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    Our Recent Top Exam Scorers

    Rhone

    Andrew Belcher

    Congratulations to Andrew Belcher for passing the Rhône Master Level exam with highest honors!

    About Andrew:

    I am a wine enthusiast.  The UK being such a vibrant market from a wine perspective does provide me access to a vast array of styles and varieties from multiple countries. I regularly attend tastings in London whether with wine schools or those set-up by regional bodies.  I have travelled to a number of wine regions not only in Europe, but also in Australia and USA. Looking to visit New Zealand in the next couple of years.

    I passed the WSET Diploma is 2016 and this year at the West London Wine School took the Level 1 Sake course.  Since getting the Diploma, I have taken both the French and Italian Wine Scholar courses at West London Wine School and later this year will be taking the Spanish course with them. I have also taken the Champagne and Bordeaux Master Level courses.  Post the Spanish course, I am considering the new Level 3 WSET Spirits course.


    The Wine Scholar courses complement the WSET courses as they allow more focus on a particular country or region such as Bordeaux. The Wine Scholar courses delve into parts of France that the WSET courses by their nature do not have the time to explore.

    The wine tasting suggestions within the Master-Level program do help with understanding the differences in the specific regions and also encourage you to go out and try different producers and styles of wines.  Having visited the Rhone Valley does allow for a better context of the area, walking up the Hermitage Hill is clearly a highlight. The historical references are also very useful in putting everything in perspective.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The wine tasting suggestions ... help with understanding the differences in the specific regions and also encourage you to go out and try different producers and styles of wines.
    • Position Wine Enthusiast
    • Certifications WSET Diploma, Champagne Master Level, Bordeaux Master Level, French Wine Scholar, Italian Wine Scholar
    Read more...

    Sharad Desai, Rhône ML

    Congratulations to Sharad Desai, for passing the Rhone Master Level exam with highest honors!
    About Sharad:


    I’m an enthusiast who discovered wine via Champagne about 20 years ago. I love cooler climate wines with relatively lower alcohol levels and have a passion for the wines of Burgundy, the Northern Rhone, Piedmont, Alsace, Germany and Austria. I love all wines in general and find that as I grow older, my love for aged Bordeaux and Loire Chenin & Cab Franc grows by the day!

I’m a French Wine Scholar, a Master Level Burgundy, a Master Level Champagne and WSET Level 3 qualified. The ML Rhone program was critical in my understanding of the wines of a region I love (the Northern Rhone) and gave me a sound theoretical base for my exploration of the Southern Rhone.

I’m currently enrolled in my Italian Wine Scholar and will soon be enrolled for my WSET Level 4 Diploma. The Master Level programs I have done have given me a very sound base in my pursuit of my WSET Diploma. As I intend to study wine further post the Diploma, and in far greater detail, I am sure the solid grounding the ML programs have given me will continue to add valuable knowledge to further my academic interest.


The Master Level programs are incredibly detailed and well constructed and allow me to enhance my practical tasting experience with in-depth theoretical knowledge. I find that the enjoyment of what’s in the glass is hugely enhanced by having an understanding of everything related to how it got there, including what Matt Kramer calls that sense of ‘somewhereness as opposed to anywhereness”. 





    Additional Info

    • Testimonial 


The Master Level programs are incredibly detailed and well constructed and allow me to enhance my practical tasting experience with in-depth theoretical knowledge.
    • Position Wine Enthusiast
    • Certifications WSET Level 3
    Read more...

    Turgut Tokgoz

    Congratulations to Turgut Tokgoz for passing the Rhône Master-Level exam with highest honors !

    About Turgut:

    "I have a career in finance and NGO relations. However my life-long passion for wine led me to study wine formally so that I could have a second career in this area. I am the founder of Oenotrian Wine Advisory, a company that advises the on-trade and educates Turkish wine enthusiasts. Based in Istanbul, I am also the co-founder of the Turkish Wine Hub with Sarah Abbott MW, advising Turkish producers on their endeavor to export to the UK market.

