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FWS Preview Webinar with Lisa Airey

Learn about the French Wine Scholar study formats, learning tools & exam

via live webinar on: 

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017 at 12 noon EST (NYC)

9 am PST Seattle, 5:00 pm UK, 6:00 pm France, 1:00 am Wednesday in Hong-Kong

About this webinar:

    • Find out about the curriculum and study options.
    • Introduction to the new online 14-week Instructor-Led Format format 
    • Review sample exam questions.
    • Get a feel for the emphasis and thrust of this certification program and if it is “a fit” for your professional development goals.
    • Duration: 45 min-1 hr.

Register for the FREE preview webinar:

Instructions on how to access this live webinar will be emailed to all registered 48 hours prior to the webinar.

Your host: Lisa M. Airey, FWS, CWE

Lisa Airey

      • Director of Education for the Wine Scholar Guild since 2009
      • 24 years of experience in the wine industry
      • Knighted by the French government for the FWS program’s significant contribution to the French wine industry. 
      • Creator of the French Wine Scholar™ program 

About the French Wine Scholar study certification program:

The French Wine Scholar program is a study and certification program which can be followed in classroom or online via instructor-led or independent study formats

It is the single most comprehensive resource on French Wine knowledge. It provides a solid foundation for any wine student with respect to the role of terroir, history and culture--a foundation upon which an educator, sommelier or wine enthusiast can teach, sell or enjoy French wines with poise and confidence.


Cru Artisan College 2017 in DC, SF and Chicago

Cru Artisan College is an annual, multi-city, full-day wine education seminar series bringing together a panel of talented winemakers who will address some of the nation’s leading sommeliers, trade members, wine educators and serious students of wine. The fourth edition of CAC, scheduled for May 1 in Washington DC, May 2 in Chicago and May 3 in San Francisco, will focus on the wines of Italy. It is organized with the collaboration of the Wine Scholar Guild,  SOMM Journal, Guild of Sommeliers, Society of Wine Educators, Tasting Panel Magazine, and Clever Root.  

As an academic partner, the Wine Scholar Guild is offering its members and all serious students of wine the opportunity to partake by purchasing tickets in one of the following cities:  

Washington DC
May 1st 2017
At The Dupont Circle Hotel

1500 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036

Tuition: $150 

May 2nd 2017
At The Union League Club

65 W Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60604

Tuition: $150 

San Francisco
May 3rd 2017
At San Francisco Wine School

415 Grand Ave #301, South San Francisco, CA 94080

Tuition: $200 

The Wine Scholar Guild only has 20 seats available per city for this event, so reserve your space today! 


“Not having yet traveled to Italy myself, I felt as if Italy was brought to me. This opportunity to be educated by this incredible group was one of a kind. The Cru Artisan College was made for somms. The quality of lectures, tasting and interaction was a priceless learning experience. »Shelly Fitzgerald, CS, CSW, Wine Buyer for Downtown Spirits and past participant of Cru Artisan College. 

The Headmaster for this year’s Crus Artisan US Tour is Maurizio Broggi, DWS, FWS 

  • Native Italian, DWS and Certified Sommelier.
  • Wine Scholar Guild's Education Director for Italy.
  • Creator of the Italian Wine Scholar™ study & certification program

Syllabus & Schedule 


  • We’ll break the ice with the quintessential symbol of Italian hospitality and offer an informal introduction to the concept of breakfast wine. Coffee and tea will also be served for those needing greater stimulus. 
  • Featured wines: Maschio dei Cavalieri Prosecco


  • Over 1,800 different native wine grape varietals thrive (or survive) on Italy’s patchwork quilt of soil types, ranging from her mountainous Apennine backbone and volcanic soils to the rich clay of her plains and the sandy loam near her long coastline. A panel of winemakers from five of her 20 regions – Piemonte, Toscana, Lazio, Veneto and Abruzzo - will show you some of the winning combinations of unique varietals and special places.
  • Featured Wines: Bolla Soave 883, Principessa Gavia, Cortalto, Terre di Grifi, Luna Mater, L’Ardí, Sartori Valpolicella, Torre Migliori, ASKA 


  • Rosé is growing in popularity and seasonality; as it takes the market by storm Italians won’t be left behind. That argument will be made with the lighter side of five famous red varietals – Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Corvina, Montepulciano and Lambrusco di Sorbara – by the men who made them, served with some inventive pairings. 
  • Featured wine:Cuvee Aurora Rose, Sartori Bardolino Chiaretto, Centine Rosé, Cerulli Cerasuolo, FB Lambrusco

12:20 pm – 12:35 pm | COMPETITIVE BLIND TASTING 

  • A cash prize is on the line for the student who can correctly identify the most characteristics of our four wines.


