Congratulations to Leslie Binstock, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!
I started getting interested in wine in my junior year at college (BU). And since then I've always tried to educate myself on the subject. But it wasn't until the Covid lockdown, that I officially decided to dedicate myself to wine professionally. Before Covid, I worked in the fitness industry, so it's a complete 180°! I also always thought I was too "old" to enter the industry, as most of the people I see have been involved in wine all their lives or have started very young. But then I thought, why not give it a try!
I did my research and started with the WSET certifications, since I saw they were the most recognized and known ones. I completed Levels 1, 2 and 3. WSET taught me a lot. However, since the wine courses cover "Wines of the world", they don't really go into a lot of detail for the top 3 (Italy, France and Spain). So it was a great basis to start with, but I wanted to go into a lot more detail for the top three. That's when I discovered WSG and decided to start with the FWS (since I live in France). I really learned a great deal specifically about French wines, which was my objective. My intention was to start the IWS right after I passed the FWS, but I was luckily hired as an assistant sommelier at a one Michelin star restaurant in Paris (Maison Lucas Carton). I have the knowledge, but I lack the experience so this was a great opportunity for me.
So far the job has kept me extremely busy, so I haven't signed up for the IWS yet. But I fully intent to once I get used to the job a bit more. FWS has fully contributed to my knowledge needed for the job. I wouldn't have been comfortable at all in this job had I not completed the course.