    I am currently studying towards the WSET Diploma in Wines & Spirits and I also hold the Court of Sommeliers Introductory Certificate. Having to take the Unit 3 exam in mid-June The Rhone ML program highly contributed to my studies. I have a special interest in the Rhone Valley and I now feel more confident with this great region.

    The ML program paved the way for moving forward with my studies and I hope to enroll in the FWS program in the near future."

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The Rhone ML program highly contributed to my studies. I have a special interest in the Rhone Valley and I now feel more confident with this great region.
    • Position Wine professional founder of Oenotrian Wine Advisory, co-founder of the Turkish Wine Hub with Sarah Abbott MW
    • Certifications Introductory Sommelier Certificate (CMS)
    Read more...

    Patty Beck

    Congratulations to Patty Beck for passing the Rhône Master-Level exam with highest honors !

    About Patty: 

    "I have been a sommelier in Las Vegas for almost 16 years. I have run wine programs at several restaurants and casinos. I also wrote a book guiding anyone who want to learn how to run a wine program – Selling Wine in Las Vegas. I was initially hired at the Rio as a bartender, but they were opening a new addition that included Napa Restaurant by Chef Jean-Louis Palladin – whom I was lucky enough to work with eventually. The Rio provided several levels of training in both The Court of Master Sommeliers and The Wine and Spirit Education Trust. I took advantage of the education and became fascinated and, eventually, obsessed with wine. I still study every day and am working to help my associate get her advanced in the Court. My favorite part of the job is helping a guest to experience the WOW factor when we select a wine together.

    As I have noted, I hold the Diploma from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust and the second level from the Court. I am the only sommelier in Las Vegas to pursue studies to this level in the WSET program. All others are Court supported. I found that it is a more rounded program that teaches you to think – not just memorize. That focus is what excited me about the Wine Scholar Guild. They guide you to a complete understanding of the areas you are studying...not just have you memorize rote details. I found the Rhône class totally enjoyable. Even now, after passing, I still research the area and drink the wine.

    I find the Wine Scholar Guild programs (I have done Rhône and Burgundy) instill a new passion about what you study. The program is guided, so you know exactly what to learn. The tutors are excellent about answering questions. The videos with the international wine specialists are amazing and fun. There are tons of little details they give that a normal text wouldn't cover. Their overview is valuable but also fun. For me, utilizing the program details to enhance our wine lists with the best choices or most interesting choices is the true professional value of the program. Personally, I just love to learn and the Wine Scholar Guild classes help me in that endeavor. Perception of value for dollar is real and my guests get a more memorable experience". 

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial I found that it is a more rounded program that teaches you to think – not just memorize.
    • Position Sommelier in Las Vegas for almost 16 years
    • Certifications WSET Diploma, Certified Sommelier (CMS)
    Read more...

    Ceri Barlow

    Congratulations to Ceri Barlow for passing the Rhône Master-Level with highest honors!

    About Ceri:

    "I am both a wine enthusiast and a professional. I am currently in sales but I have worked in all aspects of the business from my first wine job at Stonyridge Vineyards on Waiheke Island in NZ when I was 20 years old to managing wine lists in restaurants and managing a retail store for 6 years.

    If any, how do you think the ML program complemented/added to your previous wine studies? Are you currently enrolled or plan to enroll in other wine certification programs? If so, how has/do you expect the ML program to complemented/contribute to your current/future wine studies? I took my ISG in 2001 and then WSET Level 3 in 2011. I have done the FWS as well as the Italian Wine Specialist course through the American Sommelier Association. I am currently enrolled in the Provence ML and would very much like to do them all honestly. A very good in-depth exploration of the history and the geography of the regions. I am currently very interested in the region of Provence and look forward to seeking out some of the wines I have never tried.

    I feel like any education and specialization gives you an advantage in this industry. I look forward to doing more Master Level courses through WSG!"

