Congratulations to Joshua Lee, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors with AWSEC!
About Joshua Lee:
"I am a wine enthusiast. I was introduced to wine at university where wine was typically served with food at college hall dinners; I had minimal exposure to wines or spirits prior to that. I actually found the first few sips of wine awful but gradually acquired a taste for wines. I was hooked by the taste of wine but never had a clue about the wines I was enjoying. I knew nothing of wines apart from white, red, and rose. Things only took a more serious turn when my wife got me a Riedel wine glass set for my birthday with a wish to put them to good use. This was a key push in signing up for first wine education course. The past 3 years since then have been a fascinating journey of discovery and transformation. If I started of as simply curious prior to my wine education, then I have now been converted to an evangelist who cannot stop sharing with others about the wonders of wine. I never could have imagined that enjoying wine could be a highly intellectual activity. It hits all the right notes for an academic geek like me: a combination of history, geology, geography, and chemistry. I also enjoy formulating unusual/untested food and wine pairings, and of course the satisfaction of getting it right.
I started my wine education with the WSET Level 2 run by AWSEC in Hong Kong. I was then just a curious academic without a clue about wines. The WSET Level 2 was a fun introduction to wine for a person with no prior knowledge of wine. Having thoroughly enjoyed the course, I signed up for WSET Level 3 to both deepen and broaden my knowledge of wines (and spirits). My WSET teachers spoke positively about the FWS and I had been travelling to France for work, so I signed up for the FWS. The FWS stands in a different category from the WSET courses. While the WSET 3 provides the sheer breadth and a global perspective on wines, the FWS provides a unique focus on the country that continues to be the standard bearer that producers from other countries look to. The FWS provided me with a perspective that I could not have acquired from the WSET courses which I felt was essential to my wine education.
I have been contemplating about going for the WSET Diploma and the FWS has been an important stepping stone in my wine education towards that goal. As an outsider to the wine trade, the FWS was a gauge of how serious I was before proceeding with the diploma given my busy work schedule. The Italian Wine Scholar would also be a good complement to the FWS.
The depth of coverage on French wines offered by the FWS has strengthened my understanding of wine. As an educator, I appreciate that a strong foundation is essential when furthering studies at a more advanced level. The huge volume of facts to assimilate in the FWS course has only deepened my thirst to expand my knowledge of wines further and are a reminder that there so much to discover about the fascinating world of wines. You can simply never stop learning and never grow tired talking about wines."