Candidates who follow this in-depth curriculum on the wines of France and pass the exam, earn the French Wine Scholar™ (FWS) post-nominal.
The exam is given in multiple-choice format. There are 100 questions covering all of the wine regions of France. Passing score is 75.
Candidates scoring 85-90 pass with HONORS. Candidates scoring 91-100 pass with HIGHEST HONORS.
Preparing for the exam:
In order to prepare properly for the FWS exam, you must read and study the FWS manual carefully. At first, it may seem a daunting body of knowledge to tackle…but we would like to give you a few tips.
What facts are important?
- Pay close attention to superlatives (biggest, smallest, highest, lowest, newest, oldest, youngest). Note the facts associated with words such as “first” and “last”. They make for good exam questions.
- Learn the French wine terms and their English equivalents.
- Pay close attention to the passages citing “exceptions to the rule” throughout the text. They also make for good exam questions.
- Know your soils, geography, mountains and rivers.
- Know your grapes and their synonyms.
- Become conversant in France’s AOCs and the primary grape(s) grown within their confines.
- If any particular AOC is responsible for the bulk of the production in any given region, you should know all the particulars about it (minimum alcohol, maximum yield, blending formula etc.) But, no, you do not need to know this type of specific detail about lesser AOCs.
- Know your history and the key individuals who have figured prominently in the development of wine culture of any given region.
- Study the specifics of wine production for white, rosé, red, sparkling, late-harvest, and vin doux naturel. Know the specifics of carbonic maceration.
- Know your sparkling wine label nomenclature (especially as it pertains to champagne) and the terms used to qualify the reductive and oxidative aging of vin doux naturel.
- Study your maps. You need to know where the wine regions and their AOCs are located.
The exam is comprehensive. It will cover all the wine regions of France. This means you must study everything…Corsica too! But, the food and wine pairing texts are for your personal edification. There are no exam questions on this material.
Scheduling your exam:
"The French Wine Scholar manual has once again proven why the Wine Scholar Guild is one of the best wine education programs in the world."Nicholas PolettoDirector of Education at Kobrand Corporation"Indispensable for any wine trade professional who works with French wine. Bravo!”Martin SinkoffVP and Director of Marketing, Frederick Wildman And Sons"The teaching is superb and the quality of the material brilliant"Gerard Basset MS MWMW, MS, Best Sommelier in the World 2010"Anyone wanting to learn about French wines needs to take this program; there is no better program out there"Kevin ClearyOwner/Director at Vermont Wine School"Their various Master programs are insanely challenging. I cannot think of a better way to dive in deep on the wines of France to prepare for the Advanced & Master Sommelier exams, WSET Diploma or MW"David Glancy MS, CWE, FWSFounder of San Francisco Wine School"The level of detail and quality of the materials make this program a must-do for any serious student of wine"Peter Neptune, MS, CWE, FWSFounder of The Neptune School of Wine"The French Wine Scholar Program is the industry's most comprehensive, in-depth course on the wines of France"Jay Youmans, MWFounder of Capital Wine School"The Wine Scholar Guild’s French Study Manual provides a 360 guide that will take the student on an unparalleled journey through history, terroirs, winemaking, food paring and much more."Xavier BarlierSr. VP, Marketing & Communication at Maisons Marques & Domaines"I only wish I had this book when I began studying French wine!"Peter Marks, MWVP of Education at Constellation Academy of Wine