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Our Members’ Quarterly Quiz is back!

We are super excited about our next Member's only Quiz in which one lucky winner will take home this amazing VinGardeValise® as our prize (a $270 value)!

Our quarterly quizzes are a great way to expand your knowledge while having fun! This time, the 15-question quiz will focus on the Rhône Valley.

Want to win? Members in good standing are invited to enter the December quiz, which will be held from December 14-18. Just make sure to complete the quiz within that time period to be eligible for the prize.

What you’ll win: The VinGardeValise® is the safest way to travel with your wine! This special case is made from 100% virgin polycarbonate and protects your wine with durable foam inserts. It is easy to maneuver, with a 4-wheel ergonomic spinner case and is fully compliant with FAA and TSA luggage policies and procedures. Plus, it transports your wine under the 50 lb airline baggage limit. *

*Prize is limited to residents of the United States and European Union only.

For more details on the VinGardeValise®, please see: http://grapegazette.com/product/vingardevalise/

Members will receive access instructions in advance.

Not yet a member? Time to change that and get in the game (quiz)!


Meet our Members: Gary Hewitt

Member Profile:
Gary Hewitt, FWS
Winnipeg, Manitoba, CA

What was your initial introduction to wine?
I grew up in the Prairies without a wine background in our family, so my first introduction to wine was a sweet strawberry wine. Fatefully, due to changes in my family, my new stepfather was a German Master Goldsmith who provided me with an introduction to high quality German wines – Mosel and Rheingau at first and later, wines from Franken. I didn’t really appreciate just how good they were at first, but this was certainly the genesis of my interest in wine. A little later, this experience was followed by the receipt of the first edition of Hugh Johnson’s World Atlas of Wine, in which I was able to look up some of those early German wines I had tasted. From there, my fascination with wine grew.

Which is your favorite French wine region and why?
I’m a bit of a chameleon when it comes to French wine regions. Right now, I am fascinated by the South of France, particularly the Languedoc-Roussillon area, due to the emerging quality and diversity of its wines. Plus, much of it is still very affordable. Of course, I am a total sucker for a great, white Burgundy, I love Alsace and I don’t drink nearly enough Champagne!

What is your current position/company/role?
I am presently the Buyer and Sommelier Instructor for Banville & Jones Wine Company, which is the largest private wine store in our area (Winnipeg, Canada), one of the few private stores that co-exists with the Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries organization. I like to think of us as a community center for wine because in addition to the store, we also have the Banville & Jones Wine Institute through which we offer wine classes. Additionally, we publish the Cellar Door magazine, which has been very well received by our customers and the industry – generating talk within our market – and is entirely supported by advertising. We also offer tasting events and dinners.

What was the most recent glass of wine you drank?
I’ve been on a roll with the wines I have been tasting recently. Last night, I tasted three wines, two French-inspired and the last from the South of France - the Chapoutier Domaine de Bila-Haut 2013 Occultum Lapidem Cotes Du Roussillon Villages Latour de France. We’ve been carrying this wine in the store for a long time and I needed to try the current vintage. It was terrific, typically intense, polished and honest.

Please tell us about your experience as a Wine Scholar Guild member (and as a provider).
The experience so far has been very positive. We made our initial contact with the Wine Scholar Guild because we started to see that the programs were being offered elsewhere in Canada and we wanted our offerings to be as complete as possible. We looked into it and were extremely pleased with the program. We have enjoyed working with the Wine Scholar Guild’s people and the program has been well received by our students. It fits well into our overall program offerings.

With regard to membership, I haven’t been able to take advantage of the webinars as much as I would like to, but I have participated in a few; they were very well done.

Meet our Members: Erika Frey

Member Profile:
Erika Frey
Boston, MA, USA

What was your initial introduction to wine?
My father is from Germany, so we usually had Riesling around the house, but my real serious introduction was at Cornell in the 800-person, Introduction to Wines class. I began to understand the differences among wines and learned to appreciate all there is to know about wine.

Which is your favorite French wine region and why?
It’s probably Alsace, partially because of the German influence and my family background being German. But, also, I went to Alsace last year [on the Wine Scholar Guild Study Immersion trip] with Theirry Meyer and it feels almost like home to me. The region is an interesting combination of the two influences – France and Germany. Of course, the wines have a lot of unique characteristics themselves; they are unique to Alsace and are produced in a very food-friendly style.

