Canon Thomas, FWS
Congratulations to Canon Thomas, FWS, for achieving highest honors in the French Wine Scholar exam with Southern Glazer's Wine and Spirits.
I am very fortunate that wine is both my passion and my career! I am currently an Account Executive for the fine wine division at Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, having been with the company for 5 years. Partway through my degree at USC, I decided I wanted to go into the wine industry in any capacity I could (without a viticulture degree). I started studying wine on my own as soon as I graduated, while working two restaurant jobs per day and at a film studio on my ‘days off.’ After being offered a job at SGWS, I actually missed my first day of work to take the intro CMS exam - I’m grateful to work for a company that values and encourages continued education, and I aspire to be a lifelong student of wine!
I have completed the CSW, WSET II, and FWS; am currently enrolled in SWS and CWAS; and plan to take IWS as well! In preparation for the CWE exam for which I have also been studying, the WSG courses are indispensable, and the instructors passionate and engaging!
The content of the course, with historical context and specific attention to climate and geology, fosters a more complete foundational knowledge of the wines and viticultural background of each region. The traditionally daunting regions to students of wine (Bourgogne, Bordeaux) are given the depth and detail they merit, yet presented in a way that inspires confidence and true understanding. While some memorization is required, the real learning follows – all the pieces of the puzzle start to fall into place – and the study tools provided help immensely in reinforcing learning, not just memorization. Due attention is also given to those regions and grapes which receive only cursory mention in other texts or courses, being commercially lesser known, but which are both fascinating to explore and hopefully will be of growing importance in the future.
The FWS program has given me more confidence and professionalism in presentations, in discerning quality and value, and identifying hidden gems for my accounts. It has also provided an essential foundation for the pursuit of high-level certifications such as CWE or the MW program.
As a consumer, my enhanced knowledge of the more ‘esoteric’ wines of France has inspired me to seek out and taste interesting wines and wine styles, and often to find great value! Wine is meant to be shared, and I enjoy sharing bits of knowledge from my studies as much as I enjoy helping friends find a great bottle of wine.