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    Blog

    … including excellent restaurants out in the wine regions.

    Preparing your next Bordeaux wine tour?

    Sarah Graham-Beck, Tour Manager on the Wine Scholar Guild’s Bordeaux wine tours will be writing a series of articles about travel tips to Bordeaux.

    In this first article, Sarah shares a selection of top Bordeaux restaurants with a great wine list!

    Food and wine are at the heart of life in Bordeaux. The city and its surroundings now offer some of the best restaurants in France, on a par with Lyon & Paris.

    Read more...

    Maurizio Broggi, DWS, FWS, is the Education Director for the Italian Wine Scholar (IWS) program. During an eight-day summer tour, he led a group of IWS educators through three of Italy’s northern wine producing regions, Trentino, Franciacorta and Lugana.

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    Any wine student or lover of Italian wines can name the country’s most famous red wines, such as Barolo, Brunello di Montalcino or Amarone della Valpolicella. But given the variety of Italian wines and grape types, it stands to reason that there are many more examples produced throughout the country. This article is the first in a series about a few of the lesser known red wines of Italy; we begin with Piemonte.

    While there are three famous red varieties in Piemonte – Nebbiolo, Barbera and Dolcetto – there are several others that produce very expressive wines.

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    In the search for a mapmaker for the Spanish Wine Scholar™ program, I was somehow led to Quentin Sadler.

    I didn’t think it possible to find someone with the same love and passion for Spain as I have, but I sure did in Quentin! It was obvious that our collaboration on this program was meant to be. His work is incredible and we both are committed to making this program the gold standard in Spanish wine education.

    Quentin has more than 30 years in the wine trade and holds the Diploma from WSET. He is a passionate London-based wine educator, communicator, blogger, and mapmaker.

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    Thanks to a string of successful vintages, there has been a great deal of recent publicity regarding Barolo and Barbaresco wines.

    Produced entirely from Nebbiolo, these two iconic wines have changed in style over the past 20-30 years; where once, the wines were reserved upon release, today, the wines are riper and more forward. This is largely due to climate change, as warmer temperatures throughout the growing season have necessitated Nebbiolo harvests some two to three weeks earlier these days than in the 1980s, ‘70s and prior; while late October to early November was normal for a Nebbiolo harvest thirty and forty years ago, today, harvest is more typically in early-mid October.

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    Deep dive into Trentino, Franciacorta & Lugana

    Who could have imagined there would be so much to know about these three wine regions! Maurizio Broggi, along with the Consorzia of Trentino, Franciacorta and Lugana took us, a group of Italian Wine Scholar™ educators, into a deep dive to discover what these wine regions were all about. We had the opportunity to discover in detail the elements contributing to their uniqueness in styles and in quality along with the challenges they are facing.

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    The Wine Scholar Guild is hosting a full-day primer on France’s northern wine regions at SommCon DC in July. Sharpen your pencils and come well-rested, you could go home a winner!

    French Wine Scholar Review Day with Education Director, Lisa Airey, FWS, CWE

    We will start this full-day program with a quick 20-question quiz! Bring your A-game! There are prizes to be won!

    During this session, we will review the important wine regions of France’s north: Alsace, Champagne, Bourgogne, Beaujolais, and Loire.

    We will go over the biggest stumbling blocks to mastery for each region and clarify the complicated bits. The program is informative, fun and interactive.

    Although a stand-alone primer on France, the day also serves to introduce participants to the depth and breadth of the French Wine Scholar certification program.

    Read more...

    Wine Scholar Guild Education Director, Lisa M. Airey, CWE, FWS was knighted by the French government in a ceremony at the Embassy of France in Washington DC on March 28, 2018.

    She was inducted as “chevalier” to the Ordre du Mérite Agricole for her contributions to French agriculture (namely, wine!).

    Sylvain Maestracci, Agriculture Counselor, officiated. It was his first knighting ceremony and hard to tell who was more touched as the medal got close to the lapel.

    Lisa was commended for the development of the French Wine Scholar Program which is now taught by over 50 program providers, in 53 cities, in 16 countries on 5 continents. It is also hosted as an online program in independent- and instructor-led formats.

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    Grapes  for Vin Santo Drying in the Vinsantaia

    One of the most characteristic wines of Toscana is Vin Santo. This passito is an ancient and traditional specialty produced throughout the entire region. Its origin dates back to the Middle Ages, but the prototype for this style of wine can be traced back to the Greeks and the Romans.

    Most Vin Santo is made from white grapes, typically Trebbiano Toscano and Malvasia Bianca Lunga. It can be made from just one of these grapes but is more commonly a blend of the two. Trebbiano provides acidity while Malvasia provides body, texture and perfume. A rare, pink Vin Santo called Vin Santo Occhio di Pernice (“partridge eye”) is made from red grapes, usually Sangiovese. Only a few producers make this pink version.

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    #thespanishwineguy joins the WSG team full-time

    A couple of months ago we introduced you to Rick Fisher, our Program Developer for the upcoming Spanish Wine Scholar™ (SWS) program. By way of reminder, Rick is part Catalan with a passion for his heritage and a desire to educate others about Spanish wine and food. In his spare time, he has authored the blog Bodega: Eat. Drink. Explore. ESPAÑA! (www.bodegaspanishwine.com), whose aim is to further educate readers about the amazing wines and food of Spain.

    Rick has enjoyed a long career in finance and, over the past few years, found himself drawn to pursuing more credentials within the wine industry (He is currently a WSET Diploma student with Napa Valley Wine Academy). As a result of his passion for Spain and the wine business, he left his finance job last week in order to devote all of his time to the creation of our Spanish Wine Scholar™ program, whose expected launch is late-2018.

    Q1. Rick, you just made a huge personal move, giving up a 20-year career in finance – to work full-time in the wine industry, more specifically to devote all your time to the development of the SWS program. How are you feeling about that decision?

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    1) Bordeaux is France’s largest quality wine region and largest producer of AOC wine.

    2) The quality of its vintages drives the fine wine market globally.
     
    3) Bordeaux’s rich history, commercial significance, mercantile mindset, size, and quality set it apart from other French wine regions.

    Read more...

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