Congratulations to Alex Rathbone, FWS, for achieving highest honors in the French Wine Scholar exam with the Sussex Wine School.
I’m first and foremost a wine enthusiast, and more recently a wine professional. Having spent ten years as a Corporate Trainer in the skincare industry, my professional interest in wine was sparked upon a vacation to Argentina where I visited as many vineyards and tried as many wine styles as possible. Whilst enjoying several vineyard tours I started to imagine that I would like to one day share my passion for wine with likeminded wine lovers, and so this is where the journey began! Upon my return to the UK I enrolled for my WSET Level 2, and from there I left my job and took a position at a local vineyard hosting vineyard tours and wine tastings of English wines. I am now currently working as a sales advisor for Majestic Wine which gives me the opportunity to share wines from all over the world with my customers, and ultimately as my journey in the industry continues, I hope to be in a position to teach wine education.
I have completed both WSET Level 2 and WSET Level 3. These courses were excellent in giving broad overviews of the key wine regions, however the FWS definitely shone a far more focused spotlight on French wine. FWS was the perfect next step to drill down into more specific wine styles of France.
I am planning on taking the Italian Wine Scholar certification at my earliest available opportunity. I chose to do the FWS first as many of my customers seek advice on French wines and the course has been extremely helpful to me in this respect. However my number 1 personal passion lies with Italian wines and so I’m excited to further my studies in this area for more personal reward!
I feel that the FWS program gave me lots of bite-sized tangible pieces of information that I can use daily in my role to add story and credibility to my wine recommendations. A customer recently mentioned an oxidized wine that they’d tried while on vacation in Jura, and I was very pleased with myself that I could immediately identify this as Vin Jaune… I wouldn’t have known that prior to taking the course! The course also introduced me to wines of many different French regions which I hadn’t previously tried and this was invaluable.