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial I am currently enrolled in the Provence ML and would very much like to do them all honestly. A very good in-depth exploration of the history and the geography of the regions.
    • Position Sales professional in the wine industry
    • Certifications WSET Level 3, FWS
    Read more...

    Nathalie Walterscheid

    Congratulations to Nathalie Walterscheid for passing the Rhône Master-Level exam with the highest honors!

    About Nathalie:

    ''I started to follow wine studies in Holland in 1998 when I stopped working as a trader. As I love food and that the Dutch people started to be intereted in wine i decided to import french wine during 2 years. Later I moved to south of France where I discovered rock climbing and than I traveled several years the world for mountain climbing my other passion which I still practice today. End 2012 I decided to work in wine so in 2013 I did my WSET level 3 and followed the sommelier course in Université du Vin de Suze-la-Rousse for which I did a stage in a 2 stars restaurant. 2014 till 2016 I did the WSET Diploma, as most of my future clients are anglo-saxons (and also because it interests me!) and I did the ML Languedoc-Roussillon. During these years I was a member of 10 (yes 10!) ladies association which took care of 3,5 ha of vines in South of France, which enabled me to learn about pruning, all the cellar work...and of course sell the wine! (about 9500 bottles).     

    I followed the ML Rhône as Inter-Rhône is planning to open a big wine center in Avignon with a wine school, so I would like to join this project at the beginning April 2017. They are looking for people with of course wine knowledge, but also foreign languages (my specialty will probably be German and Dutch).

    Maybe after one or two years of work I would like to follow the MW course, will see.... how everything goes! Would love to!''

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial I followed the ML Rhône as Inter-Rhône is planning to open a big wine center in Avignon with a wine school, so I would like to join this project at the beginning April 2017.
    • Position Wine Professional
    • Certifications WSET Diploma, ML Languedoc-Roussillon
    Read more...

    Blake Cherrington

    Congratulations to Blake Cherrington for passing both the Rhone & Provence Master-Level exams with the highest honors!

    About Blake:

    ''I didn’t grow up in a wine drinking family. We had the obligatory Sherry and Port decanters on the sideboard but, being good Canadians, our usual celebratory family drink was Seagram’s VO.  It wasn’t until late in my career when I moved to the University of Dayton as Dean of the School of Engineering that I discovered the pleasures of wine. Professor Tom Davis at UD had an extensive wine cellar and twice a year he collaborated with the university chef to hold a wine dinner where they paired a number of wines with each course. I was delighted, amazed and immediately hooked. Later my colleague Jim Brandeberry, Dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science at Wright State University, introduced me to amateur winemaking. That gave me valuable experience in the production of both white and red wine.

    When I retired from my full time academic career, I decided to make wine my primary hobby and immediately started seriously studying (and tasting) wine. Like any area of knowledge, I find that it is like peeling an onion and an endlessly enjoyable undertaking.

    While teaching business and engineering students part-time at Georgia Tech, I departed from my syllabus one day prior to Thanksgiving and engaged the class in a brief pre-class discussion of what wines to pair with Thanksgiving dinner. After class, one of the students introduced himself to me as Chair of the Georgia Tech Student Center Programs Council  ‘Options’ Program, a series of non-credit classes offered to Georgia Tech students for general interest. He asked me if I could teach a ‘Wine Class’ for students at Tech. To make a long story short, this Spring Semester I will offer my nine session class on ‘Discovering Fine Wine’ for the ninth year.  This is my primary wine activity and a very enjoyable opportunity to educate the ‘millennial’ generation about wine.  I have the good fortune of combining my two passions, teaching and wine!

    When we moved to the Atlanta area in 2005, I took a class on wine from Anita LaRaia, author of ‘Pick a Perfect Wine in No Time’. After the class I asked Anita for recommendations on how to increase my wine knowledge and she told me about the Society of Wine Educators. I found their Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) study manual to be an excellent introduction so I self- studied the manual, took the exam, and received that certification. Later, six of us got together to study for the Certified Wine Educator (CWE) exams. That turned out to be a very challenging task but after persisting I successfully completed the CWE requirements in 2013. In 2009, I also completed a professional Spanish wine certification program given by the Wine Academy of Spain and was certified as a Spanish Wine Educator.

