Erika Frey, FWS
Congratulations to Erika Frey, from Massachussets, for being the 2015 WORLD TOP EXAM SCORER for the CHAMPAGNE MASTER-LEVEL PROGRAM. Erika tied for first place with Kirra Barnes, FWS.
Erika is Education Director and Lead Instructor at the Boston Wine School, wine consultant for Winestone (wine retail store) and wine educator for The Tasting Company, The Grape Experience and The Boston Center for Adult Education.
''I spent almost 19 years in the medical software industry before deciding to turn my wine hobby into a full-time career. Wine seemed to encompass all of my varied interests – science, languages, history, culture, culinary, travel and the outdoors. I love being a student, an explorer and a teacher for both wine professionals and wine enthusiasts.
I hold the Diploma from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust, and I am a Certified Wine Educator with the Society of Wine Educators. I also completed the Wine Studies Certificate at Boston University. I've done some wine studies at Cornell University and UC Davis as well. I also hold the California Wine Appellation Specialist (CWAS) and Certified Specialist of Spirits (CSS) certifications in addition to my FWS and Alsace and Champagne Master Levels. I just completed a WSET course in Sake.
Most of the other programs I have done have been overview courses which really only allow students to touch upon each regions. With the Master Levels, I have enjoyed focusing on one area and really digging deep into the history, people, process, etc. Not only do you learn what sets a particular region apart from others, but you also learn many valuable concepts that can be applied to many other regions.
I plan to complete all the Master Levels of France (Bordeaux and Burgundy are next), and I'm excited about eventually moving on to the new Italian and Spanish programs.
The Master Level programs provide a level of depth and insight that you just can't get from a textbook or overview course. You have the opportunity to learn from and interact with industry experts and really appreciate the history, effort and pride that goes into the wines of these regions. The business, regulations and current issues are also covered to an extent that I've rarely experienced with other programs. These programs have helped me to become a educational resource to both my colleagues and my customers. I feel that I can be a spokeswoman for these regions and pass along my enthusiasm for them to my fellow wine professionals and enthusiasts.''