What is your current position/company/role?
I am the Wine Education Director for the Boston Wine School [in Boston MA]. In this role, I build curriculum, buy wine, recruit and train teachers and also teach myself. In addition, I work for a boutique wine shop called Winestone. I also teach WSET courses and whatever else comes up; I’ve taught French Wine Scholar classes for Jo-Ann Ross previously. And, I also do some marketing and recently poured wine at the Wine Riot.

What was the most recent glass of wine you drank?
It was a Sicilian Etna Rosso last night because I'm working on co-leading a wine and food focused tour of Sicily next year.

Please tell us about your experience as a Wine Scholar Guild member (and student).
As a student, the materials have been top-notch and very thorough. The written and online materials reinforce your learning, plus students have the option of classroom learning as well. It has been one of the strengths of the program – this diverse interaction with the education materials.

As a member, I haven’t been able to take advantage of all of the webinars, but it is a great resource for us. You can watch webinars from experts – the people that live and work in these regions – and others who we know are completely expert in their respective wine fields.

The overall quality of Wine Scholar Guild programs has been excellent. It makes me want to take more programs. I have already signed up for some of the Master-level programs. The trip to Alsace was amazing – we got to visit the most famous places and meet these famous producers – sitting with them at lunch or dinner – which is such a great opportunity for a wine educator to be able to bring back with him/her to the classroom.


Thank You to our Symposium Attendees

Dear Symposium Attendees and Friends,

We had an amazing time at the Embassy of France in Washington DC last week and hope you did too!

Thank you for all of the memories created and laughs shared!

We opened 1600 bottles and each participant tasted 120+ wines from iconic producers including Grand Cru Bourgogne, Classified Growth Bordeaux & exceptional wines from Jura, Provence, Loire, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon and the Rhône Valley.

We hope the symposium gave you new insights and left you empowered. We can’t thank you enough for all your great comments and active participation in the discussions. It truly was a “meeting of the minds.”

Thank you for celebrating our 10th anniversary with us. We are dedicated to innovation and excellence in French wine education and we are sincerely looking forward to the next decade with you.


MORE PICTURES: Shots of Julien Camus, President, welcoming symposium attendees! VIEW


2015 FWS Instructor Trip to the Rhone and Beaujolais!

FWS educators spent the first two weeks of September enjoying harvest in Beaujolais and the Rhône!

We hiked the steep inclines of Condrieu and Hermitage foraging for ripe figs and plums along the way; picked grapes in Beaujolais and watched semi-carbonic maceration in process from start to finish. In the Southern Rhône we visited the stunning landscapes of Vivarais and Costières de Nîmes; ate truffles in Ventoux and walked the Roman Via Domitia. 

  • Did you know that the original Muscat of Beaumes de Venise was red? The vines mutated over time to give us the white version. (But, these plants still occasionally deliver red clusters!)
  • Did you know that the berries undergoing carbonic maceration burst after four days? Longer time in tank equates to richer, more pigmented wines as juice contacts skin and undergoes traditional yeast fermentation. And guess what! A recent study has identified 26 different soil types in Beaujolais!

It was serious good fun. We wined. We dined. We learned.

Educator trips are open to all FWS instructors and announced by April of each year. Keep a weather eye out for 2016 travel opportunities on the instructor portal.


A Celebration of French Cheese!

We are excited to focus on the wonderful world of French Cheese this month!

We'll kick-off our celebration with a LIVE WEBINAR featuring Dan Belmont of Murray’s Cheese
on September 16, 2015

AND, thanks to the generosity of Murray's Cheese,
you can SAVE 10% OFF your Online Order until 10/1/2015.

Simply use
Discount Code: FWS10

We are also thrilled to launch our newest MEMBER BENEFIT,
Cheeses of France Pronunciation Guide!
Learn how to expertly order your favorite selections
the next time you visit your local cheese monger.

Plus, this month’s Quarterly Quiz will focus on the Cheeses of France.
The quiz will be held from September 14-19.*
Just make sure to complete the quiz within this time period to be eligible for the prize.

MEMBERSHIP has its benefits!
Our Pronunciation Guides, Webinars, Quarterly Quizzes and so much more are only open to Members.
Want to be in it to win it?


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