Wine study is an exciting mix of art, culture, science, geography and history. It's such a fun way to explore the world and learn about the people that inhabit lands near and far. Can't hop on a plane to Europe or South Africa? No problem, you can visit at anytime with just one sip!
The Wine Scholar Guild (WSG) is the leading provider of specialized certification programs on the wines of France, Italy and Spain with a school network spanning 30 countries and 5 continents. Committed students of wine have the opportunity to learn from the most respected names in the industry and can participate in some of the most privileged, exciting, and intellectually stimulating wine study immersion trips on the market.
Students follow an in-depth program, and if they pass the exam, earn the French (FWS), Italian (IWS) or Spanish (SWS) Wine Scholar title and corresponding post-nominal, which may be incorporated into a professional signature (e.g. Kyla Cox, SWS).
I have always longed to dive deeper into Old World wines and solidify my knowledge with a coveted WSG certification. Securing this beautiful lapel pin (above) is my first step. The Spanish Wine Scholar Program is the industry's most up-to date and in-depth course on the wines of Spain- a region I fell in love with long ago.
On January 23, 2021, I was notified that my dream was coming true when I was selected as one of only three winning essays in the 2020 WSG Scholarship contest. I was the only USA winner in the Spanish Wine Scholar category. My heartfelt 500-word essay had successfully detailed why I deserved this award, and most importantly, what I would do with it. I couldn't believe it, I never win anything. Wine education is expensive -very expensive- and although I would have certainly found a way to reach my goal, it most certainly would not be happening this year. I am so grateful for this opportunity!
What's next? Well, I officially begin the Spanish Wine Scholar 10-week instructor-led distance learning program on February 9. The program takes a regional approach and discusses all Spanish wine appellations and the factors that shape their identities, along with an unparalleled set of study tools that are designed to maximize learning and boost knowledge retention. My 315-page comprehensive study manual just arrived in the mail and I have access to 16 online study modules, live webinars, downloadable maps, pronunciation exercises and tons of quizzes. Of course, there is a list of recommended wines to sample by region. After all, sipping along is the best part about wine education! And then, well, then there's the final exam.
So, it's time to refresh, re-focus, and hydrate. SWS, here I come... Salud!
Be sure to follow along on Instagram & Twitter @winewithkyla.