WSG Program Provider Awards

IWS Instructor of the Year 2019

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Wine Scholar Guild honors Mimi Martin of The Wine & Spirit Archive (Portland, OR) as 2019 Italian Wine Scholar™ Instructor of the Year!

IWS Instructor of the Year is an award of excellence recognizing creative and effective classroom instruction for the Italian Wine Scholar study & certification program. The recipient is selected based upon outstanding presentation skills, organization, congeniality and a genuine and spirited dolce vita—all talents reflected in stellar student evaluations. 

Congratulations to Mimi!


Could you give us a bit of background on your personal history in wine and why did you choose to become an Italian Wine Scholar educator?

I am an insatiable student and after acquiring a culinary degree, a master’s degree in Library Science and a master’s degree in Food Studies, I realized I’d better move to the other side of the podium or I’d never pay off my student loans. I started my career as a food educator in NYU’s Food Studies program, ultimately serving as the Undergraduate Food Studies Program Director. While teaching about food, I began my wine studies and in 2006, I moved to Portland, OR to establish The Wine & Spirit Archive, the first provider of WSET courses in the Pacific Northwest. Since the launch of the French Wine Scholar program, I’ve wanted to add Wine Scholar Guild courses to our offerings was delighted to bring IWS to our students in 2018.

Incidentally, I have not recovered from my education addiction and have loved studying for and achieving my DipWSET, CWE, FWS, IWS and SWS.

What type of education experience do you provide at Wine&Spirit Archive to your students (teaching methods, social components, support outside of class, etc) that sets you apart?

Partnering with my amazing co-instructor, Tanya Morning Star Darling, has brought a lot of depth and dimension to IWS courses at The Wine & Spirit Archive. Tanya paints a beautiful picture of the regions, wines and people we are learning about and I focus my attention on providing overarching themes, drawing connections and simplifying concepts in a way that I hope helps students retain their learning for years to come.

I find that the IWS materials provide everything the students and I need for successful learning and I see my role as the guide shepherding them through those materials, bringing the stories to life, providing context and offering strategies and “tricks” for how organize and understand the complexities of Italy’s grapes, soils, topography and wine regions. Our amazing students also set us up for success with the intelligence, enthusiasm and humility they bring to the complicated and beautiful topic Italian wine.

You have also successfully passed the Spanish Wine Scholar exam in 2019, congratulation! Do you plan to offer this new specialization program on the wines of Spain in Portland in 2020?

Most definitely, yes! In 2020, The Wine & Spirit Archive will add the Spanish Wine Scholar AND the French Wine Scholar Programs to our offerings.

I loved studying these programs as a student and I’m so thrilled to share them with WSA students with the assistance of three phenomenal educators including: FWS veteran instructor, Maxine Borcherding; powerhouse educator, Cheryl Wakerhauser; and the brilliant Nicolas Quillé MW.


Previous Years WSG Awards:

Last modified on Tuesday, 21 January 2020 08:30

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