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    Our Recent Top Exam Scorers

    Frédéric Cayuela, FWS

    Congratulations to Frédéric Cayuela, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

     

    About Frédéric:

    I'm both a wine enthusiast and professional in the industry. Born in south of France, my passion for wines started very young, at 15 years old, when I did my first grape harvest for a local grower in Roussillon.

    Now experienced in the Asian and SEA market, with 8+ years of experience in the wine industry. I lived and worked in Taïwan for 4 years and 2 years in Singapore. I'm graduated from Rivesaltes school of agriculture with a 2 years Technical sales manager in wines diploma, Certified specialist of wine (CSW), WSET level 3, and I'm currently undergoing the DipWSET program in Japan.

    As a Frenchman, I found French Wines Scholar (FWS) is a complete study and review of the French wine regions, which I sometimes overlooked during my previous studies. Details for every regions is incredible and I really enjoyed the tradional food section for each of them.
    I'm now thinking to take the master level for some key regions, and I might take Italian Wine Scholar (IWS) in order to support my DipWSET examinations.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial As a Frenchman, I found French Wines Scholar (FWS) is a complete study and review of the French wine regions, which I sometimes overlooked during my previous studies.
    • Position Freelance wine consultant - Private and corporate wine educator
    • Certifications WSET Level 3, Certified Specialist of Wine CSW
    Read more...

    Philip Green, FWS

    Congratulations to Philip Green, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

     

    About Philip:

    I have been in working with wine in some shape or form for over a decade, having taken an interest when I was working in The Royal Opera House. From there I was given a fantastic education in wine, tasting some amazing bottles. I now work for an importer and have my own company – Phil My Glass - offering wine list consultancy to restaurants and bar and providing wine tasting events to private customers. I want to spread the word and educate people to wonderful experiences wine can bring!

    I studied and passed my WSET level 3 a couple of years ago with merit. From there I have been exploring the world of wines and finding what areas I would most like to focus on. My true love of wines lies in French wines and this made the French Wine Scholar course a perfect fit for me and the best way to further develop my knowledge.
    The course was great for taking what I had learnt in the WSET level 3 and delving deeper into France and its regions, styles and history. From here I want to begin to specialize in Champagne and will be taking the Champagne Master Level course.

    The FWS has helped me to find the area of wine I wish to focus on – France and from there develop an ever deeper understanding of its regions. With this better understanding I will have the knowledge and confidence to provide much more detailed and focused tastings and masterclasses to private clients, which is the direction I would like to take my business. I am already looking at offering Champagne masterclasses for Christmas this year!

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The FWS has helped me to find the area of wine I wish to focus on – France and from there develop an ever deeper understanding of its regions.
    • Position Owner at Phil My Glass
    • Certifications WSET Level 3
    Read more...

    Renga Vasu, FWS

    Congratulations to Renga Vasu, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

     

    About Renga:

    I have practiced and taught medicine in the field of neurology for over 30 years. I retired a few years ago when I moved to Washington DC metro area. I have pursued my interest in wine for at least 20 years. I got certified for the Intermediate Level Master Class on Sherry Wines last year. After retirement, I have taken up music/ violin lessons as well.


    I took interest in wine, vineyards, and reading wine literature as a hobby. I have no professional connections with the wine industry. I further developed interest in this field as I traveled globally visiting various vineyards. French vineyards have always fascinated me as they are the most disciplined, oldest, most understood and researched in the field
of viticulture. I have been to several wine tasting sessions which have augmented my passion in the subect. The ritual of visually checking out the wine, sniffing for the flavors, swirling it in the glass, and ultimately tasting has become a routine!

    One of my longtime interests was to be a French Wine Scholar though I knew it was going to be tough. Even with a basic knowledge of the vineyards, geography, grapes, viticulture techniques it was a daunting task as I had no French background with the language or pronunciation. I registered with Wine Scholar Guild, and the accompanying study manual was extremely informative. The book was very organized, well written with pictures, maps, and appellations.

    Equal emphasis was given to all the wine regions trying to help the student understand the subject rather than just pass a test. The E Module learning with the slides and the accompanying audio recordings enhanced my learning experience. Quizzes helped in emphasizing precise details. Instructor Guided Webinars were wonderful. The teachers, Sharon and Lisa, are truly gifted and well versed in the subject. Questions posed during the discussions were intelligent and helped to clarify doubts. These discussions cemented my gaps in knowledge.

    I am grateful to WSG for helping me achieve my goal. The whole program is highly complimentary to the learning experience. I am not enrolled in other certifications at the moment as I am focusing on my music lessons actively.


    I shall continue as a member of WSG participating in the Webinars. I hope to be visiting more vineyards during my future travels.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial Equal emphasis was given to all the wine regions trying to help the student understand the subject rather than just pass a test.
    • Position Retired Medical Doctor/Neurologist
    Read more...

    Shirley L.Paddock, IWS


    Congratulations to Shirley L. Paddock, IWS, for passing the Italian Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

     

    About Shirley: 

    I suppose I would consider myself a wine enthusiast although I believe that there are varying levels of enthusiasm for wine. I didn’t set out to be an “enthusiast” I just liked to try good wines and found myself wanting more knowledge about the multitude of grapes and wine styles beyond the standard international varieties and the “California cab”.  I love learning and have a tendency to try to learn as much as I can about a certain subject, in this case wine.

