Congratulations to Simon Wheeler, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors with the West London Wine School!
I’ve worked all my life in music and have had an interest in wine for a long time, but that really developed over the past 15 years or so as I’ve visited many wine regions around the world, but it all really started on a trip to New Zealand and a few days tasting in Marlborough back in 2006, tasting many wines side by side and being able to clearly taste differences was a revelation. Since then, I’ve managed to line up many holidays, and even some work trips, with wine regions, handily they are also usually quite beautiful and have great food which keeps everyone happy.
I’ve passed WSET 2 and 3 with distinctions, I did think that my wine education was going to stop there, but then the pandemic and lockdown happened which stopped all my business travel so I thought I would try the FWS course while I had the chance. I found it a great companion piece to WSET 3 with a deeper dive into wine production in France and in far more detail than I had covered previously.
I’ve just recently started Unit 1 of the Italian Wine Scholar as lockdown has continued in the UK, I’m hoping I can get onto Unit 2 this year, then maybe the set with the Spanish Wine Scholar if I get the time, we shall see !
The FWS course really broadened my horizons as far as French wine goes and forced me to learn about regions and wines that I wouldn't naturally gravitate towards and now have a far better grounding on the impact of climate and geology in wine production and a better grasp of the varietals in each region. It really helps bring a wine list to life more. My wine knowledge is really just a hobby that I look forward to continuing in the years to come and applying it in situ once travel starts to become normal again, and to share both the wines and knowledge with friends and new acquaintances in future, after all, I think that's really what it is all about.