Congratulations to Po Chau Wong, IWS, for passing the Italian Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!
About Po Chau:
I’m currently a wine enthusiast, but who knows, maybe I’ll become a wine professional in the future if I have a chance!
I started drinking wine more than 15 years ago, at that time, I was already very interested in it and would read books and websites about wine. However, it wasn’t until year 2017 that I started taking wine courses to learn about wine and tasting skills in a more systematic approach – I started with WSET level 2 and finished level 3 in the next year; it was eye-opening, I got introduced to many wines and wine regions which I had no knowledge of before, and it was very inspiring to learn about all the many factors which can impact the wine produced. To me, it is so interesting that the same grape variety can produce wines with such big differences when grown in different places or when different wine-making techniques are applied; it has so many possibilities, and it is amazing to think that no two bottles of wine are exactly the same so every bottle we taste is unique! This has ignited my passion to explore wines from all over the world and to drill deeper into some major wine countries, one of them is Italy and that’s why I took the IWS course.
I have done WSET level 2 and 3 in wine and passed both with distinction. WSET provides a framework on how to do wine tasting in a systematic way, and it provides a holistic view on the most important wine regions, as well as vine-growing and wine-making techniques and all natural and human factors that affect them. IWS is where we can apply those skills and knowledges, it is like we have gained foundational knowledge about (Italian) wines from WSET, and in IWS we drill deep into them. Also, from WSET we have learnt a set of common vocabulary to describe wine, and in the IWS classes we would use those vocabularies when we did wine tasting because they could be understood by all in the classroom, but we could also jump out of that framework and express ourselves freely which has resulted in some very interesting and inspiring discussions.
Currently I have not enrolled in any other wine certification program, but I’m interested in the French Wine Scholar and Spanish Wine Scholar programs.
From IWS I have learnt about wines of many grape varieties and DOC/Gs which I had never heard of, and I also learnt about the most iconic wine makers of each region. It was like a great discovery for me because many of those wines are in fact rather uncommon in Hong Kong, so now I have found some new favorites, I become more confident in picking wines which I had no idea about and I am opened to far more options then before when I need to choose a wine for a specific occasion; for example, if I want to celebrate something with a sparkling wine, in the past I would usually pick a Champagne, but now I would happily get a bottle from Franciacorta or Alta Langa. Also, I find it very impressive that in addition to everything about wine, the IWS manual also introduces the history, culture, people, and traditions of each region, it would talk about the famous landmarks, local cuisines, what food the local people pair with the wine, etc. It is like a guidebook which I can reference when I will plan for a trip to Italy in the future!
Congratulations to Emiko Seki, IWS, for passing the Italian Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!
In 2015, I stayed in Italy for 7 months to study Italian. Since then, I have visited Italy almost every year for vacation. I’ve liked wine since then, but it was just a part of the meal and I have not paid special attention to the wines I drunk. It was in 2018 that I started studying wine in earnest since I had more opportunities to drink wine. I firstly studied the wine in the world and then I naturally started studying about Italian wine.
In 2018, I was conferred the certification of WSET LEVEL 2 AWARD IN WINE AND SPIRITS after having studied for 6 months, then around the same period I took a short-term Italian wine course. The Italian wine lasted only 3 days and it was difficult to stuff information into my head in such a short period. I practically could not learn very well.
It was absolutely meaningful to me that I was able to study Italian wine comprehensively with IWS program. I knew about the diversity of Italy but I didn’t know that the Italian viticulture was so diverse as well! It is truly productive to learn each regions’ viticulture and grapes as they are so diverse and valuable.
I have no plan to get enrolled in other wine certification programs at this moment since I have already been studying so much for IWS program. I am reviewing the manual as I can still find something new whenever I read it.
Having studied the IWS program, I am finally able to read the wine label and understand what the wine is like, but most importantly I can now find GOOD wines. It is really fun to go to a wine shop and look at the wines lined up and think about the wines' background. My job has no relation with Italy nor wine, but I hope I can get a job related to Italian wine someday.
Many congratulations to Tim Roberts, IWS, for passing the Italian Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!
I am a wine enthusiast with a passion for wine (and food). My passion began with my first trip to Italy many years ago. During that time I was fortunate enough to experience a wine tasting at Rimessa Roscioli (Rome) with Alessandro Pepe. That was when I learned that there is so much more to wine than just being a refreshment one has with dinner. Alessandro shared his passion with me that wine should be less about a technical expression and rankings and more a story that starts in the vineyard, the passion of the wine maker, the family history and resuscitation of long forgotten grapes…each bottle is a story more of the people and land and less about mass production and scores. That event started me on my quest for wine knowledge which eventually led me to Wine Scholar Guild and the Italian Wine Scholar Program.
For years I took wine educational classes in many different parts of the world. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I decided to start a more formal wine education journey. I have WSET Levels 1, 2 and 3, French Wine Scholar and Italian Wine Scholar through Wine Scholar Guild and am currently enrolled in the Spanish Wine Scholar Program with WSG.
Through travel I learn to relate my written knowledge to the real world. It is through travel that I will continue to expand my understanding of wine. Visiting the wineries and the people behind the wines and getting a better understanding of the cultures that appreciate them the way they do and their story behind the wines.
Wine Scholar Guild has helped my wine education become circular. Through travel I was inspired to learn about wine and I sought out and found WSG to help me with that. Through the wine knowledge I have gained through WSG I have been inspired to travel to the different locations I have discovered through their education, learning even more about the wine and its story. Before the pandemic took hold I was booked to explore the wines of Northern Italy. Veneto, Trentino/Alto Adige, Fruili/Venizia/Guila, Emilia Romagna and Lombardy were all part of that. Now, they are all in my future but I will continue learning through WSG about new and exciting places to discover and travel to.
Congratulations to Jennifer Mancini, SWS, for passing the Spanish Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!
I am wine professional, who started out as an enthusiast. After my first sip of good wine, I fell in love with everything about wine. I then decided to make a career change and started working for an Italian Importer. Next, I worked for a Spanish Importer and from there I am now launching an online wine store that will focus on Spanish and Italian wines. I have great relationships with both importers and will be carrying their wines on my website. I am also building my social media following so that I can feature wine reviews, tips, tricks and offer classes for people to take as well.
I have also taken and passed the WSET 1 & 2 with Merit. I was set to take the WSET 3 but then Covid made that a bit impossible. I plan on taking it though once I can safely be in a classroom setting again. I also just received a scholarship for both units of the IWS. I am enrolled in Unit 1, starting March 2 and cannot wait for that. I feel that the SWS will compliment my other studies because it was so immersive, and I am sure the IWS and FWS are as well. It will prepare me for both of those. Not to mention when I do finally take the WSET 3, Spain and Italy will be a lot easier for me, from all the wonderful things I have and will learn.
The SWS program will help to further my wine passion and career in many ways. Since I am launching an online wine store, that will feature Spanish and Italian wines, it will help me to not only select the wines, write reviews, be able to provide information on each area and much more. I am also building my social media presence and having this knowledge really gives me confidence in the things I post, along with accuracy and useful information.