Congratulations to Bruce Smoller, FWS for passing the French Wine Scholar with highest honors!
“I am simply a wine enthusiast. Since my days of living in CA, not too far from Napa Valley, I have aspired to know more about wine. My wife and I have casually toured wine regions around the world without ever seriously studying the field. When we moved to Rochester, several years ago, we built a wine cellar in our basement and have begun to collect and (more importantly) to sample an increasingly varied range of wines. My wife’s love of old world wines pointed me towards the FWS program.
Within the last year, I decided to take my “hobby” a bit more seriously and have taken and passed the WSET2 and WSET3 exams. With no intentions of entering the wine field professionally, the WSET4 program seemed a bit too extensive for my allotted time and I found the IWG on line. I enrolled in the FWS program and thoroughly enjoyed reading the textbook, listening to the power point presentations and webinars, and leafing through all of the ancillary materials. Clearly, the FWS curriculum provided a much more intense knowledge of French wines than did the WSET3 level program and I feel as though I am starting to develop a foundation for knowing something about French wines.
I am enrolled in the Master of Burgundy wine program and will be traveling with my wife to Burgundy in late May, 2017. I have already watched the entire series of lectures for that course and am busily reading the recommended books by Kramer, Pitiot and Coates. I look forward to re-visiting Burgundy, this time with a solid framework upon which to add the details of Burgundian wines. (We were there 20 years ago and thoroughly enjoyed our experience, but had very little knowledge about wine at the time). I feel incredibly fortunate that at this stage of my life, I have the opportunity to pursue a passion and to be guided by experts.
I began this journey in order to be able to “throw good dinner parties” and to make good wine pairings for dinners. There were and are no professional aspirations behind my passion. I do feel as though, at this point, I am reasonably successful at developing “theme-based” wine parties (I just had a “Tour de France” party at which my friends sampled a range of wines from all over the country). What is obvious to me (but hopefully not to my friends) is exactly what I do NOT know about wines. I want very much to continue to learn so that these gaping holes in my knowledge can become smaller. I am trying to diminish the gaps in Burgundy right now. After that, I don’t know what the future holds. Perhaps I will stay with France for another Master program, or perhaps my whims will take me to Spain or Italy. (I do wish you offered a similar program for California wines, as I do also enjoy them very much, but as of now, this is not an option). As this is solely for fun, I do not have to be disciplined but can simply follow my passions”.