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    Our Recent Top Exam Scorers

    Clyde Woode, FWS

    Clyde Woode, FWS
    My FWS will be immensely helpful in furthering my wine consulting business, which I plan to relocate to the Pacific Northwest in the near future.
    Clyde Woode, FWS, Store Manager at Natural Grocer’s, Principal for Elite Wine Consultants
    Other certifications: Society of Wine Educators (CSW)

    Congratulations to Clyde Woode, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!

    About Clyde:

    I have been a wine enthusiast since 1978 when I was a student in San Francisco. It started with an article on the top wineries in California written in Parade Magazine. Fascinated by the French names, history and alluring descriptive language of its taste, I was hooked. I read Hugh Johnson’s World Atlas of Wines, his Encyclopedia and The New Times Book of Wine by Terry Robards and anything else i could get my hands on and tasted voraciously. Three years later I was working in The top wine shop in Honolulu, Hawaii, where our shelf stock consisted of DRC, the best of the Cru Classe, Ridge, Diamond Creek, Heitz, Freemark Abbey, amazing Champagne and the like. A year and a half later I was placed in charge of an Import and Wine Distributor, where I would assemble then unknown brands like J.L. Chave, Domaine de la Solitude, Georges Vernay, Thomas Freres,Hubert Lamy, Jean Louis Chavy, Gauffroy, Rapet, Guy Larmandier, The Eventail, dozens of Bordeaux estates including the Cru Classe and many now famous cru bourgeois, Rombauer, Durney and many others. I also had the pleasure of selling Bordeaux collectibles going back pre 1920 and futures. My tutelage continued with the help of importer Warren B Strauss, Michel Jaboulet Vercherre and the staff at Wine Imports, as they introduced me to amazing producers from Europe. I was co-instructor at the University of Hawaii for the Intro to Wine Appreciation course and trained restaurant staff at some of the finest restaurants in Hawaii. I went on to be a Wine Specialist for Young’s Market Co, one of the largest Western USA distributors with an incredible French portfolio that included Jadot, Drouhin, Bouchard Pere,O. Leflaive, Chateau Fuisse, Ladoucette, Hugel,Krug, Taittinger, Bollinger and so many others that I still salivate at the thought.
    More recently, I owned and operated a fine wine shop for 8 years in Arizona and taught or organized over 200 wine classes and events during that time. So 40 years later, I am still passionate about great wines and find myself drinking less (far less) but better and still avidly seeking new adventures in wines made from obscure grapes and regions. I suppose my first encounter with Viognier from Condrieu and Verduzzo Friulano from Ronchi di Cialla back in 1984 set me on that course.
    I currently manage a Natural Foods store owned by a Company that is only now getting into the wine business and I started a Wine Consulting Company back in 2015 and am also working on making that a more significant part of my life. Great Wine and Food is my only true passion outside of my family. So yes I am married and have three grown children whom I hope I can talk into the wine trade in some fashion. I am hoping my company Elite Wine Consultants will provide that opportunity.
        
Before the dawn of the Internet and the rise of wine education programs like the WSET, WSG, SWE and various Sommelier organizations, I availed myself of the best wine teachers in the World through books, articles and even a young wine journalist named Robert Parker Jr, whose Wine Advocate was ike my Bible back in the mid 1980’s. The many talented and knowledgeable people that I have had the pleasure of knowing and tasting with over the years have all contributed to who I am today as a wine Scholar. From Master Sommeliers to Wine Directors to Importers and Winemakers - Collectors and just plain avid consumers, all have played a part in my education. The FWS program has been an encouragement to hone my French wine knowledge and it has been an excellent and hugely beneficial experience. I have held the CSW designation since 2015 and am currently enrolled as a CWE aspirant. I also intend to secure the WSET Advanced this year as well. My long term goals are to achieve the Diploma from the WSET and the IWS and SWS from the WSG. I had taken the Bordeaux Master’s course but never tested and I intend to pursue all of the Master’s Certificates in due time. 

    
The FWS program reminded me how dated much of my knowledge was from the 1980’s. It also demonstrated to me that some of it was down right inaccurate. Fortunately most of it was solid but thinking of Chablis as having literally 7 Grand Crus, the Cru Classe being 61 in number from the onset or that Chateau vineyards were somehow static was not quite right. The FWS inspired me to study again and to be again the great researcher I once was - I have this pension for accuracy. The FWS ( and the Bordeaux Masters Course) challenged me with detailed knowledge much more so than the CSW and reminded me that if I wish to achieve excellence in these programs, I will have to be at my best even after 40 years of study. Thanks to organizations like the WSG, I will have the help I need. My FWS will be immensely helpful in furthering my wine consulting business, which I plan to relocate to the Pacific Northwest in the near future. I hope to one day merit the privilege to teach it. 


     

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