Congratulations to Sonia Hyncik Beauvarlet, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors with Wine Smarties in San Diego !
"I have been a wine enthusiast for many years but only recently explored a career in this field. I presently live in San Diego and grew up in France where our family lived in Dijon, Paris, Rouen and Lyon. So it's fair to say that I quickly developed a preference for French wines and gastronomy! After 23 years working in the Southern California commercial real estate field, I decided to make a life change by pursuing a new career in the wine business. I just started working at a wine store but I've also been helping out at local San Diego wineries to gain knowledge in winegrowing and winemaking. I'm keeping my options open while I figure out which branch of this industry suits me best. Perhaps some day I can use my business & language skills (French, English, German, Spanish) to define my future role in this field.
I started my wine studies in 2015 at San Diego State University where I earned a Certificate in the Business of Wine. During this time, I completed my WSET level 2 which allowed me to take on the Court of Master Sommelier Level 1 Award. These courses gave me a good background to confidently tackle the French Wine Scholar designation. I signed up through Wine Smarties in San Diego, taught by Lindsay Pomeroy. The course was not only an exciting challenge but also a sheer delight for a Francophile like me. Our class was very enthusiastic and at each meeting, students brought regional cheeses, charcuterie and desserts to amplify the wine tasting experience.
The course book was beautifully written and is something I will frequently consult. The online Wine Scholar Guild tools also made a difference for me: thorough course modules, detailed maps, beautiful illustrations, comprehensive quizzes... To date, the French Wine Scholar course has been the best educational experience on this journey. I feel it has helped me become a better student and made me step out of my comfort zone when approaching new subject matter and new wines. I am anxious to try the Italian Wine Scholar course and hope it will soon be available in San Diego. Since achieving the FWS designation, I enrolled in the WSET 3 course. My next challenge will be the Certified Sommelier exam and the Italian Wine Scholar course. I really appreciate the wine knowledge and networking opportunities the program has provided for me."