  • Hailed by Wine Spectator Magazine as “Builders of Brunello, the Castello Banfi estate has pioneered clonal research and zonation studies in their pursuit of excellence, raising a tide of quality that has lifted the region. Castello Banfi’s cellarmaster will reveal the elements of this three-decade-long research and demonstrate how Sangiovese behaves so uniquely not only in Montalcino, but from hill to hill on just one single estate. 
  • Featured wines: Mandrielle Vyd, Biadaioli Vyd, Sorrena Vyd, Poggioni Vyd, Castello Banfi Brunello, Poggio alle Mura, Poggio all’Oro Riserva 


  • Leading Veronese producers of Amarone and Ripasso wines will share their knowledge, passion and insights for the unique appassimento winemaking technique dating back to ancient Romans and “farmers’ secret” for centuries. 
  • Featured wines: L’Appassione, Le Poiane, Bolla Amarone, Sartori Amarone, Corte Bra, Le Origini, I Saltari 


  • Sicily’s historic Florio winery holds the world’s largest reserve of aged marsala and will reveal why their cellars are renowned for their attentive selection and complexity, demontstrating the flexibility and future of Marsala. Malvasia delle Lipari and Florio Fernet add Sicilian counterpoints. 
  • Featured wines: Florio Sweet Marsala, Florio Dry Marsala, Targa, Florio Malvasia delle Lipari, Fernet Florio  



Win a Full Italian Wine Scholar™ Scholarship!

In 250-words or less, why do you want to become an Italian Wine Scholar™?

A full Italian Wine Scholar™ scholarship (Unit 1: The North and Unit 2: Central-South) in distance-learning format will be awarded to the best essay among CAC participants in each city. Learn more here

1. Register for Cru Artisan College in DC, Chicago or San Francisco. (Contest is only open to registered participants.)
2. Submit your essay via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Monday, April 24th.
3. The winner for each city will be announced at the close of Cru Artisan College programming in D.C. on May 1st, in Chicago on May 2nd and in San Francisco on May 3rd.

Participating Wineries Include:

Participating Winemakers Include:

“The best part of the day was having the producers there. These are the people that have an intimate knowledge of how their wines are made giving sommeliers like myself an opportunity to geek out and know it’s alright. » Paul Sherman, Advanced Sommelier at Valentino, Santa Monica and past participant of Cru Artisan College. 



For more information:

For more information please visit www.cruartisancollege.com or contact Lars Leicht at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 516 686 2532.


FWS now approved for Singapore Skillsfuture

The Wine Scholar Guild’s French Wine Scholar (FWS) Program received official endorsement as an approved wine certification program from Skillsfuture Singapore!

The Skillsfuture is a national movement that encourages individuals to take ownership of their skills development and lifelong learning.

All Singaporeans aged 25 and above have received an opening credit of S$500 since January 2016. Such credit will not expire and the Singapore government will provide periodic top-ups so that Singaporeans may accumulate their credit, and use it to pay for a wide range of approved skills-related courses in the Skillsfuture listing.

(Click on this link to watch a clip on the’ Who, What, When, Where, Why and How’ of Singapore’s Skillsfuture initiative: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9C5WB6lqiI )

Mr. Lim Hwee Peng CWE FWS (of WineCraft Marketing & Services, an approved program provider for the FWS Program in Singapore) shared, “We are extremely proud and delighted that the FWS program under our care in Singapore has been successfully accorded as an approved program in the Skillsfuture listing. The Skillsfuture, a national initiative, aspires to deepen skills and achieve mastery in professional fields through a list of curated courses; such aim coincides neatly into ours, which is to increase professionalism in the Wine, F&B, Hospitality and related trade sectors.”

