Congratulations to Bruce Smoller for passing the Bordeaux Master Level exam with highest honors!
I am simply an amateur with a passion for learning about wine. The genesis for the interest probably arose from my days of living relatively close to Napa Valley and making trips there to taste and to learn. Over the years, I have developed a passion for learning everything that I can about the field. I use my knowledge solely to throw good dinner parties and to pick out the “perfect” wines to accompany the dinners I share with my wife and my friends.
I have passed each of the following programs: French Wine Scholar, Italian Wine Scholar, Master level programs in Burgundy, Rhone Valley and Bordeaux. (I will be enrolling in the Loire Valley course and going on the travel program this spring).
I have also passed the Napa Valley Wine Expert course from the Napa Valley Wine Academy and short courses from the Swiss Wine Academy and Wines of South Africa. I am currently enrolled in the Wines of Australia course from the Sydney Wine Academy (while awaiting the start of the Loire program).
Each of these courses (including the Bordeaux Master program) has enabled me to appreciate another group of wines and to learn about regions we had all heard about, but knew surprising little about.
I will begin the Loire Valley Master program in late March (I think) and will be participating on the tour to the region in June. Again, it will be fun to learn about an area that I am surprisingly uneducated about.
Bordeaux is an especially fun curriculum to have learned about. Virtually everyone knows about wines from Bordeaux and lots of folks can “throw around” the names and reputations of the “first growths” with relative ease. However, there is so much more to Bordeaux than those few wineries and it was great fun to learn about all of the dimensions of Bordeaux. In recent months, my dinner parties have featured more Bordeaux wines than in the past, stealing some of the spotlight from Burgundies. (I do not think that they will ever surpass Burgundies in my heart, though). Each night at dinner, my wife and I spend a while discussing the subtleties and the context about whatever wines we are tasting, including most recently, lots of Bordeaux wines.
It is possible that when I retire from my day job, I may attempt to find a position somewhere in the wine education field. This has truly become a passion of mine.