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FWS Program endorsed by Employment & Employability Institute

The French Wine Scholar Program (Singapore) gained endorsement by The Employment & Employability Institute (e2i)

In its initial months since appointed by the Wine Scholar Guild to host and conduct French Wine Scholar (FWS) program in Singapore, WineCraft Marketing & Services, under the guidance of Mr Lim Hwee Peng, CSW, FWS, have obtained support for the FWS Program from a quasi-government institution – the Employment & Employability Institute (e2i)*.

With that endorsement, the FWS course is now part of e2i’s Professional Development programs portfolio.

On the Professional Development program platform, awareness and recruitment for FWS program will potentially increase its outreach to a pool of professionals in the Wine, Food & Beverage, Hospitality and related trade sectors.

More importantly, the support of e2i builds confidence and credo for FWS program at its infancy phase while under the care of WineCraft Marketing & Services.

This support by e2i reflects its continued confidence in our company’s objective, i.e. to offer programs and activities that aims to enhance professionalism among our peers,’ Mr Lim Hwee Peng, CSW, FWS shared, ‘more importantly, professionals enrolled in the FWS program will now be able to invest in their career growth, at a subsidized cost funded by e2i.’

The pioneer intake of FWS program, under Lim’s guidance, is scheduled to commence on 4th July 2014, with the FWS exam scheduled on 19th Sept 2014. Learn more.

For more information on the FWS program in Singapore, please do contact Mr Lim Hwee Peng, CSW, FWS via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for details.

*About e2i
e2i is an initiative of the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), supported by the Workforce Development Agency (WDA), the Singapore Labour Foundation (SLF), and the Singapore National Employers’ Federation (SNEF), e2i serves all segments of workers, from rank and file to professionals, managers and executives (PME)

As an organization, e2i is ISO 9001:2008 certified in July 2010, and received Service Quality Class (SQC) endorsement in June 2011.

It is recognized as a leading organization to create solutions for better employment and employability; it exists to create better jobs and better lives for workers.

Since 2008, e2i has helped more than 300,000 workers through providing better jobs, developing better skills through professional development, and improving productivity for companies.

For more details on e2i, visit the website on this link: http://e2i.com.sg/what-we-do/


2014 Wine Trips & Destinations Announced!

As the vacation season is sadly coming to an end… here are the dates of our 2014 Immersion Wine Study Trips to mark on your calendar for next year!

We will be offering 5 trips next year, with two new destinations: Alsace and Provence.

We will start in the warm southern wine regions of France and head north as we get into the warmer days of June.

•    Bordeaux Wine Trip:  May 18 to 24
•    Rhône Valley Wine Trip:  May 26 to 31
•    Provence Wine Trip:  June 1 to 7
•    Bourgogne Wine Trip:  June 8 to 14
•    Alsace Wine Trip:  June 15 to 21

Only one trip to each of these regions is being scheduled, and participation is limited to only 15 to 18 people, depending on the region. They will sell out very fast!

To receive advanced notice of the detailed itineraries and get a better chance to secure your seat, please let us know of your interest. You will then receive detailed information 2 weeks before we release the details to our 25,000 newsletter subscribers!

With new destinations will come new expert Instructors and hosts.  Watch for our upcoming newsletters, where we’ll introduce them to you! They are all super excited to welcome you to France and share their passion!

Still want to escape to France this year?

We have 4 seats left for this fall’s fabulous Bourgogne Immersion Trip running Oct. 20-26, 2013. Register Now!


Video Excerpt: Climate change with Roger Bohmrich MW

Watch this 9 minute excerpt of Roger Bohmrich's one-hour webinar on the "Climate Change & Wine – Understanding the Essentials & Imagining the Future"



To view the entire webinar recording and get access to all 50 past webinar recordings and upcoming live webinars, all you have to do is become a member of the Wine Scholar Guild!


Inrterview of Roger Bohmrich MW

{flv width="640" height="480"}Climate Change Excerpt{/flv}

Live webinar coming up on Wednesday November 21st:

Climate Change & Wine – Understanding the Essentials & Imagining the Future with Roger Bohmrich MW

Learn More


Truth is Stranger than Fiction

The Wine Scholar Guild earns mention within the pages of a murder-mystery written by award-winning author J. Michael Orenduff.

Yes, truth is stranger than fiction!

While our Education Director was vacationing in New Mexico last summer, she picked up “The Pot Thief Who Studied Escoffier” at a bookstore in Albuqueque. It was a fabulous read especially since its main character was a Gruet-guzzling treasure seeker with a keen eye for ancient Indian pots…that weren’t his own.

The only thing “wrong” with the book was the constant reference to Gruet sparkling wine from New Mexico as “champagne”.

