Congratulations to Lim Yee Chuin, for passing the Champagne Master-Level exam with highest honors !
About Lim Yee Chuin:
"I am a wine enthusiast, who is especially in love with champagnes. I love to read about wine history, wine business, monitor wine prices, look at wine bottles, visit wine shops, watch wine related movies… (the list goes on) It all started when I decided that I needed to “break the code” of buying wines in the supermarkets where every bottle on the shelf looked ridiculously foreign to me. I began reading up on my own and started buying different wines to try. During my undergraduate exchange at Sciences Po (Paris), I took the opportunity to travel to some popular wine regions such as Champagne, Rhone Valley, Loire Valley and Bordeaux where I got the first hand experience of talking and learning from the winemakers. When I did my Masters Programme at Oxford University, I joined the Oxford University Blind Tasting Society where I really got to polish my wine knowledge. I also competed in several wine competitions in Europe and the Oxford-Cambridge Varsity Wine Competition. Wine travels were part and parcel of my holidays – I visited Champagne 5 times during that period!
I took the WSET Intermediate and Advanced level and passed with Distinction. I decided to take the Champagne ML exam purely out of interest and felt that it could help to enhance my knowledge specifically in champagne – and it definitely did! The syllabus was well-organised and even covered sparkling wines in the world. The Certified Sommelier exam, as well as Burgundy ML and FWS are exams possibly on the horizon, and perhaps I would go into the wine industry at some point. I am glad that I made the decision to take the Champagne ML exam, which is a step forward in achieving my dream in being a champagne specialist one day!
I believe all the ML exams help to further concretise the knowledge of each specific wine region and would be useful for anyone who wishes to go more in depth in their wine learning journey."
Congratulations to Gan Hong Tan, IWS, for passing the Italian Wine Scholar exam with highest honors with San Francisco Wine School!
About Gan Hong Tan:
"Wine enthusiast - I’m curious about wine, it’s history, and the business. In particular, I’m intrigued by how differently stakeholders in the wine world view wine (winemakers, retailers, enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts), and how various labels and regions try to bridge the gap. Also love the fact the studying about wine also opens up ideas for traveling, after the IWS i’m inspired to visit regions weren’t previously on the radar, such as Emilia Romagna and Valle d’Aosta.
I’ve completed WSET Advanced before the IWS, and am currently enrolled in the WSET diploma. The IWS provided a nice foundation and summary of information that would really have taken a lot of research. I fully expect to use the text in the future. Also signed up for FWS later this year.
I think the IWS provided a base framework from which i can use to study wines from other regions. Along the course i’ve also learned what worked well, and what didn’t for me. Additionally I’ve found many interesting wines throughout the course."
Congratulations to Peggy Baudon, IWS, for passing the Italian Wine Scholar exam with highest honors with Cru Consultancy in Victoria, BC!
"I am relatively new to wine, having stumbled into it by default. I recently returned to bartending after a stretch of years teaching then followed by having two children. Bartending in the food/wine industry offered the chance to re-enter the work world in the evenings while allowing time to be with children in the day. The opportunity to work with wine again sparked a curiosity and an itch to learn more and more about it. Although I intended bartending to be a stop-gap measure of a job until I could return to full-time classroom teaching, the realization occurred that the food and wine industry is a pursuit where complete satisfaction could be gained by pouring wine and making people incredibly happy. Thoughts of starting to build a new career in wine began to percolate.
When people look back on their lives, one common regret is not having done the things we wish we had. And with a window of a handful of years until I had planned to return to the teaching profession, the decision to change course and take a leap into the wine world was joyfully made.
The Italian Wine Scholar program was the first course I had taken (after a general introductory course) and, after getting over the shock of the depth and breadth of material, it was complete nirvana being immersed in the world of Italian wine.
After completing the IWS Part 1, I enrolled in the WSET 3 program. The IWS more than prepares students for the Italy portion of the course (kind of like training for a marathon in order to run three kilometers), and I was gratefully surprised that the IWS had laid a foundation to better absorb the viticulture and vinification components of the WSET 3 program.
I will soon begin the WSET diploma program (online) and have noticed that the Italian wines component does not present any material outside the IWS scope for still or sparkling wines. This gladly frees up studying time for other wines of the world.
The organizational structure of the IWS program is something I am carrying into my preparation for the diploma; the IWS program structure lays out the cultural and historical foundation on which appellations and grapes are firmly attached. And since any new learning needs to be attached to an existing framework of prior knowledge, my IWS strategy was to learn the recommended history and topography information first before tackling appellations or grapes of a new region. My approach to the diploma will be the same even though this structure of learning is not part of that program.
My interests in wine include natural wine, education and educational models for learning – but my passion for wine writing is at the forefront of my mind.
Career aspirations include the prospect of writing about Italian wine. The IWS program outlines how the diversity of Italian wine is linked to the country’s diverse culture and history. This has led to ideas about wine writing that celebrate this distinct lack of homogeneity. The IWS program has also reinforced observations about how the nature of wine reflects our human nature in so many ways – a subject I’d love to write about.
But for now, the pleasure of making people happy for a living and learning as much as I can about wine is very satisfying.
Congratulations to Karin Kallio, IWS, for passing the Italian Wine Scholar exam with highest honors with Cru Consultancy in Victoria BC!
"I suppose you could say I am both a wine professional and a wine enthusiast. After earning a degree in sales I took a job as sales professional in the wine industry and have continued on that path in various roles for the past 20 years. Along the way, what was once a job has turned into a passion because of the culture that is inherent in the wine industry and also because of the great people I have met along the way. Working in different provinces across Canada, as well as living overseas I have had the opportunity to learn about the different markets. I aspire to be a leader within the wine industry and to share my knowledge with others.
I hold a WSET Level 3 certification, French Wine Scholar, Canadian Wine Scholar and now the Italian Wine Scholar.
The Italian Wine Scholar opened up the vast world of Italian wine. The history, culture, traditions and wines of Italy are fascinating and having a dedicated class to understand this beautiful country and its wine has been an incredible experience. It has given me confidence to better sell Italian wine.
In the near future, I would absolutely love to study the Champagne Master Class and Spain! The Italian Wine Scholar has undoubtedly improved my knowledge of old world Italian wines and has, thus, boosted my confidence to sell Italian wine. Every wine has a story and with this newly acquired education I can better articulate to customers the technique and history behind some of the best wines in the world."