Congratulations to Kevin Shaffer for passing the Bordeaux Master Level exam with highest honors!
My interest in wine started while I was living at home after graduating from college. My father had a wine cellar that contained mostly classified Bordeaux wines from the 1960s and 1970s. Every Sunday evening my father would retrieve a dusty bottle from the cellar for dinner and these intensely perfumed wines ignited my passion for wine. I began to read about wine (Robert Parker was a big influence) and I eventually landed a sales rep position in 2001 with a company specializing in the wines from Portugal.
My education in wine took off when I moved to a start up fine wine company based in Manhattan called David Bowler Wine. While at this company I was exposed to many of the great wines of Europe, particularly France. I have been lucky to travel to wine regions in many countries, including Austria, France, Italy, Spain, and the USA. My current position with Vintage Imports has me covering key accounts throughout New Jersey and I see myself in this role for many years to come.
I have passed several other programs from the Wine Scholar Guild, including FWS, IWS, ML Bourgogne, and ML Champagne. My initial reason for taking the programs was to prepare for the WSET Diploma program, which I am currently enrolled in. I love the ML programs because of the scope and depth they provide. The instructors, many of whom are Masters of Wine, are excellent and provide invaluable insight. Plus, the material is presented in a format that is more enjoyable to study than a typical textbook. I recently started the ML Alsace program and I look forward to completing all the ML programs offered for France.
The ML level programs have inspired me to want to learn more about wine regions all over the world. For anyone aspiring to reach the pinnacle of the industry, such as Master of Wine, the ML programs are a great way to prepare.