Congratulations to Zach Bulow, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!
I began my journey with wine working as a casual store clerk while studying my commerce degree at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Upon graduating with my degree, I worked towards the position of Retail Product Specialist with the NSLC. My position focuses on coaching and educating staff on beverage alcohol, organizing events both in-store and with partners in our local community, as well as maintaining our inventory selection of premium wine and spirits.
A turning point in my life followed a trip to Rioja, Spain. Inspired by our annual wine festival which had a theme of Spanish wines, I hopped on a plane for a self-guided tour of the Rioja wine region. This had been my first immersion into the old world of wine, and I fell in love with the rich history and representation of a culture’s identity that wine can have. From the numerous tapas and Crianza’s on Logrono’s famous Calle Laurel, to the mountains and rolling hills of Rioja, I was inspired to focus my future career on the wonderful world of wine. I’m not sure where I’ll be in ten years, but I sure know what industry it will be in.
I have completed WSET Level 2. Initially, the jump to the FWS program was substantial from WSET Level 2, however working hands-on with wine every day made this manageable. I chose FWS as so many regions globally have their roots in French wine, be it the grapes grown or the viticulture and winemaking methods. The FWS program does an amazing job at complementing broader wine courses by having such a deep focus on the wines of France.
I have ambitious educational goals for 2019. I’m currently working on the Italian Wine Scholar program, with my eyes set on enrolling into the Spanish Wine Scholar set to begin this fall. I plan on enrolling into WSET Level 3 later this summer, with the goal of beginning the WSET Diploma next year. I’m flirting with the idea of Sommelier training and intend to enroll into the Society of Wine Educator’s Certified Specialist of Wine and Certified Wine Educator programs. Of course, these ambitious goals require a dedication of time – a career in wine truly is a life of learning, and I love that.
The FWS program has been incredibly valuable to me in the workplace. French wine can be intimidating, both to enthusiasts/customers and to those beginning a career in the industry. The FWS program gave me the confidence to be conversant in the wine regions of France; I love educating staff and customers and helping them shake their fear of the classic French wine label. Moreover, the FWS program has given me an in-depth base of knowledge in French wine that will be tremendously helpful in my future educational endeavors.