Congratulations to Matthew Trowbridge, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors with the American Wine School in Chicago!
I am passionate about wine and consider myself a wine enthusiast.
My interest in wine started in my early twenties while working a summer job in a local butcher shop. My boss would share the different recommended wines to compliment the available cuts of meat. His enthusiasm for wine was contagious and I began to explore different wineries throughout the Midwest of the United States. During the summer of 2015, I had the opportunity to travel to Europe and naturally jumped at the chance to explore some of the famous wine regions such as Bordeaux, France and Tuscany, Italy. It was during this trip that my hobby developed into a true appreciation for wine and its culture. I knew it would not be long before I returned to Bordeaux, as I fell in love with the region and everything it has to offer, so much so, that I named my rescue pup Bordeaux.
I developed a preference for French wine, and I began learning more about the unique differences in viticulture and terroir and their impacts on the flavor profile. In 2016, I returned to France where I toured the Loire Valley, Bordeaux, Bourgogne, Southern Rhone and Provence. It wasn’t long before my single bottle of wine began to accumulate into quite the collection. I took a one-day course at the Burgundy Wine School in Beaune, France, which was the beginning of my formal studies. When I returned I completed the Wine & Spirit Education Trust Level 2. I then came across the French Wine Scholar course and knew it would help me to better appreciate all of the travel knowledge I gained over the past several years. The course proved to be very challenging, yet rewarding. I plan to visit Champagne, France in the coming months in order to test my knowledge of the region first hand. I aspire to have career in the wine industry in one capacity or another. I have applied my knowledge while hosting different wine tasting events, and have explored my own unique food and wine pairings in an informal setting with friends and family.
I passed the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 2 in October of 2017, with distinction. The FWS complemented this course, and allowed me to dive deeper in the regions of France. I especially enjoyed learning about the history and impact of wine in France as well as the more obscure wine regions of Savoie and Jura.
The FWS complemented my previous studies and travels by furthering my knowledge of the different grape varietals and wines within specific regions. The course has motivated me to plan a trip to Champagne, France.
My next planned courses are WSET Level 3 and The Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW). The French Wine Scholar master level programs are on my list of desired courses, starting with Bordeaux. The FWS program has provided me with an exceptional understanding of wines throughout one of the most influential regions of the world and has provided me with the confidence to further my education.
The French Wine Scholar program has not only deepened my knowledge of wine, but it has also steered my career path towards new and exciting opportunities. This program has allowed me to recognize my commitment to take this passion and turn it into a career.
The FWS program integrated all of the information I have gathered from winery visits and my studies on the regions, and provided additional information about grape varietals and wine types that I have yet to encounter. The program has encouraged me to explore wine shops for varietals that I have learned about, to share with family and friends.
I look forward to sharing my knowledge and experiences with others in hopes of being an inspiration, just as this program was for me. I would be remiss if I did not take a moment to thank the FWS for all the insight they have instilled in me. I would also like to thank the American Wine School and the wonderful educators Marianne Frantz, Kristen Ellis, and Tony Gatti who taught the FWS course. Their knowledge and passion for wine is truly inspirational, and I am grateful to have learned from them.