    I am a Certified Wine Scholar (CSW) from the Society of Wine Educators and have passed the WSET Level 3 Award in Wine with Merit.  The basics in both of these programs allowed me to focus on the key aspects of the Italian wine world vs trying to learn the basics of viticulture and winemaking at the same time I was studying for the IWS. I am currently enrolled in the FWS program (as the Spanish Wine Scholar program is not yet open to me ☹)   Given my passion for learning, I am excited to learn more about French wines and eventually more about Spanish Wines. My journey through the IWS program will provide a wonderful foundation and perspective on Old World wines in general and will allow me to compare and contrast the different regions. At some point in the future I may consider studying for the DipWSET in Wine.

    The IWS program has fed my love of wine and learning and will ultimately allow me to be able to compare and contrast each of the world’s wine regions based on their history, terroir, viticulture and wine making practices.




    Additional Info

    • Testimonial My journey through the IWS program will provide a wonderful foundation and perspective on Old World wines in general and will allow me to compare and contrast the different regions.
    • Position Wine Enthusiast
    • Certifications Certified Specialist of Wine CSW, WSET Level 3
    Read more...

    Jen McAlpine, FWS

    Congratulations to Jen McAlpine, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

     

    About Jen:

    My love for wine has taken me to some amazing places! Aside from working as a sommelier over the years, I also took a year off to travel and explore some major wine regions, and even did a harvest in Australia. However, it was when we were travelling through Burgundy and Champagne that something ignited in me and I’m excited to see where that leads me!

    This year I finished Italian Wine Scholar, French Wine Scholar, and enrolled in the WSET Diploma program, so it’s been a busy year! The Wine Scholar Guild programs have no doubt been beneficial in preparing me for the WSET Diploma and whatever future wine studies I decide to take on. Continuing with WSG is definitely on the list!

    I’m excited to see where I go next in my career.  Up until now I’ve been in restaurants but I think I’m ready for a new challenge. Whatever that may be, FWS has exceeded my expectations and allowed me to feel prepared for whatever comes next.  As far as education goes, my focus now is on the WSET diploma, but without a doubt I’ll be taking some of the master level programs with WSG as soon as I can!

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The Wine Scholar Guild programs have no doubt been beneficial in preparing me for the WSET Diploma and whatever future wine studies I decide to take on.
    • Position Sommelier
    • Certifications Italian Wine Scholar
    Read more...

    Allison Hupp, FWS

    Congratulations to Allison Hupp, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

     

    About Allison:

    As a member of the wine trade, I constantly strive to learn. Wine is art, science, history, sensation and joy. It is always scintillating and never static. I have the pleasure of sharing my passion for wine in my role as the Northern California Wine Educator for Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits. Before this position, I was a fine wine sales manager and prior to that worked in both on & off-premise channels of the wine industry (retail, bars and restaurants). Since I have been so fortunate in finding a position that I truly love, my aspirations are to continue to educate myself and influence those around me to explore wine from around the world and appreciate what is in our own backyard.

    My current credentials include: WSET Diploma, Certified Sommelier, Certified Specialist of Wine (CWE pending), Certified Specialist of Spirits, Italian Wine Professional, WSET 3 in Sake and California Wine Appellation Specialist. The French Wine Scholar forced me to dig deeper into each region of France than I had ever been required to do previously. It was immensely beneficial since France sets the standard, at least from a historical perspective, of so many international styles produced today. Having a deeper understanding of French wine regions impacts how one approaches study in other parts of the world. It also allows me to speak with more authority on historical perspectives and influences of French appellations.

     I am currently a Master of Wine candidate. I plan to revisit my French Wine Scholar materials regularly to ensure my theory is finely honed. There is no room for ambiguity in the MW program.

     For the reasons I have already stated, I have found the FWS program immensely valuable. I will encourage my colleagues to take part and use the course materials as a reference to keep my practical knowledge of French appellations up to date.

     

     

     

     

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The French Wine Scholar forced me to dig deeper into each region of France than I had ever been required to do previously.
    • Position Northern California Wine Educator for Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits
    • Certifications WSET Diploma, Certified Sommelier (CMS), Certified Specialist of Wine CSW, Certified Specialist of Spirits, WSET in Sake
    Read more...

    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.



    Additional Info

    • Testimonial I would be interested in becoming a certified FWS wine educator to further pursue my wine passion.
    • Position Wine Enthusiast
    • Certifications WSET Level 3
    Read more...

    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.




    Additional Info

    • Testimonial Now my knowledges on French wine regions and appellations are organized in a systematic way that are easy for me to recall.
    • Position Sommelier Student at Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS)
    • Certifications WSET Level 3
    Read more...

    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. 





    Additional Info

    • Testimonial This was a great introduction to the voluminous topic of Italian wines.
    • Position Wine Enthusiast
    • Certifications WSET Level 3, Bourgogne ML, Rhone Valley ML, FWS
    Read more...

    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.  


    Additional Info

    • Testimonial This program has given me the confidence to sell, buy, and discuss wines from a region that most seasoned wine professionals find intimidating
    • Position Grey Gardens 
General Manager, Wine Director
    • Certifications WSET Diploma, International Sommelier Guild Diploma
    Read more...
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