Congratulations to Tomi Naarvala, SWS, for passing the Spanish Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!
I started as a wine enthusiast but today I can proudly call myself professional.
In my early twenties I lived in Barcelona for a year. I knew almost nothing about wines before that. In Spain wine is such a natural part of the culture and diet so I ended up drinking quite a lot of wines and especially Cava. I also visited some wineries and Cava-houses during my stay. After returning to Finland I got curious and wanted to understand why different wines tasted different, and the function of all the barrels and tanks they were showing us during wine cellar visits.
Today I am still passionate about wines and curious to learn more about them and share my knowledge with other people. Wineserver started as a wine club from my own needs – to learn more about wines, to taste them with other people, and to visit wine regions. Wineserver company was established in 2009 and the main idea is to promote wine culture in Finland and to continue exploring the fascinating world of wine. I organize wine tastings and trips to wine regions and I teach WSET courses from level 1 to level 3 and now Spanish Wine Scholar as well.
I work full time as a sommelier / unit manager in Helsinki Airport’s Wine & View wine bar. It is interesting place to work as we get customers from all over the world. Come and say hello if you are visiting Finland or have a layover here!
My highest degree is WSET Diploma and I am certified Sommelier and Bartender in Finland from local study programs. SWS complements these programs well. There has been many recent changes in Spain’s wine laws and all the material is very up to date. This information is virtually impossible to obtain elsewhere.
In SWS program I also learned about the history and culture of each wine region. There is great variety of wine styles and local grape varieties and long history of winemaking. Spain is an exciting wine country with something to offer for everyone. I had not realized how many mountains there are in Spain, although I have been there several times.
I really enjoyed SWS so I am thinking of studying French Wine Scholar program next. And maybe Master of Wine studies in the future.
While studying Spanish Wine Scholar I learned about new wines that I can’t wait to taste and places I want to visit. Luckily I am going to Rioja and San Sebastian later this month with my wine club. I organize wine trips for Finnish wine enthusiast a couple of times a year.
Spain is such a great holiday destination for wine lovers and SWS is such a confidence boost when teaching about Spanish wines or working as a tour leader.