Congratulations to Jonelle Noelani Yacapin, SWS, for passing the Spanish Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!
It began with a dinner party in college. Nothing fancy. Just affordable wine from the grocery store. Soon friends in the restaurant industry introduced me to a world of wine. I then also fell into that industry. It was thrilling trying new varietals and exploring new wine regions. I abandoned my pursuit of a Degree in International Studies to nourish my curiosity in food and beverage.
I am now a Certified Sommelier in the Court of Master Sommeliers, FWS, IWS and SWS. I also earned an Associate’s Degree in Wine Marketing and Sales. The certification programs from the Wine Scholar Guild have given me a deeper understanding and appreciation for these wine regions. I also really enjoyed the organization of the course, manual and online materials. The information was the most up-to-date and directly from the source.
I’m on the fence about pursuing the Advanced Sommelier certification but may pursue some Master Classes from the Wine Scholar Guild. I like the framework and the ability to concentrate on a particular wine region.
Realistically, my future wine studies may be more in the form of immersion. I want to travel the world, taste the wine, eat the food, meet the people and see the vineyards. The SWS program has definitely helped me to connect the dots in my travels as I see, taste and eat things first hand.
Wine has become a big part of my life and I’ve always loved Spain. I hope to visit more to try wines from its many regions to reinforce and expand upon what I’ve learned through the SWS program. Maybe seek out some of those rare sweet wines and bottlings that don’t make it to the US.
Currently, I am seeking to gain more skills to strengthen my marketing background to help wineries and wine regions to engage consumers. Maybe through wine tourism.