Girl Power! Being Alive and Present at WSET Awards Graduation Ceremony.
London April 11, 2022 – WSET Awards and Graduation Ceremony
WSET held its first hybrid Graduation ceremony to celebrate the achievements of Level 4 Diploma in Wines graduates from the 2020/2021 academic year.
Barbora Peterikova & Louise Doucet, two WineWise DipWSET graduates who stretched their brain capacity and taste buds to the max, were awarded with a special price.
Barbora received the ‘Steven Spurrier Académie du Vin Award’. She is the very first person to receive this award in memory of Steven who died in 2021. Barbora will receive a special selection of wines
Louise won the Moët & Chandon Prize. She is looking forward to this study trip to Champagne, where she will be a guest of Maison Moët & Chandon.
WineWise caught up with Barbora and Louise and asked them what sparked their interest in wine, what inspired them to start the WSET journey, and which wine-related goals they still want to achieve…
Would you tell us a bit about your background and what sparked your interest in wine?
Barbora: My parents had a bar; I grew up in a hospitality environment. The choice was actually very easy for me, but it took a while before wine was involved. It all started in Copenhagen when I got the chance to work in an Italian restaurant. My manager introduced me to the diversity of Italian wine and it wasn’t long before I fell in love.
Louise: My grandmother was a winemaker in Touraine-Mesland and I grew up in a family where get together times often resonate with the delicate sound of a bottle getting uncorked. As a young adult, I developed an unstoppable need to understand what was in my glass.
What would be your advices to any students starting their journey and wanting to be successful in their wine studies?
Barbora: Be curious, don’t be shy to ask many questions. Wine is extremely complex. For me it was important to make inner peace with the fact that I won’t be able to understand everything, but that is also the beauty of working with wine.
Louise: Go for it ! It always seems impossible until it is done.
What wine related goals are you still working to achieve? What’s next?
Barbora: There will always be more to learn and I hope I won’t ever allow myself to stop. The next challenge is ‘Master of Wine’.
Louise: I have just started a thesis on ‘Why and How the Wine Industry is embracing the Sustainability shift?’ I am analysing the drivers for the sector to integrate Sustainability as one of its key strategic component for durability and for value creation, and deep diving on how the integration of Environmental, Social and Governance elements is and could be occurring.
What is an unusual pairing that really works?
Barbora: Lime sorbet and manzanilla sherry
Louise: Bitterballen (yes I am very serious about my Dutch expatriation) and Anjou Blanc.
What’s the strangest word/s you’ve used to describe the smell or taste of wine?
Barbora: Nebbiolo – big, well build masculine guy in ballerina shoes.
Louise: liberating – I was referring to acidity (not sure it brought me any mark though…)
What do you drink when no one’s watching?
Barbora: Lambrusco. There is way too much of bad Lambrusco. But drinking a good example is incredibly satisfying. Try Angol d’Amig or Radice!
Louise: Ahah, being a DipWSET does not have to make you posh about wine. I completely assume any wine I like even if it’s a cheap, simple but well made one. They all have a story to tell.
Do you have a favorite wine/music pairing you want to share with us?
Barbora: ‘I Got a Woman’ – song by Ray Charles and ‘Champagne’. I think this song was on the playlist of every single restaurant I have worked, and I still love it.
Louise: a glass of ‘Ellermann-Spiegel Spätburgunder’ (red from Pfalz) while listening to ‘Melody Gardot’
Is there one person in the industry you really admire and/or has been a role model for you? (+why)
Barbora: Ronan Sayburn MS. His dedication to the wine industry is admirable. I love his enthusiasm, his genuine curiosity, and the fact that he remains very humble and approachable.
Louise: Pascaline Lepeltier. An humble, generous, absolute passionate, perfectionist and super highly knowledgeable woman still continuing -with the hardest desire and total simplicity- her wine journey. And Jancis Robinson who managed to carry on her MW path while being pregnant. I passed the D3 unit during my second trimester and it was quite intense!
P.S. WineWise is very proud of all its DipWSET graduates. But we like to put our students who achieved that extra bit in the spotlight. Beside Barbora Peterikova & Louise Doucet, also other WineWise students have won awards in the past: Peter Arijs – Royal Tokaji Prize, Stijn Verleyen – Royal Tokaji Prize & Lendl Mijnhijmer – The Maggie McNie Tasting Trophy. Well done!