A friendly email exchange followed…along with a newly released sequel, “The Pot Thief Who Studied D.H.Lawrence”. In Chapter 10, as the main character shares a post-prandial drink with a friend …

Suzannah said,”The restaurant got an email blast today from the Education Director of the Wine Scholar Guild explaining that you shouldn’t refer to Gruet as ‘champagne’.”

“She mentioned me by name?”

“No silly. And she didn’t mention Gruet by name either. She said we shouldn’t call American sparkling wines champagne.”

“Why not?”

“Because true champagne comes from Champagne, France. Everything else is sparkling wine. It has to do with authenticity. You know, truth in advertising.”

“But the Gruet family is from Champagne.”

“But the sparkling wine they make here in New Mexico is not.”

Thank you J. Michael Orenduff for setting the record straight! And for the record, if you haven’t read one of  Mike’s murder-mysteries…you are missing out on some authentic good fun.

J. Michael Orenduff is a “Lefty” national award winner for best humorous mystery. He has won two “Eppies” for best eBook mysteries and is winner of the New Mexico Book of the Year Award.


Program Provider Award of Excellence Announced!

Starting in 2014, the Wine Scholar Guild will be acknowledging its star program provider each calendar year. The award of excellence will be based on the number of students the program provider instructs over a 12-month period,  student evaluations, facilities, and the overall profile of the course offerings given by that learning institution or instructor.

“The most important aspect of the evaluation will be the student evaluations,” states FWS President, Julien Camus. “Their satisfaction is paramount. We want students to feel enlightened, inspired and empowered. Good instructors do that!”

“It is also important to recognize the depth and breadth of the other programs these instructors teach. It is this skill package that enables them to make accurate New World-Old World comparisons as well as to teach about France in proper contrast to other European producers,” adds Lisa Airey, FWS Education Director. “We wish to acknowledge the caliber of all that they do with this award.”

The first Award of Excellence recipient will be announced on  January 13, 2014.

The French Wine Scholar Study and Certification program provides current, accurate and in-depth information on the wines and wine regions of France. Developed and administrated by the Wine Scholar Guild with the support of the French Ministry of Agriculture, this specialization program  is designed for advanced students of wine, whether professionals or serious wine hobbyists.


Elizabeth Gabay MW on Provence

What can you tell us about Provence as you see it?

One thing I have learned over the past 30 years is that 'Provence' has a fascinating history and is definitely not one homogeneous region. Western Provence is influenced by France, the Papacy, the Rhône and the big port of Marseille. Central Provence has, for many years, been a poor region. Much of it is still unknown with a distinct and busy coastal area and wild, rocky hills and mountains further north. Eastern Provence - my area - is more Italian/Savoy influenced. Until 1860 Turin was our capital. Ninety percent of the population lives in the coastal strip. The few remaining vineyards here (Bellet) struggle to survive in the face of urbanization. In fact, the entire Provençal wine region is punished by the high costs (land, labor) of a rich tourist market. The pressure this creates for the vigneron is extreme.

How is Provence developing?

Creating sub-appellations such as Côtes de Provence - Ste Victoire, Côtes de Provence - La Londe, Côtes de Provence Fréjus… and new this year Côtes de Provence - Pierrefeu (all of which we will be visiting) is a laudable move to highlight regional variations. Producers are learning how to emphasize what characteristics shine for their small area. Hopefully this will be something we can observe and discover on the trip - definitely something new - not obvious in any textbooks.

The study tour will be looking at Western Provence, What do you envision as highlights?

Provence is more than the sum of its parts and must be experienced as this greater whole. From purple lavender fields and silver olive groves, to white cliffs, green pine trees and red rocks that tumble into a blue sea, the region is awash in color and light. Couple this with a glass of rosé and the painter’s palette is complete.


There is more to Provence than rosé in summer. Winters can be cold and a rich beef daube (stew) flavored with olives, oranges and herbs accompanying  pasta or polenta is delicious with a local red wine. Provençal sweet wines, sadly a style now rarely seen outside the region, make for a wonderful end to any meal when served with dried fruit, nuts and little biscuits. White wines have seen a dramatic improvement over the past 20 years. They are accented by ripe fruit plus a hint of herbs and fennel making them wonderful partners to fish.

Big investment has helped give confidence to local winemakers. Sacha Lichine crafts the most expensive rosé in the world while Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s rosé has entered into the league table of the top 100. All of this has given recognition to a region long loved for its quiet simplicity, good food, and natural beauty. In a word, Provence is simply an “experience” from start to finish. I look forward to sharing it with you.

Elizabeth Gabay MW, Provence resident & expert, will guide and instruct our June 2014 Provence Immersion Trip

Registration is open. Learn more.


