Congratulations to Natalie Valdez, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!
I am a wine enthusiast whose hobby has become an intense passion so much that the wine school I take courses from has asked me to volunteer at events. I began like most people, simply enjoying a glass of wine at dinner. I wanted to understand it enough to know what to order and pair with a meal but was clueless. After taking WSET 1, the foundation I began to build became a necessity to continue learning. For me, perhaps more enjoyable than drinking wine (and that is extremely enjoyable) is learning the stories behind it- the vineyards, the winemaking process, the producers, the geographical factors, and most interesting to me- the history. I just purchased Wine & War by Don & Petie Kladstrup and can’t wait to start after my SWS exam this weekend. The learning never ends!
Before learning about Wine Scholar Guild’s programs, I enrolled and passed WSET’s courses, completing level 3 in August 2018. I also passed the Consejo Regulador DOCa Rioja’s Master of Rioja exam that same year. FWS added so much depth to my small knowledge base of French wines. I absolutely love the attention to details that FWS brought about; the course gave me such a large working pool of information that I didn’t want to simply memorize, but understand at a great depth.
I am taking my Spanish Wine Scholar exam on June 6th- wish me luck!) I am torn between going to the Italian Wine Scholar next or taking the Master of Alsace or Loire Valley- my two favorite AOCs. Next year I plan on enrolling in WSET’s Level 4 diploma course. In addition to these courses, I love taking classes at Florida Wine Academy whether its a Bordeaux Masterclass, Sake course, and of course all they offer during Miami Champagne Week every October.
The FWS program has already been helpful in my SWS studies. For example, the format is familiar and I hope to attain similar results. The text, coursework, online learning modules, and outline of learning objectives really set students up for success. Also, it is a great base for when I begin the French Master level courses in the near future.