Lim continues, “The efforts we have cultivated in building credibility and to heighten awareness of FWS program among professionals and enthusiasts were instrumental in paving the way for the FWS program to be approved as part of Skillsfuture courses.” Lim also highlighted that FWS program’s approved status in Skillsfuture will run till year 2021.  

Wine Scholar Guild President, Julian Camus, stated, “Having a Singapore Skillsfuture listing validates the resumé-building nature of this study and certification program. We are proud to be a part of Singapore’s commitment to professional development.”

The next French Wine Scholar program in Singapore will launch in April 2017. Interested wine professionals should contact Mr. Lim Hwee Peng CWE FWS at WineCraft Marketing & Services for details: www.winecraftmktg.com or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

About the Wine Scholar Guild:

The Wine Scholar Guild (www.winescholarguild.org) provides outstanding educational programming for the professional development of wine industry members and committed students of wine. It offers innovative and multi-faceted instruction through print, webinars, study trips and classes with tutored tastings. The Wine Scholar Guild offers wine study and certification programs for serious students of wine. These programs are offered by 50 program providers in 15 countries on 5 continents. Educational programing is also available in distance learning formats.

For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or call 1-202-640-5466.

Full information on the French Wine Scholar program is also available on the Wine Scholar Guild web site at:



Lisa Airey radio interview on Champagne programs and trip

Last week, WSG Education Director Lisa M. Airey, CWE, FWS, got interviewed on Vin Village online radio, featuring the very popular broadcast wine and food journalist Lynn Krielow Chamberlain along with wine and food aficionado Rob Barnett, doing exclusive interviews of the “who’s-who” in wine and food. Tune-in daily at: wsRadio.com, or at the highly followed audio-blog of the show, “Vin-de-Cru” on http://vinvillageradio.com/.

Interview #1: Lisa on our Champagne Master-Level Program:


Interview #2: Lisa on our Champagne Immersion Study Trip:


Learn more about Champagne:



Wine Scholar Guild Top Exam Scorers for 2016

The Wine Scholar Guild is excited to announce the list of 2016 top exam scorers from around the world! Bravo!

French Wine Scholar Program

1. Lillian Lim (California, USA) - Score: 100%

''My certifications include: Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers, Certified Specialist of Wines with the Society of Wine Educators (currently pursuing the Certified Wine Educator, too) and California Wine Appellation Specialist.

Although the CMS and SWE programs covered a wide breadth of knowledge, the FWS program gave me the opportunity to pursue my passion for French wines.  It provided me with a deeper understanding of the historical, sociological and geological factors that have contributed to the development of French wines. I learned about the early civilizations that first produced wine in each region, how events such as war or changes of nationality impact the community around the wine, the geological history of the soils, the soil and climate conditions in which certain grapes thrive and the relationship of wine to local cuisine. Through my studies with the FWS program, I felt as if I had taken a tour of France over thousands of years." READ MORE

1. Katharine (Kate) Hall (Great Britain) - Score: 100%

''Previously, I had also passed WSET level 3.  I liked that the French Wine Scholar course concentrates on just one country and it was possible to learn about its wines in much more depth.

It was enjoyable to see how the comprehensive and detailed information on the course, plus the French language, history and geography I learned in school, and my travels around France, came together to explain today's French wines. 

It has also made me much more adventurous in my choice of wines, and more confident in selecting a wine from one of the lesser known regions..."  READ MORE

1. Flavio Lorenzilli (California, USA) - Score: 100%

''I have been taking WSET classes. The latest one was WSET Advanced, which I passed with distinction. I am planning to move on to the WSET diploma, if my own work schedule permits.

I am currently enrolled in the Italian Wine Scholar Unit 1. I would really enjoy continuing on to IWS Unit 2 and the Spanish Wine Scholar course, when they are available. Because I do have a full-time job and also teach college courses at UCLA, my time is limited, but I do intend to continue my wine education.

The FWS program has been extremely interesting and it has complemented my knowledge about French wines tremendously. I think that the course was very well organized and extremely informative. This is what convinced me to enroll in the Italian Wine Scholar program." READ MORE

1. Shawn McVay (California, USA) - Score: 100%

"As much as I enjoy the studying and selling aspects of wine, I feel my calling is to craft with my hands.  I just resigned from my previous position as a wine director and bartender at a great restaurant in order to pursue my winemaking goals.  I plan on focusing on my studies for a while and interning at local wineries until I have enough experience to establish my own place.

