New year, new achievement!
At Analogue Wine Merchant, we understand that knowledge aids enjoyment, and encourage all of you to learn as much as possible about wine, an endlessly fascinating beverage. We partner with the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) to offer globally recognised qualifications, and are proud to have a WSET-certified instructor on our team, Stella Kim. We interviewed her to inspire you to add wine education to your list of New Year's Resolutions. Start the year as you mean to go on, and sign up for Stella's Level 1 class on Saturday 19th January. If you are interested in taking either Level 2 or 3, browse our other upcoming courses.
Hi, Stella! Tell us what wine qualifications you have.
I started both WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) and CMS (Court of Master Sommeliers) because I wasn't sure which path I'd prefer. CMS is more suitable if you want to pursue a sommelier path (working in restaurants and hotels) and WSET tends to be more academic. I guess if you go down the WSET route then you're more likely to go towards an MW (Master of Wine). So all in all, I'm a certified sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers, a WSET Diploma graduate and also a certified instructor.
What made you become interested in wine?
Food and wine were always my passion and so I spent a lot of time and effort on it. Be it watching a cooking show (I used to love the Olive Channel in Korea) or trying out different wines. After a while, I wanted to know more about wines, so I read my first book about wine, "The Wine Bible" by Karen MacNeil. This literally inspired me to change my career, and now, here I am.
Why did you decide to become a certified WSET instructor?
As I studied wine more and more, and then eventually received my diploma, I wanted to take the educator course so that I could share what I had learnt with people who share my passion. I'm normally very shy when it comes to standing up and talking to a group, even if it's a group of people I know. But with wines, it's totally different. I don't get the nerves because I'm so excited.
What is your next goal in your own wine education?
Stella's Level 3 students hard at work
What are your classes like and what is your teaching style?
My classes are very casual, but I make sure my students understand the material we're covering and will be able to get that across in the exam. Students will go through the textbook before the class, so I don't want to just re-read it with them. I'd say my teaching style is more about guiding students through how study and how to wrap their heads around the huge amounts of information they're covering. There's also an element of learning how to piece together the different facts you've learned to problem-solve and think about the bigger picture.