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    Our Recent Top Exam Scorers

    Gareth Wyatt, FWS

    Congratulations Gareth Wyatt, FWS for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors! Gareth has followed the French Wine Scholar study program with Premier Wine Training in Dublin, Ireland.

    About Gareth:

    I'm currently (and very happily) looking after and exploring all Business Development opportunities in Dublin, Ireland and the surrounding counties for The French Market Ltd - an established wine merchant, specialising in and distributing the Wines and Food of France to some of the best Restaurants and Hotels in Ireland.  

    Redundancy in 2009, gave me the opportunity to turn a passion for wine into a wonderful career and I have never looked back!  I was very quick to realise in all my WSET studies that France, still sets the benchmark for winemakers and wine lovers all over the world.  The French Wine Scholar program was the obvious choice in furthering and enhancing my knowledge and passion for this rich and diverse country.  I am proud to carry the FWS title and look forward to furthering my studies with the Master Level Programs.


    Christopher Ruhland

    Congratulations to Christopher Ruhland, from California, for being the 2015 WORLD TOP EXAM SCORER for the RHONE MASTER-LEVEL PROGRAM.


    Here is a picture of Christopher, taken in Ventoux.

    A few words from Chris:

    ''I am not a wine professional.  But I am passionate -- some might say obsessive -- about wine, particularly French wine.  I am a big fan of the French Wine Society (now the Wine Scholar Guild).   I think the teaching programs are excellent tools for anyone who wants to better understand and appreciate what is in the glass.''


    Gabriella Fois, FWS

    Congrats Gabriella Fois, FWS for passing the French Wine Scholar exam With Honors!

    Gabriella Fois, is working in the Customer Service of The Wine Society in Sydney, Australia. ''I assist members with purchasing wine that will suit there individual palette. All the wines we stock are from Australia and New Zealand, i needed to learn about the most important wine producing country, France! that is why I chose to study the French Wine Scholar course. ''


    Simon Stockton

    Congrats Simon Stockton for passing the Champagne Master-Level Examination With Honors!

    About Simon:

    ''I am the owner of Sugar & Yeast. I run wine courses, events and masterclasses, specializing in Champagne. I also do some champagne writing and judging. In 2016, I will be Competition Director for the CSWWC (Champagne & Sparkling Wine World Championships). I also taste (drink!) champagne at every available opportunity! I’ve recently been named as UK Champagne Ambassador and European Vice-Lauréat Champagne Ambassador for 2015.

    Aside from my WSET qualifications, I have completed the ‘Mastering Champagne’ course at University of Reims and Avize Viticampus - these two courses complement each other extremely well. Champagne is the only area of wine I really specialize in, so the Master Level Champagne Course offered a level of specificity that I’d hoped for.''



    Jennifer Yam, FWS

    Congrats to Jennifer Yam, FWS for passing the French Wine Scholar examination with highest honors!

    Jennifer Yam is a wine connoisseur.  She has been awarded the best wine critic by a local wine magazine in Hong Kong.  She has also been judging in international wine competitions including Hong Kong International Wine Challenge.

    A few words from Jennifer :

    " I fell in love with wines as I'm always amazed by how wines evolve over time and express their unique terroir, and how they represent their culture and history.  I have an insatiable thirst for wine knowledge and it has brought me to New Zealand to make my own wines.  This hands-on winemaking experience has expanded my wine horizon a lot.  As my passion for wine was ignited by french wines, I am determined to attain the qualification of French Wine Scholar and I am very happy that I am awarded with its highest honors. "


    Gershwin Narraidoo, FWS

    Congratulations to Gershwin Narraidoo, FWS and FWS authorized instructor for passing the French Wine Scholar examination with honors!

    About Gershwin: He is instructor in the College of Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales University in North Miami where he teaches undergraduate courses related to service and management that include dining room operations, beverage management, and oenology.

    A few words from Gershwin: ''My appreciation for wine began at an early age, having studied in Australia and soon after being enlisted by the Australian government to promote Australian culture in the U.S. through wine appreciation. I have since obtained significant training in wine through the Society of Wine Educators, London Wine Spirit & Education Trust and now the Wine Scholar Guild. I am passionate about wine and look forward to increasing my knowledge on French viticulture and sharing this along with other wine enthusiasts. 

    I am thrilled to be an instructor for the FWS program and Johnson and Wales University becoming the first provider to offer the course in Miami!''


    Steven Alley, FWS

    Congratulations to Steven Alley, FWS for passing the French Wine Scholar exam With Highest Honors!

    Steve Alley - CSW & FWS

    Fine Wine Consultant & On-Premise Account Manager

    Austin & Greater Central Texas Area 

    Spec's Wholesale Fine Wines, Spirits & Bar Supplies

    Steven Alley has been interested in wine nearly all his life. Professionally involved in the wine business for over 15 years, Steven is a wine professional serving the central Texas market, working with talented restaurateurs and beverage professionals. As wine is a critical component of any beverage program, his mission is to help top-end establishments make informed wine purchasing decisions based on their cuisine, style, and wine list needs. 

    Steven's passion to learn more about wine drives both his professional career, and his mission to make the everyday meal at home seem more special with a glass of something tasty. He enjoys the challenge of a good wine and food pairing and French wines are perfect for just that challenge.  The diversity of French wine growing regions, the variety of grapes grown there, and the unique style of each individual property bring out the best in the simplest of meals.  In Steven’s native Texas, B-B-Q is king. Why not enjoy a robust Côte Rôtie with our famous smoked beef brisket and tender ribs?

    Additionally, Steven hosts exciting wine dinners alongside vintners from around the world, coordinates regular tastings and special events, and also educates wine service professionals on new wines as part of his restaurant service programs. Seeing his wines poured into a guest’s glass brings him great joy as they enjoy their dining experience.

    Steven plans on continuing his education with the Wine Scholar Guild in the Master-Level programs. His heart is in Champagne; however Alsace, Bordeaux, Burgundy, and the Rhône Valley are all of keen interest to future studies. Steven is also a Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) through the Society of Wine Educators.


    Michael Lasky, FWS

    Congratulations to Michael Lasky, from Wisconsin, for being the 2015 WORLD TOP EXAM SCORER for the FRENCH WINE SCHOLAR PROGRAM. Michael tied for the second place with Shaun Grant Sidwall, FWS.


    A few words about Mike:

    ''My wine career began in May 2015, when I accepted a position at Otto's Wine & Spirits in Elm Grove, WI where I specialize in the international wine section.

    The most enjoyable part of my job is interacting with my customers. I want them to be as excited as I am about the diverse selection of wines that France has to offer. I plan to continue my wine education so that I will be able to offer wine classes at Otto's in the future.''


    Raymond O'Mara, FWS

    Congratulations Ray O'Mara CWE, FWS, DWS and FWS Instructor in Washington, DC for passing the Champagne Master-Level Exam With Highest Honors!

    Ray is the owner of VinoWise wine education and consultancy, based in Easton Maryland.  

    He holds several wine related credentials and is a frequent presenter at the Capital Wine School in Washington DC, where he teaches the French Wine Scholar course.

    Ray has completed several Wine Scholar Guild master classes and has participated in educational trips to the Rhone, Burgundy, Loire, Bordeaux, Alsace and Champagne.

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