Last May I decided to begin my intensive study of French wines through the distance learning program with the French Wine Society (now the Wine Scholar Guild ). Having lived in France, this has been an interest for a number of years, so decided to bite the bullet and start learning. The course covers every wine region in France in great detail. History, geology, topography, climate, and soil compositions. Grape varietals, their synonyms, flavor profiles- and how they change when grown in different climates and soils- minimums and maximums in regard to yields/ acre, vine density alcohol levels… Knowing who was responsible for important contributions in the wine industry and just what those contributions were was also covered. Last, but not least, learning the AOCs -the highest rankings within each region from the largest to the smallest, the oldest from the newest, and more… what a year it has been!
I will admit, I wasn’t really sure how this would play out in the end. It was much more detailed and intense than I first imagined, but as a former teacher, I can appreciate the depth and research put into the program. I am proud to say that on Tuesday, May 10th I achieved my goal and passed the French Wine Scholar exam!! I was thrilled when I received my certificate and pin in the mail. My only concern is- what next? Do I stick with French wine training and try to become a “Master” of a specific French wine region? Bordeaux, Loire, Bourgogne, Alsace…or do I branch out and attempt the Italian Wine Scholar or Spanish Wine Scholar programs??? Only time will tell, but for now, I am enjoying my success!