Although we received a wine tasting list overview, I wished I had remembered to take a snapshot of the wine labels. Besides illustration purpose I wanted to test a new mobile wine app, coming up in a next post.

WSET Level 2 award

Unboxing of WSET level 2 award

Continuing app stor-y-age

My Apps (2) – Like anyone else who travels and like to take photo’s or work with important data, knows you’ll have to make a back-up by transferring the content over to a memory card or a handy app as Dropbox. This file-hosting service offers cloud storage for all your data & documents synchronizing directly from your smart-phone. A great way to make back-ups, uploads your camera shots in a whiz from your desk PC and across other working stations as well. Really love the simplicity and its sharing tool, at the moment I have earned even extra storage space by connecting other stations, referring, linking to Twitter, send like tweets and even a Samsung promotion delivered bonus storage. All that accumulating to a whooping 51.25GB it sure does sounds a lot to me, but who knows how rapidly I could fill up that space with what I’ve been working on during this month.

I’d featured the Watermark App in my previous post but just having had a discussion on intellectual property and use of photos on products am mentioning it again. For copyright security you have options to be barely visible or plain bold, you can also add a personal message or fun graphics. Have a look at this Add Watermark Android review by AppEggs with info and alternative options.

I received this tip from Elaine Ching from the The Brandroom and webshop TrunkV introducing and importing Asian fashion brands. Will feature an upcoming post containing their new website showing latest trends with clothing and accessories items. I very much like their slogan: “It’s more fun if you are the Lucky One”.

Another productive mobile app is BufferApp, a great twitter app for multiple social media accounts and it connects WordPress too with a plug-in very practical. This is a service that stacks your tweets and publishes at defined times, by scheduling you can organize your work flow more efficiently by buffering in advance. Hence it’s appropriate name!

The most appealing features must be shortening of links and and analytic’s showing the reach of your tweets by clicks, re-tweets, mentions or marked them as favourite. Thereby identifying your followers profile, a definite keeper on my App list.

In the beginning just looking at my time-line was enough, well that changed over time including the use of more platforms it was time to re-organize. I had downloaded and deleted quite a few tools, while comparing my own findings with other users reviews on pros & cons, I concluded there is not a perfect app yet including all my preferences.

The social media dashboards I have installed; free version HootSuite on the PC and Ubersocial for my Smartphone & Tablet. Initially used both smartphone applications side by side but gravitated towards Ubersocial, it has a clean feel and in my view better equipped for smartphones. Having said this everyone each own preferences there is no argumentation when it rotates around “like”, functionality will become apparent with a lot of trial and error process during the course of daily intensive usage.

Let me know what app clients you use and share your experience and/or findings. Always happy to learn more or even better if you have a review of a new app breathing ‘easy’ all the way.




Fav Android mobile photo apps

My Apps (1) – Lets not kid ourselves our society has been transformed the moment mobiles entered our life-style and made slowly but surely changes especially games, mobile applications and widgets. The possibilities in here has avalanched the way we read and made influential changes how we spend our time according to latest researches. I will not dive into scientific areas or technical description far from it even, for me as end-user I am only interested in convenient and efficient.

Simply said, are apps & widgets easy to operate and handy. Do they deliver any time and anywhere access, supporting tasks and retrieve latest updates. As social media fan and enthusiastic user, who loves to find out best practices with nifty gadgets and/or apps. I retrieve and exchange answers also from user groups, twitter feeds with search #hashtag for advice on the why’s, dont’s, do’s or just what is fun.

Since there are so many and only frequent usage will reveal whether it serves it purpose or not and I have my favourite free Android mobile apps. This is the first post of a series featuring “My Apps” list in categories starting with visual apps.

  • Instagram – Iphone most talked and raved application, now acquired by Facebook because it was the first photo-sharing experience on mobile phones! I installed the android version right on my Samsung S3 because it’s connected with other social media applications. For Iphone & Android users have a look at post mentioning other apps for even more possibilities and effects by Mashable Tech 10 Photo apps that enhance Instagram Tumblr post Instagram Apps unofficial catalog of cool apps or Lifehacker Five better alternatives for Android No need to explain why it turned immensely popular, it was fun to play and connect with friends and groups but I wanted more photo Fx (effects).
  • PicsArt Android – Now we’re talking this is a complete photo editing tool and super easy to use, once you start playing around with its features your hooked! I’ve downloaded this app also on my Samsung Tablet P1000 and if you like Photoshop this comes quite near.
  • Streamzoo  Android – After Picsart this is my second best favourite because of its thriving community, members are prompt to tag their photo’s with hashtag as in Twitter, which makes it easier to follow and to find both people and interests. Since I’m a of Foursquare fan too I like the game reward element collecting points and badges. Photo’s I uploaded were instantly picked out and liked, sharing is also appreciating efforts of others so yes this app is a keeper.
  • Photo Grid Android – I’ve just recently added this and signed up for Beta-version testing, I like it as an addition to PicsArt making photo collages, single photo’s can be powerful but at times a collage can be as entertaining to want to see more.
  • Add watermark – Android I downloaded this after positive referral, easy to set-up and use. Sign your pictures with text or logo as protection for your digital and intellectual property, but also serve to advertise your company, website or other information at the same time.
  • Daily Mugshot Android – Is a fun app to take daily photo’s and upload instantly, some users have found an entertaining way to change their snaps by altering head wear, color lipsticks or just yourself as you. The only thing is I keep forgetting to take snapshots so I have one with big gaps but still fun when quickly flipped through to notice changes as an old film/cartoonbook.
There is so much more and available that actually having all these choices it just makes it harder and you may not like my choices, perhaps this post Top 20 Android Photography apps will enlighten you with more options of photo effects.

Android photo apps