Congratulations to Dori Baker, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!
I work for a family owned, independent, beverage distribution company that services the entire state of Vermont. I live and work in the Burlington city area, which for our tiny state, is the most important city with a developing food, beer and wine scene, which I love! Aside from selling wine in my day-to-day life, I spend the rest of my free time outside; hiking, running, snowshoeing, you name it! Educating myself has always been a strong value of mine and I am constantly reading and delving into multiple topics.
When I started working in the distribution channel as a sales representative 6 years ago, I had virtually no wine experience and I learned a lot along the way! As I was introduced to more wines and regions from all over the world, I truly developed an appreciation for the craft. I was particularly drawn to the wines of France, right away. After two years of self-study on the job, I had an opportunity to take the WSET-III course. This course was great for my developing wine knowledge and it strengthened the foundation of my career as a wine professional.
This year, I was looking for a new challenge that would help me develop my wine studies even further. Taking the French Wine Scholar course was the obvious choice for me not only because of my own personal interest in French wine, but also because France is truly the benchmark for wine producers all over the world. I really enjoyed the independent study format because that suits my learning style more than a traditional class and it also allowed me to work at my own pace. I found myself incorporating my studies into my job and got my customers involved as I learned. It was really a lot of fun! I look forward to taking other Wine Scholar Guild programs in the future and will hopefully be working toward the WSET Diploma some day!
In completing the French Wine Scholar course, I have gained a significant edge in my career. As a wholesale sales representative, it can be very competitive! The knowledge I have gained from this course is incredibly valuable in my presentation and sampling of wines with my customers and that will help me stay on top. The depth and extent of the material far exceed my expectations. I now have a more intimate understanding of my own portfolio from being able to explore wines from the lesser known regions in France as well as strengthen my understanding of the wines from more benchmark regions. Having “FWS” in my title certainly adds to my credentials and I feel it will help advance my career in the future.