So far, I have completed the  WSET Level 2 & 3,  the Court of Master Sommeliers Introductory Level 1, and the FWS.  I am currently enrolled to take the Certified Sommelier exam in March of this year.

Regarding longer-term educational goals, I plan on moving forward with my WSET Diploma as well as the Advanced Sommelier certification. And in the meantime I look forward to taking the Italian Wine Scholar and other supplemental educational workshops and programs." READ MORE

1. Richard Milot (Ontario, USA) - Score: 100%

I much appreciated the FWS for its framework, its access to a rich web-based material and its commendable efforts in maintaining an up to date package using authoritative sources.

My thanks go to Linda McPhee for her most enjoyable and relevant sessions at the Institute.

I have joined forces with Importation Vins Sélect Privée a modest but dynamic Montreal based wine import agency and I remain a humble student of wine working towards becoming a fully certified wine educator. READ MORE


1. Jerome Cornet (Ontario, Canada) - Score: 100%

2. Albert Sheen (California, USA) - Score: 99%

I have been drinking wine for the past 20 years but only recently have I decided to pursue serious wine education.  I am passionate about discovering new wines from all over the world.

I have passed the WSET Levels 1, 2, and 3 certification programs.  WSET Levels 2 and 3 I have passed with distinction.  The FWS program built upon my previous studies by providing a comprehensive overview of the major viticultural regions of France.

I plan to enroll in the WSET Level 4 Diploma course in the future.  The FWS was excellent preparation for my further study of French wine.

2. Diccon Westworth (California, USA) - Score: 99%

2. Timo Rieg (California, USA) - Score: 99%

2. Jessica Dominguez Rieg (California, USA) - Score: 99%

2. Evan Wiens (California, USA) - Score: 99%


Bourgogne Master-Level Program

1. Kari Dawson (Noth Carolina, USA) - Score 97%

"I am a dedicated wine enthusiast who has traveled to wine producing areas throughout the United States, France and Italy.

I hold a WSET Level 3 (advanced) certification and am a Certified Specialist of Wine and Certified Specialist of Spirits.

The Master-Level program allowed me to take a more general understanding of wine and focus on a specific area and type of wine. 

I love understanding how the history, natural attributes and culture of a given place shape its wines."


Bordeaux Master-Level Program

1. Jamie Tiy Bowton (California, USA) - Score 99%

"I have been in the WSET program as well, and am still studying for my diploma.

At this point, I’m not sure where I am going – I love sharing and teaching people about wine.

The French Wine Scholar Guild study programs have really helped solidify and expand my knowledge of French wine and wine in general.

Materials are so well written and organized and I have used them as an adjunct to my other studies."

1. Erika Frey, FWS (Massachusetts, USA) - Score 99%

"I hold the Diploma from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust, and I am a Certified Wine Educator with the Society of Wine Educators.

I also completed the Wine Studies Certificate at Boston University. I've done some wine studies at Cornell University and UC Davis as well.

I also hold the California Wine Appellation Specialist (CWAS) and Certified Specialist of Spirits (CSS) certifications in addition to my FWS and Alsace and Champagne Master Levels. I just completed a WSET course in Sake."



Champagne Master-Level Program

1. Heather Dougherty, FWS (Pennsylvania, USA) - Score 97%

"I run wine tastings and events for a wide range of consumers and for the wine trade. I am a member of the Circle of Wine Writers and am the current Chairman of the Association of Wine Educators. Wine is something that turned from a hobby to a profession for me. I’ve been educating people about wine for the last twelve years and feel incredibly lucky to be doing something I love for a living.

I hold the WSET Diploma in Wines and Spirits. Champagne has been an abiding interest through numerous visits/study tours to the region over the years, but the Champagne ML programme has taken my knowledge and appreciation to a new level. Last year I was a UK finalist in the European Champagne Ambassador competition and I would love to go one better in the future"


Sud de France Master-Level Program

1. Joanna Mackie (France) - Score 98%

"I consider myself a wine enthusiast. It’s primarily a hobby that has taken me from boutique wine tastings, wine dinners and regional and international tours to some serious study – WSET wine courses, French wine scholar program and more recently undertaking the Master Level program with the Wine Scholar Guild.