    In many respects I consider the Provence and Rhone ML programs coupled with the Wine Study Immersion Tours to be ‘capstone’ experiences taking me to the most in-depth knowledge of these two areas it is possible for me to obtain. My previous studies have allowed me to develop broad knowledge of world-wide wines, and the ML programs have allowed me to develop intensive knowledge of the wine regions of particular interest to me.

    The Combined ML programs and Wine Study Immersion Tours have been incredibly informative and enjoyable. This question I am now considering is where next? I will be looking at the ML programs and Immersion Tours to see which of the other learning opportunities I will want to pursue in coming years.''

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial In many respects I consider the Provence and Rhone ML programs coupled with the Wine Study Immersion Tours to be ‘capstone’ experiences taking me to the most in-depth knowledge of these two areas it is possible for me to obtain.
    • Position Wine Educator
    • Certifications Certified Specialist of Wine CSW, Certified Wine Educator CWE
    Read more...

    Keith Miller

    Congratulations to Keith Miller, sommelier from Virginia, USA, for passing the Rhone Master-Level examination with honors!

    About Keith:

    I first discovered wine, when I was 25, and worked as a waiter at Four Seasons Hotel in Newport Beach. It began a life long passion.

    I am working in the wine service industry at the Inn at Little Washington, and am planning to build a fine wine focused Bed and Breakfast on my 120 acre farm property in the Virginia Piedmont.

    When I first started to formally study wine, I enrolled in the French Wine Scholar program at Capitol Wine School, which I passed with honors. I then planned a trajectory, successfully passing Certified Specialist of Wine (Society of Wine Educators), and Certified Sommelier (Court of Master Sommeliers) on my own. I took a Rhone study trip with the then French Wine Society (now Wine Scholar Guild) last year. I love that enrollment in the ML study program is included when you purchase a study trip. That trip was one of the high points of my life.

    The ML programs are great because you force yourself to really double down on the finer points. The Master Level certificate is a great asset to any wine resume by adding another degree of accomplishment.

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The ML programs are great because you force yourself to really double down on the finer points. The Master Level certificate is a great asset to any wine resume by adding another degree of accomplishment.
    • Position Sommelier from Virginia, USA
    • Certifications Certified Specialist of Wine CSW, Certified Sommelier (CMS) , FWS
    Read more...

    Simone Madden-Grey

    Congratulations to Simone Madden-Grey for passing the Rhone Master-Level exam with the highest honors!

    About Simone:

    ''As Director of Happy Wine Woman, based in Melbourne, Australia, I provide a range of consulting services to private and industry clients in the areas of cellar management, buying, writing and education.  
    I regularly teach WSET classes in Melbourne and write for Spirito di Vino Asia, Wine Times Hong Kong, The Drinks Business Reader and Happy Wine Woman blog.
    Most recently I have joined the US-based podcast Wine for Normal People as a guest presenter to speak about wines from Australia and New Zealand.
    In October 2016 I will embark on a month long tour of Chile and Argentina visiting wineries and vineyards as part of a scholarship I received for scoring the highest mark in Asia for the WSET Diploma in 2015.

    In June 2015 I completed the WSET Diploma. The ML programme allowed me to focus more specifically on one region and delve deeper into the particulars of a single wine-producing region. The webinars were an especially helpful and enjoyable part of the course – the breadth of experience that is shared by the presenters was a definite highlight.

    As a wine writer and educator the Master-level programme has and will play an integral part in how I prepare, research and deliver materials.''
     

    Additional Info

    • Testimonial The ML programme allowed me to focus more specifically on one region and delve deeper into the particulars of a single wine-producing region. The webinars were an especially helpful and enjoyable part of the course – the breadth of experience that is shared by the presenters was a definite highlight.
    • Position Wine Educator of WSET classes in Melbourne
    • Certifications WSET Diploma
    Read more...

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