Congratulations to Matthew Kasumovic, FWS, for passing the French Wine Scholar exam with highest honors!
I am a wine enthusiast and part-time wine professional that has shaped life outside of my full-time work around wine study. My journey truly began by realizing that I was not using my senses of smell and taste to their full potential, and as a result, was not experiencing life as much as I could be. Being born and raised in the Niagara Peninsula, wine has always been in my periphery, especially with my closest friends being in the industry, but it took this organoleptic epiphany to ignite my passion for it. I began by immersing myself in education, while also getting to know the wine region I am so fortunate to live in. I now work part-time at Big Head Wines as a tasting associate where I can sharpen my communication skills, and use the knowledge, and tasting ability, that I’ve developed to create a memorable experience for visitors. I am not sure where this wine journey will take me, however my enthusiasm has never been higher, and I am thoroughly enjoying the ride.
I have always been a studious, and curiosity-driven person so the structure and breadth of the WSET programs were immediately attractive to me. I have thus far completed Level 2, Level 3, and am currently enrolled in the diploma program. It was for similar reasons that I was drawn to the FWS program, however its narrower focus and greater depth piqued my interest. While the earlier WSET levels offer a more general level of knowledge, the FWS will be of great help in the much more challenging, and in-depth study of the Old World in the WSET diploma level. Furthermore, the multi-dimensional focus of FWS i,e, history, soils, climate, wine law, helps to not only understand what, but also why, which is the key to success in advanced levels of education. When time and resources permit, I hope to enrol in the Italian Wine Scholar program since the quality of the resource material in the FWS has made further study in the WSG hard to resist.
The FWS has been a valuable asset in my current role at Big Head, allowing me to provide a richer customer service experience by incorporating the knowledge acquired into my repertoire. My role as a tasting associate is much more in-depth and education-oriented, and in practice will often span an hour long per reservation. Having an understanding of French geography, terroir, wine regions, history, tradition, and wines, helps me paint a broader and more interesting picture of where the Niagara Region is unique and how the styles and winemaking compare. Overall, I feel much more well-equipped to provide a fun and engaging experience using what I’ve learned in the FWS program. Since the wine world is always changing, I plan to stay connected with the WSG so I can remain current with how French wine is evolving, and use that insight to strengthen the Niagara wine industry one tasting at a time.