Congratulations to Christopher Jon Pares, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar with highest honors!
I’m a native New Yorker, working in Manhattan restaurants since 2008. In 2011, I met a sommelier at work for the first time; it was a job I didn’t know existed. I wanted to get there myself, but I didn’t know how. Finally in 2015, while working at The Modern, I met an MS for the first time (Michael Englemann). His wine team guided the staff towards the Court of Master Sommeliers, the beginning my formal training in wine, which hasn’t ended and hopefully never will in my lifetime.
I’m a CMS Certified Sommelier since 2018.
I’m also an Italian Wine Scholar with Highest Honors since 2020—a course which led directly to my being invited on the 2020 Consorzio Italia del Vino SommFoundation Exploring Italy Enrichment Trip—so thank you, Wine Scholar Guild!
After IWS I was ready for a deeper dive into France, the culinary culture that completely dominated my entire working life. This required a big shift in perspective. I couldn’t just go back to the study materials I’d already been exposed to from previous training. WSG provided that new perspective for me—and there was SO much I didn’t know I didn’t know about French wine! Now I feel a renewed passion for the country that started my wine journey.
After feeling the course was a success for me, I can’t wait to see what the Master-level WSG courses have to offer. Looking forward to it!
The knowledge and thoroughness that the FWS course offers is exactly the kind of thing a somm like me needs to survive, and eventually thrive, in the France-obsessed New York wine scene.