Congratulations to Nicholas Lotz, SWS, for passing the Spanish Wine Scholar exam with highest honors with Sydney Wine Academy, Australia.
I have been a wine enthusiast for many years. When I spent a fellowship year in France in 2005 for my training as a Plastic Surgeon this gave me my first real glimpse of international wines. In my medical practice I am often given nice bottles of wine by grateful patients, and this is how my wine collection and interest really got going. Over the years I have become increasingly interested in collecting and tasting fine wines from the classic regions of the world. I then decided it was time to gain a little more in depth knowledge to better appreciate and understand what I was both drinking and collecting. Entering the WSET courses seemed like a good place to start.
The first wine education course I enrolled in was the WSET level 2. This opened a whole new level of wine appreciation, as well as showing me how many more amazing wine regions of the world there are. WSET 3 followed shortly thereafter, and the increased depth of knowledge this provided only captivated my interest further.
I really enjoy blind tasting. It reminds me a lot of medicine, where you see a patient with a set of specific signs and symptoms and have to put it all together to come up with a diagnosis. Blind tasting is similar in that you need to analyse the colour, aromas and structure of the wine before you narrow down what wine it might be. It is a great feeling when you get it right.
I loved the Spanish Wine Scholar because it not only gave me a deeper appreciation of the wines of Spain, but we also learnt about the history and geography of the country and I am looking forward to returning there. I would love to do the French Wine Scholar next, as I have always loved the language and culture, and my family history is linked to France.
In the future I would like to do the WSET Diploma when work allows. I’ve heard the Diploma takes quite a commitment of time however having already studied the wines of Spain in depth, I think this will give me a great head start.