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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.

Last modified onTuesday, 12 February 2019 09:38
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