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