Congratulations to Joseph Stampher, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!
I am a wine enthusiast at the moment but would like to work in the wine industry one day. I got into wine in college when I studied abroad in Australia and was able to take a wine course at the University. Since then I’ve been able to learn a lot more about the world of wine and fell in love with French wines most of all. When searching for ways to learn beyond the basics I found the French Wine Scholar Guild and after visiting the website and seeing the presentations I knew the format was exactly what I was looking for. Even though the recommendation was to take the French Wine Scholar course after WSET Level 3, I had just passed level 2 I decided to push myself and am glad I did. There were so many wines to explore and having the guidance helped me know what to look for when buying as well as enjoying the wine.
I’ve taken WSET level 2 and passed with distinction and the Court of Master Sommeliers introductory level. Since France and its wine laws are so important to the world of wine, taking the French Wine Scholar course was a huge heads up to a lot of the questions asked on both exams. The French Wine Scholar is certainly more advanced than those levels, but it was a reasonable step up and just knowing the basics from this course helped me pass both of those exams. The course book alone has so much information that helped me expand upon the basics needed to pass those early levels.
I am currently enrolled in WSET level 3 and will be taking the exam in August. The wines of France take up a significant portion of the WSET level 3 manual and class so I’m sure there will be some overlap between what I’ve learned in the French Wine Scholar Program and WSET level 3. I’m also signed up for the Bordeaux Master Level though the Wine Scholar Guild which starts later this month. Having already learned so much doing this level I’m sure there will be plenty more to learn in that course as well. Bordeaux and Champagne are my favorite wine regions and I can’t wait to learn even more. The foundation I established with the French Wine Scholar has made me very excited to go even further into these regions, and I’m happy to be learning from the best.
Being able to put FWS after my name gives me confidence more than anything, especially looking ahead to WSET level 3 and the Bordeaux Master level. I still remember first logging onto the course and opening the book to regions I thought I knew so well and being completely overwhelmed by how much bigger the world of French wine was than what I had imagined. One year later I feel ready to answer just about any question I get about French wine from friends, family, or even my future wine exams. I also love all the webinars offered to members since they help convey a lot of information about important French and Italian wine regions that are covered on just about every wine exam.