Congratulations to Crystal Us, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!
I am currently a Food Server at a family owned restaurant in Venice, CA. My passion for wine began at an early age...really early. I think I was around ten years old when I had my first glass of wine. My grandfather was European, and I assume that is why he thought it was perfectly fine to serve me wine with my dinner. My first instinct was to smell it. My Grandfather shook his finger at me, and told me to “drink it, don’t smell it.” I smile as I remember this because, with all due respect to my Stara Ata, my first instinct was correct.
My Grandfather was a farmer in Slovenia before fleeing the county during WWII. He and my Grandmother - and their fifteen children - spent ten years in refugee camps in Austria before they immigrated to the United States in 1953. With only a small house instead of a large farm, he planted an impressive garden in his backyard and built a pergola where he grew grapes for the wine he made in his cellar. This was my introduction to wine. I have been a Food Server my entire life. However, it was what I did to support other pursuits. I have a B.S. in Business Administration from Southern Connecticut State University and an M.F.A. in Film Production from UCLA. It wasn’t until recently that I realized that I am most at home in a restaurant and that my heart lies in the vine.
I have also passed the Introductory Sommelier Course, the WSET 2 and the WSET 3 (both with distinction). I am currently preparing for the Certified Sommelier Examination. I also hope to take the WSET Level 4 Diploma next summer. I intentionally took the FWS program to help prepare me for the Certified Sommelier Examination. I hope to take the Italian Wine Scholar next!
It is my goal to obtain a Sommelier position in a French restaurant. I love French wine and the FWS Program was an important step in obtaining the knowledge, as well as credibility, in order to achieve this goal.