The first real wine course I took was in 2009. Our Bordeaux wines supplier put me in contact with the Bordeaux Wine Council (CIVB)’s wine school (l’Ecole du Vin de Bordeaux) which was recruiting China-based "Bordeaux Wine Accredited Educators" to preach the wines of the Gironde department among Chinese consumers and professionals. After convincing the school about my enthusiasm and willingness to help them in this task, I was kindly invited to stay five days in Bordeaux to visit, taste and learn with a few other Chinese classmates.
This first experience further aroused my curiosity, and a few months after my return to China, I enrolled in the Level 3 course of the Wines and Spirits Education Trust (WSET). During that intense week in Shanghai, I discovered how vast the wine world is, and how fascinating it could be! Not only French wines regions became clearer to me, but I also discovered the wine styles from other European countries and from the “new world”.
One year after completing the Level 3, I engaged myself in a two-year study of the Level 4, also known as the WSET Diploma. Meanwhile, I left the importing company to work for the CIVB, mainly dealing with the development of the Bordeaux Wine School activities in China, teaching nearly 2,000 students between 2011 and 2012. This was a great experience. Two years ago however, while finishing my Diploma studies, I decided to leave the promotional body in order to create my own company focusing on wine education and online marketing.
As time goes by, teaching experience increases, and just like the more you understand wine the more you enjoy it, the more I teach the more I take pleasure out of it. However, in order to stay at the top, one needs to never stop learning. This is the reason why I started to study for the Master of Wine (MW) last year. What a challenge! But how great fun it is for someone who loves studying!
When I take part in classes taught by someone who has technical experience, such as viticulture or winemaking, I really feel the speaker’s knowledge doesn’t only come from books and that he/she really masters the subjects, illustrating his/her explanations with detailed, real-life examples. In order to get this kind of ability too, I’ve been considering taking part in the making of a vintage or two for the last three years. This would also definitely help me in my MW studies considering that candidates are expected to demonstrate real-life experience and not only paraphrasing out-of-the-book-knowledge. Well, I am pleased and excited to actually write these few lines from a plane which is taking me towards this goal! Tomorrow, I will arrive at Domaine de Chevalier in Bordeaux where I will get my hands dirty for a whole month, helping out in both the vineyard and the cellar. I am thrilled and really impatient to start! I will try to share this experience daily, posting comments and pictures here. ^^