Congratulations to Lise Kupke, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!
I have spent a whole career managing Information Technology infrastructure and programs for the World Bank Group (which is the Financial Institution associated with the United Nations). But I have always been a wine enthusiast. I decided about 7 - 8 years ago that I wanted to have a second, fun career in the wine world, when I retire from my current job. So I have been methodically working my way through WSET courses and now also Wine Scholar courses. I love the history and the art that comes with every bottle. I can see myself teaching, expanding a local wine shop (wherever I end up living!) with evening tasting programs or classes. First though, I have to just work in a job and learn the industry on the ground!
I am currently enrolled in the Wine Spirit Education Trust (WSET) program and am in the Diploma level IV. At the moment, I am working on my last, and most difficult class. This program is very comprehensive and covers all aspects from grape growing to wine making to the global wine industry in all the wine regions of the world. Through this program I get a very good picture of the global wine and spirit industry and who are the big players and how various local and international trends are impacting it.
I took the French Wine Scholar class because I felt my knowledge of French wine was deficient--that is I knew about the big picture and had an overview of the regions and what they were known for from WSET level 3, but very little detail beyond that. I am very glad I did. I felt the materials, presentations, and teaching aids (especially the on-line flashcards!) were extremely well thought out and useful. I feel that I know French wine at a very detailed level now and it is helping me in my broader study and career goals. And I have been drinking more French wine.
I forsee the Italian Wine and Spanish Wine Scholar programs in my future, because I’d like to learn those in the same level of detail. I hope that someday we can go to the same level of terroir detail for Argentina, Chile, South Africa, Aussie, New Zealand, California, Virginia, Washington etc, as well. Maybe that should be my calling.