“The biggest challenge for me was developing a flavor profile for wines that I had never heard of before, let alone tasted,” said Rolle. “I bought a number of cold-weather wines from upstate New York that I thought I might be tested on. Wines like Diamond, Seyval Blanc, Baco Noir, and Frontenac provided me with a whole new appreciation for hybrid wines.”
The AWS boasts a membership of over 7,000 wine enthusiasts who participate in tasting events at 180 local chapters throughout the United States. According to its executive director David Falchek, the AWS is the only national organization that certifies wine judges. There are only 86 certified wine judges in the entire country.
The certificate will allow Rolle to judge in wine competitions domestically and abroad. But Rolle also thinks that his training will impact him as a vintner. “By evaluating all these different wine styles objectively, it’s going to help me better recognize the characteristics in my own wine and further develop my skills as a winemaker.”