Congratulations to Peggy Baudon, IWS, for passing the Italian Wine Scholar exam with highest honors with Cru Consultancy in Victoria, BC!
"I am relatively new to wine, having stumbled into it by default. I recently returned to bartending after a stretch of years teaching then followed by having two children. Bartending in the food/wine industry offered the chance to re-enter the work world in the evenings while allowing time to be with children in the day. The opportunity to work with wine again sparked a curiosity and an itch to learn more and more about it. Although I intended bartending to be a stop-gap measure of a job until I could return to full-time classroom teaching, the realization occurred that the food and wine industry is a pursuit where complete satisfaction could be gained by pouring wine and making people incredibly happy. Thoughts of starting to build a new career in wine began to percolate.
When people look back on their lives, one common regret is not having done the things we wish we had. And with a window of a handful of years until I had planned to return to the teaching profession, the decision to change course and take a leap into the wine world was joyfully made.
The Italian Wine Scholar program was the first course I had taken (after a general introductory course) and, after getting over the shock of the depth and breadth of material, it was complete nirvana being immersed in the world of Italian wine.
After completing the IWS Part 1, I enrolled in the WSET 3 program. The IWS more than prepares students for the Italy portion of the course (kind of like training for a marathon in order to run three kilometers), and I was gratefully surprised that the IWS had laid a foundation to better absorb the viticulture and vinification components of the WSET 3 program.
I will soon begin the WSET diploma program (online) and have noticed that the Italian wines component does not present any material outside the IWS scope for still or sparkling wines. This gladly frees up studying time for other wines of the world.
The organizational structure of the IWS program is something I am carrying into my preparation for the diploma; the IWS program structure lays out the cultural and historical foundation on which appellations and grapes are firmly attached. And since any new learning needs to be attached to an existing framework of prior knowledge, my IWS strategy was to learn the recommended history and topography information first before tackling appellations or grapes of a new region. My approach to the diploma will be the same even though this structure of learning is not part of that program.
My interests in wine include natural wine, education and educational models for learning – but my passion for wine writing is at the forefront of my mind.
Career aspirations include the prospect of writing about Italian wine. The IWS program outlines how the diversity of Italian wine is linked to the country’s diverse culture and history. This has led to ideas about wine writing that celebrate this distinct lack of homogeneity. The IWS program has also reinforced observations about how the nature of wine reflects our human nature in so many ways – a subject I’d love to write about.
But for now, the pleasure of making people happy for a living and learning as much as I can about wine is very satisfying.