Congratulations to Michelle Tenazas, FWS, for achieving highest honors in the French Wine Scholar exam with Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits!
I am a Wine Professional as well as an Enthusiast. I have been in the Wine & Spirits Industry for almost twenty years, of which fifteen have been in distribution. Currently, I serve as a Sake, Asian Beer, and Asian Spirits Specialist for the state of Nevada; however, I started my career as an Italian Wine Specialist for small import/distributor companies before I joined the Fine Wine Sales Team at SGWS in Nevada where I worked my way up and was the Director of Sales for Fine Wine in 2015.
Before embarking on a career in Wine & Spirits, I had a short-lived theater career and was in numerous original productions in Los Angeles and toured the Western Region with The King and I. I studied Drama and Musical Theater at University of California in Irvine where I earned my B.A.
I have a growth mindset and will continue to study and learn as much as I can. Currently, I am a student at the Shaolin Kung fu Chan in Las Vegas (purple belt) and look forward to starting my MBA education at the University of Illinois this fall.
I have my level 2 Sommelier Certificate from CMS, my Italian Wine Professional Level 2 Credential from the Italian Wine Central, WSET 2 Spirits credential, and I am awaiting the results of my Level 3 Sake exam that I completed in June 2021 - also from the WSET.
The FWS experience provided me with a more detailed and thorough education on French wine production. I enjoyed all the historical information as well. I have traveled to France with the Robert Kacher Selections Team and have visited most of the wine regions where I tasted so much wine. Although I gained so much knowledge from the trip (which we fondly call a “death march” as it was a rigorous itinerary of visiting wineries and tastings), I wish I had taken the FWS exam beforehand! I do look forward to visiting France again to reinforce what I have learned from the FWS experience.
I am currently enrolled at WSET for the Level 3 Wine credential and will be taking my exam in October 2021. Because I have completed the FWS program, I am confident that I will succeed in earning this credential.
After I complete my MBA, I intend to enroll at WSET again for the Level 4 Diploma in Wine. After that, I will pursue Master of Wine candidacy. I am absolutely holding on to my FWS textbook as it will continue to be a resource for future studies.
At this point, I am not sure how much longer I will be in the Wine & Spirits Industry, but I will continue to study wine for pure pleasure. The Spanish Wine Scholar as well as the Sherry Wine Scholar Program are of great interest to me.
The FWS Program has re-invigorated my passion for wine and travel. I cannot wait to go back to France and visit wineries again, especially in Languedoc-Rousillon, Provence, the Loire Valley, Corsica, Savoie, and the Jura. I long to immerse myself in the history, cuisine, and wines in these regions. Hopefully, I will also be able to participate in harvest. Like I said, I plan on holding on to my FWS textbook for a very long time.