So what is it about wine that inspires me to learn more?

Wine encompasses ancient civilizations, history, culture, science, geography and more importantly a sense of place. I believe wine is made in the vineyard and it is that interaction of geology, climate and vine that creates that unique substance in the glass. Like learning a new language, it takes almost a lifetime to master." READ MORE


Provence Master-Level Program

1. Erika Frey, FWS (Massachusetts, USA) - Score 98%

''I hold the Diploma from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust, and I am a Certified Wine Educator with the Society of Wine Educators. I also completed the Wine Studies Certificate at Boston University. I've done some wine studies at Cornell University and UC Davis as well. I also hold the California Wine Appellation Specialist (CWAS) and Certified Specialist of Spirits (CSS) certifications in addition to my FWS and Alsace and Champagne Master Levels. I just completed a WSET course in Sake.

Most of the other programs I have done have been overview courses which really only allow students to touch upon each regions. With the Master Levels, I have enjoyed focusing on one area and really digging deep into the history, people, process, etc. Not only do you learn what sets a particular region apart from others, but you also learn many valuable concepts that can be applied to many other regions."


Alsace Master-Level Program

1. Danielle St-Jules, FWS (California, USA) - Score 93%

''I have always been interested in the Alsace wine region since I really enjoy the wine that I’ve tasted from that area of France.

After taking the French Wine Scholar program and learning more about the Master-Level programs that were available, I thought it would be a great opportunity to learn more about Alsace.

The detail of the program guide and the informative webinars were excellent and have really inspired me to continue learning more about French wine." READ MORE



WSG Program Provider of the Year 2016

Wine Scholar Guild honors Sheral Schowe, M.Ed., FWS, as Instructor of the Year for 2016 and the Art Institute of Vancouver as Program Provider of the Year for 2016!

Program Provider of the Year rewards professionalism and perfectionism in the business of wine education. Judging criteria includes student volume, facilities, student evaluations and the overall profile of the course offerings given by that learning institution.  These factors, together, create an award-winning environment of academic rigor and excellence.

Kudos to Mark Shipway DipWSET, FWS and Sharon McLean DipWSET, FWS of the International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, PROGRAM PROVIDER OF THE YEAR 2016!

Mark Shipway DWS, FWS & Sharon MacLean, DWS, FWS

Mark Shipway DipWSET, FWS & Sharon McLean, DipWSET, FWS

Of the International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Program Provider of the Year 2016 logo 


Interview with Mark Shipway DipWSET, FWS

How does the French Wine Scholar curriculum fit with the other certification programs offered at The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Vancouver

At The Art institute of Vancouver, our main concentration up until recently has been offering all four levels of the Wine & Spirit Education Trust program. When we launched the French Wine Scholar a few years back, we realized that this course was the perfect complement to WSET as it was an advanced level study, way beyond WSET level 3 in the wines of France. The other thing we found really appealing about FWS was the focus of the curriculum on history, culture and food & wine - areas that the WSET program tends to lack in. What we now realize is that French Wine Scholar is gaining ground as a stand alone program with unique benefits that other certifcations fail to provide.

Firstly the comprehensive nature of the curriculum - it covers Jura and Savoie, etc which WSET does not. Secondly, it celebrates the quality wines of France - students are not really learning about and certainly not tasting the high volume, lower end of the French wine market.

Finally, the Wine Scholar Guild is truly a 21st century professional organization in terms of its web presence. The on-line support program for students studying WSG courses is hugely beneficial and simple things like community chat rooms and the on-line reporting of grades make a huge difference to candidates in the program. I foresee WSG courses continuing to grow exponentially. We are now proud to offer the Italian Wine Scholar course and look forward to the release of Spanish Wine Scholar and beyond!

How does the French Wine Scholar program at The International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Vancouver enhance the overall culinary degree?

The French Wine Scholar program has proven to be a huge benefit to students who are either thinking about taking the WSET Level 4 Diploma program or who are already in the program. In the WSET Diploma Unit 3 course, there is a huge component on the wines of France which can be particularly intimidating to some candidates, so we are finding that FWS can provide the perfect stepping stone to prepare candidates for the knowledge required to pass the grueling Unit 3 exam.

