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    Our Recent Top Exam Scorers

    Andrea Mcewan

    Andrea Mcewan

    Bizhen Chen, FWS

    Congratulations to Bizhen Chen, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Bizhen:

    I am the co-founder of a wine trading and sales company, meanwhile I deliver lectures as a wine educator in a wine school. Undoubtedly my career is quite involved with wine industry, however rather than defining myself as a wine professional, I would like to use the status ‘a wine enthusiast’. I have fallen in love with wine since the legal drinking age haha! Stay thirsty, stay foolish. I believe that Enthusiasm, which leads me to the professional journey, makes a master.

    I also own these wine certification: WSET Diploma, WSET Nominated Educator, VIA Italian Wine Ambassador.
    The FWS program provides good knowledge supplement toward wine educators. It has a systematic structure with up-to-date information. The language is allusive and witty, yet easy to understand.

    The FWS program is insightful and helps to broaden and solidify my knowledge. Sincerely speaking, the program is great and I would love to introduce it to my students.

    Read more...

    Erika Frey

    Congratulations to Erika Frey for passing the Loire Master Level exam with highest honors!

    About Erika:

    Over the past 10 years, I have assembled a portfolio career in wine and spirits with several jobs involving education, retail and marketing.  Most of my time is spent teaching the WSET program, helping to run a boutique wine shop called Winestone, acting as one of the directors of the Boston Sommelier Society and promoting the wines of the Republic of Georgia.

    I have completed many certification programs including the WSET Diploma in Wine and Spirits, Certified Wine Educator and Certified Sommelier.  These studies and certifications have allowed me to create a second career in a very different industry.

    The Wine Scholar Guild programs are particularly special to me because they have provided me the opportunity to really zoom in on specific countries and regions.  I have truly enjoy exploring these areas in depth and in detail.  The Loire Master-Level was my final French Master-Level.  I have now completed all the existing WSG programs with highest honors.  It is one of my proudest achievements.

    The Loire Master-Level has given me the knowledge that helps me educate others and sell Loire Valley wines with confidence.  All of the WSG Master-Levels combined have made me a very effective teacher for the wines of France, and France is usually an important foundation for most wine certification programs.

    Read more...

    Vanny Whitchelo, IWS

    Congratulations to Vanny Whitchelo, IWS, for passing the Italian Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Vanny:

    Back in 2012, while I was working in marketing in the travel industry, I started taking WSET 1, 2, and 3 as a wine enthusiast. Shortly after taking level 3 I decided to actively pursue a career in the wine industry. I started off as a sales coordinator for a bit at an agency that focused on spirits and only a handful of wines. I quickly got into sales there. Now I work in marketing with a focus on digital marketing at a wine agency based in Western Canada, Trialto Wine Group.

    I like to surround myself with wine enthusiasts and aspire to continue learning about wine, with a goal of completing the WSET diploma and beyond. I’d like to start writing on my website, ittasteslikewine.com again.

    I have WSET level 3. Although the chapter on Italy was one of the longest in level 3, the IWS program dove deeper and I gained extensive knowledge in the amount of time that otherwise would’ve taken me years to acquire had I taken a more leisurely approach. I now speak confidently and with great enthusiasm on Italian wines, having enjoyed many for the program!

    After taking IWS, I’d like to take FWS and eventually complete the WSET diploma. I believe the IWS program has helped set me up for success in my studies, and I think FWS will too.

    I enrolled in the IWS program while I was on maternity leave. The way the program is set up allowed for flexibility on when I could study, something I very much needed while caring for an infant.

    I’m pregnant with my second and have the confidence I can do well again in FWS with the same dedication and support of my family.

    I believe the IWS program will help set me up for success in my future studies and professional life. It has showed me that thanks to my dedication and very important support network, I can excel in my studies and career while raising a young family. 

    Read more...

    Oksana Wengryniuk, FWS

    Congratulations to Oksana Wengryniuk, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Oksana:

    I work at Nightingale restaurant as a Sommelier. The restaurant has a diverse family style menu with an adventurous wine list to pair. I started working as a server, but became more and more interested with wine, and I was lucky to have many wine team members mentor me. I decided to take my WSET level 2 to start building a foundation of wine knowledge. After I took my WSET level 3 I joined the wine team as a Junior Sommelier and took my French wine Scholar. I’m hoping to take the Italian Wine Scholar course next!

    I feel the FWS course helped immensely with my confidence in speaking about French Wine. I have a better understanding of the geography and wine styles of France. The course really gave me a good context when referring to French wines on our wine list. I definitely was able to dive into French wine in far more detail than I have with other programs.  

    I think the FWS is a great thing to have under your belt as a Sommelier. I hope to take my CMS certified exam in the future and I know that FWS has given me a great foundation to do that. I look forward to furthering my knowledge in French wine and working with it everyday with the new understanding I’ve gained. 

    Read more...

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