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    Our Recent Top Exam Scorers

    Nathalie Sibille

    Nathalie Sibille

    Friday, 19 October 2018 05:17

    Zhiyong Zhou, FWS

    Congratulations to Zhiyong Zhou, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors with the Sydney Wine Academy!

    About Zhiyong:
     I am a wine enthusiast. I believe that the wine is an integral part of my life. I have a strong interest in understanding, trying, and exploring different wine, which gives me opportunity to experience the nature, history, culture, people and life as a whole.

I got my WSET Level 3 certificate in 2017 from Sydney Wine Academy. I think that the FWS provided me with in-depth knowledge of French wine, detailed wine regions, wine industry, history, and characters. 

I also passed Italian Wine Scholar Unit 2 in 2017, and plan to enroll the Italian Wine Scholar Unit 1. I think the FWS program is very helpful to provide systematically learning experience for those key wine countries such as France, Italy, and Spain. I plan to study those programs step by step.

After working as senior executive in multi-national corporation for 25 years, I decided to take early retirement 2 years ago to pursue my own interests, wine is on the top of my interest list. With FWS program, I plan to make use of my knowledge to be a wine educator to share with other people, particularly to bring the knowledge to China market, which is becoming the world's largest wine market in the near future. I would be interested in becoming a certified FWS wine educator to further pursue my wine passion.

    Friday, 19 October 2018 04:59

    Jade Yu, FWS

    Congratulations to Jade Xiaohan Yu, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors with IWEG in Toronto!

    About Jade:
I was working in the media industry before I got into the wine world. Leading a busy life, a glass of wine to me is like a pacifier to a baby. I started taking introductory wine courses to spend my free time. The more I learned, the more interest I gained. Now I am a sommelier student on the journey to achieve my goal of becoming a professional sommelier.

    I passed the WSET Level 3 in Wine. FWS program gave me the chance to get a more in depth look at French wine. Now my knowledges on French wine regions and appellations are organized in a systematic way that are easy for me to recall. I am currently enrolled in Italian Wine Scholar and planning to do the master levels of French wine regions in near future.

When we speak of wine, it is always more than the chemical compounds in the glass that we are talking about. The terrior, natural and social histories and cultures are what make the wine enchanting. When I recommend a wine to my friends or guests who may not be professional wine tasters, I find them enjoying discussing the stories behind the wine, probably even more than the structures of the wine. This is why my favourite sections of FWS are the histories, geography and food traditions of each region. I can never understand a wine without knowing them.

    Thursday, 06 September 2018 08:49

    Bruce Smoller, IWS

    Congratulations to Bruce Smoller, IWS, for passing the Italian Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Bruce:
    I am simply a wine enthusiast.  I have become quite interested in learning everything I can possible learn about the wines of the world.  It is a great hobby and allows me to 1) throw great dinner parties and 2) attempt to make great pairings with dinners for me and my wife.  At this point, I have no particular professional aspirations downstream from my wine studies . . . . but who knows?

    I have taken and completed WSET 2, WSET 3, Fine Wine Scholar, Master Course in Burgundy, Master Course in Rhone Valley, Italian Wine Scholar (parts 1 and 2). 
    I am now enrolled in the Napa Valley Wine Expert course (given by the Napa Valley Wine Academy).  
    I am hoping that at some point you will develop master level programs in some of the Italian wine appellations, analogous to those you have in France.  I will like enroll in one of the other French master level programs next, while I am awaiting the Spanish Wine Scholar program to begin. 

    This was a great introduction to the voluminous topic of Italian wines.  From my studies within France, I have learned that we have only barely scratched the surface of what there is to know, and I would very much like to take a deeper dive.  I personally find the more in-depth courses more exciting, while fully realizing that without the basic fundamentals, one cannot undertake the more in-depth studies. 

    Thursday, 06 September 2018 08:41

    Jake Skakun, Bourgogne ML

    Congratulations to Jake Skakun for passing the Bourgogne Master Level exam with highest honors!

    About Jake:

    I've been working in wine-focused restaurants for the last 15 years and I currently buy wine for a few spots in Toronto including Grey Gardens where I work as the General Manager. I'd love to keep creating relevant wine programs and opening new restaurants.

    I've completed the Wine & Spirits Education Trust Diploma and the International Sommelier Guild Diploma. Even with in-depth wine certifications that take years to finish, you don't get the opportunity to spend months in one specific region. Bourgogne is so complex, but so worth the deep dive.  

    This program has given me the confidence to sell, buy, and discuss wines from a region that most seasoned wine professionals find intimidating. It would take a lifetime to become an expert, but this program sets the framework.  

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