Congratulations to Alex Gapinski, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors with Vine Lab Wine & Spirits Academy, Minnesota!
I have been interested in food for a long time which led me to working in restaurants throughout my college years studying chemistry and food science. My interest in wine began after a trip to France in the summer of 2014 with my food science program. After graduating, I had the opportunity to take culinary and wine courses at St. Paul College in Minnesota. This really opened my eyes to possibilities that would combine my work experience, formal scientific schooling, and passion for food and wine. WIth these at the core, wine has also provided a framework to learn about language, culture, art, history, geology, agriculture, and many other subjects that I would not have otherwise pursued. I can’t wait to keep learning and expanding my understanding of this fun and complicated subject!
My first wine course was a semester-long Certified Wine Professional course at St. Paul College in Minnesota. I now hold the WSET level 3 Award and FWS. I would like to continue with the WSET Diploma program and eventually pursue the Master of Wine certification. The FWS program gave me a taste of how organized and well-presented the material will be for their other courses which drives me to complete SWS and IWS as soon as I can. FWS has also provided a deeper and broader understanding of French wine that was outside the scope of WSET level 3, but I hope it will aid my studies as I continue with the WSET Diploma program. I am also following the Science of Wine Tasting series with the WSG which has complimented and expanded my food science foundation along with several books that I have read on the topics discussed.
Working through the FWS program immediately gave me a better understanding of what is on my store’s shelves which in turn helps me make better recommendations to my customers. Also, I now have a list of lesser known French wines to seek out as I continue my journey!