Congratulations to Inbar Galinsky-Johnson, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!
My interest in wine started about 7 years ago after being wowed by Pinot Gris from Alsace. I realized I wanted to know more about wines, and about how to enjoy them more mindfully. My passion gained real momentum, however, over the last three years; this included reading everything I could about wine, taking notes meticulously with every bottle I opened, joining The Wine Society (an excellent co-operative wine merchant in the UK) so I can access a variety of wines and enrolling on courses to enhance my knowledge.
My day-job couldn’t be more different – I work at a University in the UK, advising and supporting students who struggle with mental health and disability-related difficulties. Curiosity about the wine in my glass had opened a completely different world to me - one which is full of joy, exploration and never-ending learning. The world of wine encompasses geography, history, geology and chemistry… not to mention offering the best excuse to travel – and so there are multitude of ways to learn about it.
Although I do not work in the wine industry, I recently secured a weekend job as a vineyard and tasting guide in a local winery in Sussex, the county where I live; However I mainly consider myself a (slightly obsessed!) enthusiast, on an infinite learning curve!
When I realized I wanted to learn in a more structured way about wine and wine tasting, I enrolled on WSET 2, followed by WSET 3, and I passed both with distinction. I loved both courses, but WSET 3 was definitely the more challenging, and helped cement my knowledge about different wine regions and their unique attributes, not to mention the processes involved from cultivating vines to making wine.
I did both through the wonderful Sussex Wine School, in Brighton where I live, and when I finished WSET 3 I knew that I wanted to enroll on FWS, also through the School; it felt like the next natural step to focus on the French regions I love in more detail. I enjoyed every moment of it, and certainly feel that it added another layer of more detailed knowledge about the wine regions of France, and encouraged me to explore those areas I knew less about. The class tastings helped place each style within the context of its region and its unique terroir. It was also fun to learn alongside other enthusiasts, and it made the whole experience more convivial, all supported by an excellent tutor.
The opportunity to learn about a specific wine producing country in much more detail had whet my appetite for more learning, and I am now considering enrolling on the Spanish and Italian Wine Scholar. I enjoy exploring French regions and styles much more than before, and although I’m not a wine professional, I feel able to communicate with fellow wine enthusiasts, and share my love and passion for French wines with greater confidence! I’d recommend this course to professionals and wine enthusiasts alike.