Wine is still commonly viewed as a stand alone beverage in North Amercia and usually evaluated in that manner with point scores regularly doled out for wines with high ripeness and concentration rather than respect for their application and versatility with food. The French Wine Scholar program helps students to understand the conextual application of wine with food by analyzing some classic regional combinations and why they work. We like to enhance that here at The Art Institute with some practical taste exercises having small food items with some of the wines in the course.

The International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada!

About Mark Shipway DipWSET, FWS

Mark is a displaced Englishman who upped sticks and settled in Vancouver, Canada eleven years ago. His passion for wine started at an early age during annual family holidays to France but he only decided to turn his amateur enthusiasm into serious vocation much later in life whilst living and travelling in New Zealand. Mark studied winemaking & viticulture at the University of Brighton on the south coast of England as well taking the WSET Diploma in Wines & Spirits in which he graduated with Distinction in 1999. Not only that, he achieved the world's 4th highest mark for his graduation year.

Mark cut his teeth in wine retail but has had a diverse experience in the wine industry including working for in South Africa as a wine steward and conducting cellar tours, a buyers assistant in a premium supermarket wine-buying department and in sales and marketing for a major UK retailer. He currently works for International Culinary School where he teaches and administrates all Wine Scholar Guild classes as well as their award winning WSET program. Mark has been a regular judge for the UK’s premier International Wine & Spirit Competition and also a contributing writer for trade magazines, The Publican and Vendor. 

Mark has completed the WSG Master Level certificates in Bourgogne, Provence, Rhone Valley and Languedoc Roussillon and is a qualified Sud de France educator. He is currently pursuing the Court of Master Sommeliers certification at the Advanced Level

About Sharon McLean, DipWSET, FWS

Sharon is a certified sommelier through the International Sommelier Guild, the senior instructor of Wine Scholar Guild and WSET courses on Vancouver Island, a freelance wine writer and wine judge. In 2009, she completed the WSET Diploma with the highest marks in Canada. Since then she has gone on to become a French Wine Scholar, a Certified Sherry Educator and an accredited Bordeaux instructor. 

Sharon is an eternal student and is currently challenging herself with the Italian Wine Scholar, Master Level Bordeaux program and is a second year Masters of Wine candidate. She is a founding partner at Cru Consultancy and is excited to be bringing the WSG programs to Vancouver Island and Calgary.  When not engaged in a wine glass, she is a highly sought after management consultant with more than 25 years of international experience.

Starting 2017, Sharon will be offering courses with her own company, Cru Consulting, independently of The Art Institute of Vancouver. Sharon has been an integral part of the success of the WSG classes in Western Canada and particularly on Vancouver Island.


WSG Instructor the Year 2016

Wine Scholar Guild honors Sheral Schowe, M.Ed., FWS, as Instructor of the Year and the Art Institute of Vancouver as Program Provider of the Year for 2016!  

Instructor of the Year is an award of excellence recognizing creative and effective classroom instruction. The recipient is selected based upon outstanding presentation skills, organization, congeniality and a genuine and spirited joie de vivre—all talents reflected in stellar student evaluations. 

Kudos to Sheral Schowe, M.Ed., FWS of Wasatch Academy of Wine, Salt Lake City, Utah, WSG Instructor of the Year 2016!



Sheral Schowe, M.Ed., FWS

Sheral Schowe, M.Ed., FWS

Founder and educator at Wasatch Academy of Wine in Salt Lake City

Instructor of the Year 2016 logo



About Sheral Schowe, M.Ed., FWS

Sheral Schowe moved from San Francisco and the Bay Area in 1978 to pursue a Masters Degree in Education Administration. She developed Utah’s first district-wide community education program serving children and adults with disabilities. Needing to raise funds to pay for the self-supporting fees required for students to participate in the programs, Sheral began teaching wine classes to generate scholarship funds which enabled hundreds of students with mental and physical disabilities to attend independent living skills classes.

Sheral began her serious study in the world of wine by attending courses at UC Davis, the Bordeaux Wine Institute, the Bouilland Symposium in Bourgogne with Clive Coates and Becky Wasserman, and attending annual Society of Wine Educators’ conference sessions and tours. 

