Congratulations to Tommy Trull, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!
I'm currently Wine Director for Seaboard Wine Bar & Taproom, a growing company (three more locations on the way!) in Matthews, North Carolina. I curate the wine program for the company's locations, both retail and by-the-glass, as well as our online shipping program.
In a previous life, I was a professional playwright and theatre professor. In my teaching, I focused on theatre history, which is intrinsically linked with the history of wine. My wife is a chef, and after an excellent job opportunity brought us from our home in Greensboro to Charlotte, I picked up some summer hours in a specialty shop, selling wine and cheese - and fell in love.
To me, the story of wine is the story of human innovation, culture, and achievement. The contents of that bottle represents the culmination of science, agriculture, art, markets, indigenous culture, and so much more. In the study of wine, you truly study human nature.
Also, it's delicious.
I came to French Wine Scholar after completing WSET levels 2 and 3. I naturally lean toward the Old World, and found my hunger whetted for the intricacies of French wine. The Wine Scholar Guild has a great reputation for the depth of its curriculum, so I signed up.
I was not disappointed.
The French Wine Scholar program's intense course of study has given me incredible insight into one of the most complex and significant homes of viti- and viniculture on the planet. The attention paid to under-recognized regions like Jura, Savoie, and Corsica has proved invaluable. Not only has it expanded my understanding of wines both past and present, it has given me great context for how some regions come to prominence while others remain hidden gems.
Perhaps most importantly, it has given me excellent guidance in curating my wine program at Seaboard. I pride myself on the diversity of my selection. I've been able to kindle great interest in grapes like Jacquere and Chasselas for customers wanting to branch out from Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris. My study notes help immeasurably with preparing for the weekly tastings I hold at Seaboard.
Currently, I am in the WSET Level 4 Diploma program. The education I received from WSG has given me a huge leg up in understanding the wines not only of France, but of every wine producing region. I intend to continue my studies with both Italian Wine Scholar and Spanish Wine Scholar, and eventually to brave the Master studies as well.