Congratulations to Roberto Colombi, SWS, for passing the Spanish Wine Scholar exam with highest honors with the Florida Wine Academy!
I grew up in the country side of Italy, in a family that always loved wine and with several relatives already in the hotel and restaurant business.
My passion for wine started at an incredibly young age; When I was a little boy, I used to help my father bottling wine that he had purchased in Demijohns (Damigiana in Italian). Also my uncle is a trained Sommelier with the A.I.S. and I always looked up to him. My first trip to Vinitaly with him was at the age of 15, and after that day my goal was set, and I knew that I wanted to become a Sommelier one day.
Today, my wife and I are working together in opening our first restaurant where the goal is to have an exiting and eclectic wine list with a great wine by the glass program.
I took my first Sommelier level certificate with the AIS at 19 YO while I was working at Gvaltiero Marchesi in Franciacorta, Italy and shortly after I moved to England to work with Gordon Ramsay. In the U.K. I took the WSET Level 2 in 2004 and the Court of Master Sommelier Level 1 in 2006. In 2007 I came to the united states and in 2008 I was awarded Sommelier of South Florida with Starchefs.com. In 2017 I went back to my studies and passed the Court of Master Sommelier Level 2. In 2020 I passed the WSET Level 3 with the Florida Wine Academy and immediately after I enrolled, and successfully passed, with the Spanish Wine Scholar.
Right now I’m enrolled with the French Wine Scholar and the plan is to take the Italian Wine Scholar as well. The goal, is to prepare my self as much as possible for the WSET Diploma which if possible I would like to take with the Florida Wine Academy.
The SWS open several windows for me. First, I learned about wines that I have not studied before in other wine programs. Second, learning about the History and the Geography of the Spanish wine regions, helped me understand how and why other regions in France, Italy and South America are connected to each other. Also, I found so much quality, value and exciting alternatives to the mainstream grape varietals that I can’t wait to work on my next wine program so that I can add to the wine by the glass a Txacoli de Getaria from the Pais Vasco, a Treixadura from Ribeiro or a Bobal from Utiel Requena.
Knowing about this beautiful region of the world will help my future studies with the WSET and the Court of Master Sommeliers.