In 1991, Sheral opened Utah’s first wine school, Wasatch Academy of Wine, LLC, which is now Utah’s largest wine school serving hundreds of students each year from the top to the bottom of the state. 

As well as owning and directing Wasatch Academy of Wine, LLC, Sheral is the adjunct professor of wine studies for Salt Lake Community College Culinary Arts Department, the wine educator for Harmons Cooking Schools in five locations and for University of Utah’s Osher and Lifelong Learning programs.

Wasatch Academy of Wine, LLC is the affiliate provider of the Wine Scholar Guild’s post nominal certification courses in the areas of France and Italy with active and successful programs in Salt Lake City, Park City, St. George, and for Salt Lake Community College.

Interview with Sheral Schowe M.Ed., FWS

How do you succeed in recruiting students for your classes in a state where alcohol and wine are strictly regulated?

Wasatch Academy of Wine, LLC is the provider of wine education classes, pairings, dinners, events, lectures and tours through a wide network of colleges, culinary schools and University programs in the state of Utah. Each one of these entities advertises to their customer base and registers their students to fill my classes. In addition, social networking has been very effective in attracting new students with a desire to learn more about specific grape varieties and wine regions as well as to discover first-hand what the Utah wine stores have to offer. The very odd and restrictive liquor laws only help my success in driving more wine lovers to my classes looking for an inviting and informative experience with wine.

What type of experience (food provided, teaching style) do you provide to your students attending the French Wine Scholar program? 

The majority of our classes include a food component, which is relevant to the wine tasting or region of focus. Thanks to several local cheese retailers and chefs, we are able to provide cheeses from the majority of the regions of Italy and France as well as chef-prepared food pairings to highlight traditional recipes of specific regions. My teaching style is multi-sensory, and thanks to the excellent quality of visual, auditory, and hands on learning experiences offered through the Wine Scholar Guild, I am able to address each of my student’s learning preferences.

Cheese and wine pairing

A group of happy students studying the French Wine Scholar program

A group of happy students studying the French Wine Scholar program 

If you had to recommend the French Wine Scholar program to wine lovers and francophiles, what would you say? 

France and Italy has never been more exciting to learn! The depth of knowledge that our instructors and students receive and the quality of information delivered in a multi-sensory format is unparalleled in our industry. It is so much more than a list of appellations and grapes. It brings history, geology, culture, winemaking technique and even regional food traditions to life! I have been a student, and now instructor for the Wine Scholar Guild, formerly the French Wine Society, since its inception and look forward a lifetime of enjoyment of their endless opportunities to discover the magic of France, Italy and Spain.


FWS: New 6th Edition was just released!

The 6th Edition of the French Wine Scholar program has just been released!

The FWS manual has been fully updated and reformatted into a perfect binding (no more spiral!) with:

  • New, custom-designed maps
  • New charts, graphics and rich imagery
  • Need-to-know icons now mark all AOCs that count as test material eliminating some appellations that are seldom exported beyond their local zone of production.

In keeping with these changes, the online study program has been upgraded and is now fully mobile compatible.

All teaching materials have been updated and given a fresh look also!

This new edition has been enriched thanks to the insights provided by area experts including: Mélanie Poupart (Loire), Wink Lorch (Jura/Savoie), Thierry Meyer (Alsace), Marie-Céline Wallerand and  Tom Fiorina (Corsica), Eric Aracil (Roussillon), Elizabeth Gabay MW (Provence), Catherine Machabert (Languedoc) and Emmanuelle Voinier (Rhône).

Register for Distance-Learning Register for Classroom-Learning



Learn more about the French Wine Scholar study and certification program (new, 6th Edition!) via 2 live webinars on Saturday, March 4th, 2017 at:

  • 12 noon EST (NYC Time) , 9 am PST, 5:00pm UK, 6:00pm France, 1:00 am Sunday in Hong-Kong


  • 8:00 pm Hong-Kong, 9:00pm Shanghai, 7:00 am EST (NYC time), 11 pm Sydney, 12:00 noon UK, 13h in France.

About this webinar:

  • Find out about the curriculum and study options.
  • Review sample exam questions.
  • Get a feel for the emphasis and thrust of this certification program and if it is “a fit” for your professional development goals.

Host: Lisa M. Airey, WSG Education Director.

Duration: 45 min-1 hr.