Andrew Jefford on Burgundy


Is Burgundy justifiably complex?  (Are there really noticeable differences meriting 101 different AOCs in Burgundy?)

Yes and those differences are real.  The names of all the climats often go far back in history, to those monastic records which survived from the Middle Ages. They signify a pattern of difference that was observed during the forty or fifty harvests experienced during the lifespan of each generation. Those differences were in turn repeated and noted as the centuries unfolded. In the 1930s, when the appellation system got underway, that a body of existing practical knowledge acquired legal status via delimitation and regulation.  

Both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay here are capable of expressing differences derived from environmental factors -- soils, topography and climate -- to quite an extraordinary degree.  

BUT, of course you will still come across near-identical wines under a range of different vineyard designations in the ranges of second-tier négociants; you will come across Grand Cru wines from one grower which are inferior to the village wines of another grower; and you will come across dull or actively unpleasant wines from 'great vineyards'.  Many people are involved in producing small quantities of Burgundy from hugely morsellated vineyards, and they aren't all very good at it.  Individual failures may not honour the potential of the place, but they don't invalidate it.  Burgundy's AOC system constitutes a set of ideals which are hard to live up to.  The conditions in this place are very special.

What is important in the study of Burgundy...what concepts do most students find difficult to understand? What do they need to master for things to start to "click"?

Understanding the 'burgundy pyramid' (regional wines, village wines, Premiers Crus and Grands Crus) is relatively straightforward, but the sheer mass of names you will come across is a big hurdle, and the use of lieux-dits on labels adds to that confusion.  Personally I set a lot of store by understanding the nature of each village, and the role each village occupies and plays on the Cote d'Or as a whole, and of course the very best way to do this is by travelling up and down the Cote, taking a look at the places where each village sits and how its slopes and sites work, and then tasting a few of its wines.  The only other way to come to understand burgundy intimately without travelling to the region is by tasting and drinking a lot of it, with maps and books to hand.  Of course we can talk a lot about harvest date, length of maceration and choice of oak barrels, but in a way these things are a distraction from what really matters, which is the vineyards themselves.  Once you begin to grasp their personalities, Burgundy will click.

What can you learn from visiting Burgundy?

This trip really will open up the whole region -- from Chablis itself (which arguably isn't in Burgundy at all), right down to the Mâconnais (classic white burgundy in its most accessible and most uncomplicatedly ripe guise).  We'll take a look at the Chalonnaise, always a happy hunting ground for classic burgundy flavours at a keen price.  And we'll also be looking at some of the top growers and greatest négociants in the Cote d'Or title holders to some of the finest vineyard holdings via in their own domains. And we are planning at least two vineyard walks so our students can take a look at the soil which yields legendary wines like Romanée-Conti and Montrachet.  As we drive up and down, I'll be doing my best to point out as much of interest as possible.

There's one other thing to say here, and it is very, very important.  Burgundy (especially red burgundy) hates being bottled.  In an ideal world, all burgundy would be drunk straight from the barrel.  Obviously if you want to drink burgundy in New York, Houston or Chicago, you can't do that; bottling is an unfortunate necessity.  Our trip, though, will give students a chance to try some barrel samples.  That's truly worth doing.  

What fascinates you most about the region and its wines?

I guess in my heart I feel that Burgundy is the great reference for every vineyard region everywhere: the perfect model for the complex and beautiful declension of terroir.  So whenever I go to Burgundy, I feel I am going back to the source of everything... like re-reading Tolstoy or Shakespeare, or listening again to the greatest works of Bach, Beethoven or Schubert, or walking into Chartres Cathedral or St Peter's in Rome. A trip to Burgundy is always in some sense a pilgrimage.  I don't actually feel that about any other region anywhere in the world.

Of course, as everyone always says, and always says with perfect exactitude, Burgundy is also immensely frustrating: so many bad bottles! And make no mistake, we will come across disappointing bottles in our tastings.  I now accept that it probably has to be that way, given the gross hazards of its climate and the fact that it is produced by so many hands from so many tiny patches of vineyard.  In a way, I find frustration a source of fascination nowadays, too.  You can be pleasantly surprised, as well as horribly shocked.  The best bottle of red burgundy I have drunk this year was a village wine, for example.  OK, it was Vosne (the 2001 from the old Engel domain), but there you are: not a bank-breaking bottle and it was the loveliness of red burgundy personified.  I'm sure every one of our students will have one or two moments like that during the week: tastes, flavours, experiences, insights that they will remember for the rest of their lives, and which will seal their bond with burgundy.

Andrew Jefford, wine talent and award-winning author, will be the exlusive guide and instructor for our June 2014 Bourgogne Immersion Trip. Registration is open. Learn more.


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