Congratulations to Meryl for passing the Champagne Master-Level exam with honors!
Meryl is a Champagne Specialist for a luxury champagne supplier in the US.
''I consider myself a wine enthusiast first and foremost, who has been fortunate enough to involve my passion in my professional career. Coming from a family of engineers, I had always assumed I would follow suit in the sciences. However, it didn’t quite suit me. Having a basis in science, however, did help immensely in the lens I viewed wine through. After taking a few courses in wine after college as I saw it as a valuable business skill, I soon realized there was an infinite amount of knowledge to gain. And I couldn’t gain it all at once, something I was frustrated with at first. So I kept going. Course after course, taste after taste, certificate after certificate. And after each test, each taste, there was still more and more to learn. This never-ending learning opportunity is what keeps this industry interesting and exciting. So there you have it. After taking a hefty pay-cut and a leap of faith after starting out working for the family business, I ended up moving out to Boston where I took my first role in the wine industry.
As for aspirations, I suppose I’ll run out of tests to take if I am lucky enough to reach the Master of Wine level. That’s a goal of mine.
After completing the WSET Advanced Certificate and assuming my first role in the industry at a fine wine merchant in Boston, it was clear to me that my specialization would be in French wines, Burgundy and Champagne in particular. The owners of the shop, a third-generation merchant, were very classical in their approach to teaching me about wine. It was like an apprenticeship. I was fortunate to be around amazing collectors and professionals alike who were always very eager to taste amazing wines. At that point, I felt that it would complement my rigorous tasting schedule and a more “boots on the ground” approach to enlist in the French Wine Society’s French Wine Scholar curriculum. In fact, I think I was one of the youngest to pass that exam at age 22. The content in that program offered a great wealth of knowledge into the wines of France. However, always needing to “zoom-in” and learn more, the Masters Level programs are perfect for that. The ML Champagne program was so thorough and in-depth that it brought what I though was already a great understanding of the region and this libation to another level. I am hoping to complement this program with the immersion trip to Champagne, making my second educational trip to the region.
I plan to enroll in courses that complement my current position professionally and personally. Learning about wine as a subject, champagne specifically, is a perpetual activity. The regions themselves are perpetually changing. Particularly with the laws and regulations in the AOC of Champagne, it has been paramount to learn about the foundation of the governing bodies and the laws as they were in the past, present, and how they will change in the future. The ML program was integral in supplying this key information as well as resources to keep up-to-date.''