Register for the FREE preview webinar:

Instructions on how to access this live webinar will be emailed to all registered 48 hours prior to the webinar.



Italian Trade Commission endorses the Italian Wine Scholar program


The Wine Scholar Guild’s Italian Wine Scholar Program received official endorsement from the Italian Trade Commission (ITA).

The Italian Trade Commission is a governmental body whose role is to promote the internationalization of Italian companies in line with the strategies of the Italian Ministry for Economic Development. It identifies and connects Italian and foreign businesses and provides support and advice to both.

Wine Scholar Guild President, Julian Camus, stated, “The Italian Trade Commission works to position Italy in a best-foot-forward framework and we are proud that our Italian wine education program has made the cut. Having an official endorsement from this governmental organization is a wonderful reward for all of the hard work we have put into this program.”

Maurizio Forte, Trade Commissioner and Executive Director for the ITA in the USA stated, “We are delighted to support the educational program dedicated to the wines of Italy whose study manual, reviewed by industry leaders and wine professionals, was praised for its comprehensive coverage of the diverse wines and wine regions of Italy, its well thought out structure and its easy-to-follow format.”

“To show our support for this endeavor,” continues Forte, “the Wine Scholar Guild is authorized to proudly display the Italian Trade Commission logo (ITA) on all materials relating to the promotional and educational activities that will be carried out by the Wine Scholar Guild in connection with the Italian Wine Scholar program.”

This endorsement follows the official support and endorsement of three wine consorzi: Consorzio Vini Alto Adige, Consorzio di tutela vini del Trentino, and Consorzio Barbera d'Asti e Vini del Monferrato.

The Italian Wine Scholar: Wines of Northern Italy program launched in May of 2016 to the Wine Scholar Guild program provider network around the globe. Unit Two, Italian Wine Scholar: Wines of Central/Southern Italy will launch early in 2017.

The Wine Scholar Guild offers wine study and certification programs for serious students of wine. These programs are offered by 50 program providers in 15 countries on 5 continents. Educational programing is also available in distance learning formats.


In both instances, students should register for each unit separately. We highly recommend that students complete one unit before moving on to the next. The units can be taken in any order.


Register today for Unit 1 and be among the first Italian Wine Scholars!


WIN a Study Trip Scholarship to Italy!

Top Italian Wine Scholar student at IWEG Drinks Academy in Toronto will WIN a Study Trip Scholarship to Italy!

IWEG, our exlusive Program Provider in Toronto, is pleased to announce the Italian Trade Commission in Canada as its first Gold Sponsor with the sponsorship of the new Italian Wine Scholar program beginning at IWEG in October 2016. 

This partnership will make possible a host of exciting and educational activities throughout the academic year that will enhance the student experience and help our students achieve their personal goals through the program. Additionally, the top performing Italian Wine Scholar graduate at IWEG will also receive a study trip scholarship to a consorzio (specific wine region) in Italy!

"The Italian Trade Commission has launched a Canada-wide campaign to promote authentic Italian food and wines to consumers and professionals. We have identified IWEG as a valuable partner in a project that seeks to promote a better and stronger awareness of Italian wines among members of the trade and the public. We are delighted to sponsor a wine education program that is exclusively about Italian wines and provides a level of knowledge at a professional level with an internationally recognized certificate" said Pasquale Bova, Trade Commissioner, of the Italian Trade Commission in Canada.

"The Italian Trade Commission is a valuable partner for IWEG, enabling us not only to enhance the student learning experience but also to provide unique ways to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals", said Paul Miles, Executive Director of IWEG.

Italian Wine Scholar 

The Italian Wine Scholar is an Italian wine course designed to provide committed students of wine with the most advanced and comprehensive specialization study program on Italian wine bar none!

IWEG is one of the first international schools and the first school in Canada to offer the Italian Wine Scholar program. 

Our Italian Wine Scholar instructors Nancy Reynolds and Rose-Anne St. Jean are ranked globally in the top 3 for academic achievement with the Wine Scholar Guild. (Number 1 is IWEG WSET Diploma alumnus Donald McEachern!)  

Italian Wine Scholar - Unit 1 
Date: Tuesdays, October 18th - December 6th @ 7PM
Location: IWEG Drinks Academy
Register Now!



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