Become a French Wine Expert Program

Calling all Wine Pros!

Participate in the very first Become a French Wine Expert Program for a chance to win a feature in one of four Text a Wine Pro: French Wine sessions where you’ll be paid the equivalent of a shift and also be profiled on VinePair!

Presented by:
French Ministry of Agriculture

Sponsored by:

The Virtual Events:
French Wine Seminars

VinePair will host four seminars across 2 dates, December 10th and 17th from 12pm - 2:30pm EST, during which we will educate the 35 wine professionals on multiple wine regions in France. Each seminar will be informative and engaging, and will include theory, tastings, as well as guest speakers. All selected attendees will receive wine for the program.

Participating Producers

Arnaud Saget

Prior to joining his family business, Saget La Perrière, Arnaud worked in various facets of the wine industry. His varied experiences have allowed him to understand consumers’ expectations and the many differences within various wine markets.

Following formal training, Arnaud joined the brand’s export department. Arnaud is also involved in many other elements of the business including vineyard training policies, blending of the wines, and formulating the global marketing strategy of Saget La Perrière.

Arnaud and his brother, Laurent, represent the third generation of this family-run company. Both brothers strive for Saget La Perrière to be emblematic of the very best wines in the Loire Valley.

Diane Flamand

Diane Flamand graduated from Oenology School of Bordeaux in 1987 and earned her Master’s Degree in International Wine and Spirit Trade at the Burgundy School of Business in Dijon in 1991.

From 1984 until 1987, she received formal winemaking training at Château Lafite Rothschild, Lynch-Bages and Pichon Longueville Baron in Pauillac. In 1988, she began her career at Skalli-Fortant De France in the South of France (Sète) as Production Quality Manager. In 1990, she joined the Suber Oenologie Laboratory in Sète to focus on wine analysis and consulting.

In 1993 Diane joined Château Loudenne in Médoc. At Château Loudenne, she was responsible for the promotion of wines and the Loudenne Wine School, which provides training and education for the sales forces of the International Distillers and Vintners.

From 1997 to 2003, Diane assumed the role of Training Manager at Barton & Guestier (Blanquefort - Bordeaux) where she ran the B&G Wine Training Program and promoted the brand in France and abroad in South and North America, Europe and Russia. In 2003, she spent several months in California at the Sterling Vineyard and in South Africa before formally joining DBR (Lafite) in 2004 as Winemaker, Bordeaux Collection Wines.


Erik Segelbaum

Meet Erik Segelbaum, 2020 Wine Enthusiast 40 under 40 Global Tastemaker and Food & Wine Magazine 2019 Sommelier of the Year. With nearly 3 decades of industry experience, he has a proven track record of success in the hospitality industry. This includes creating and running highly profitable, award winning and operationally efficient beverage programs, delivering enlightening staff and management training, effective profitability maximization strategies, operational improvements, revenue amplification and more. Prior to founding SOMLYAY, Segelbaum held a number of diverse roles that include Corporate Beverage Director for Starr Restaurants, Head Sommelier of MV The World, and Corporate Wine Director of Schwartz Brothers Restaurants.

Erik is an Advanced Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers, Certified Specialist of Wine (with distinction) with the Society of Wine Educators, and Wine and Spirits Locations Specialist (with distinction). Erik’s hospitality experience includes 10 years as a fine dining chef and nearly two decades in front-of-house. Segelbaum has opened more than 30 restaurants, hotels and venues including building, implementing, executing and training of beverage programs. His experience set includes everything from Michelin Star fine dining to fast casual to multi-unit concepts. Segelbaum is a wine educator with ongoing sessions at Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. as well as private and corporate events. Segelbaum lectures at many conferences including CIA’s Bev Pro, SommCon, VIBE, ABID, et-cetera. Segelbaum is a wine journalist with recurring columns and content in multiple consumer and trade publications. Segelbaum serves as the Vice President of the United Sommeliers Founda- tion, a charitable fund that provides financial assistance to sommeliers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own (such as the global COVID-19 pandemic).

Mary Gorman-McAdams, MW

Mary Gorman-McAdams is a Master of Wine, wine educator, wine judge and wine business strategist. Since May 2019 she is the Director at International Wine Center, New York City, the First WSET School in the Americas. Before joining the team as Director, Mary has been a WSET instructor at IWC since 2002.

Between 2014 and 2019, she was the North American Market Adviser for the Bordeaux Wine Council, where she led its marketing and educational programs focused on growing the market for Bordeaux wines. During her tenure the United States moved from being the fourth most important market by value to the second most important market by value at the end of 2018, where volumes imported were back to the highest in 35 years. Since 2012 Mary has served on the Institute of Masters of Wine Global Education team and was elected to the IMW Council in September 2020. Mary is also a member of the New York Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International. When not talking and tasting wine, Mary can be found on the sidelines of a soccer field with husband Joe McAdams, cheering on their 17-year-old son Luca.

Andrea Morris

Andrea Morris is a sommelier and wine professional based in Brooklyn. She is the Beverage Director at the iconic Union Square Cafe in New York City, as well as co-owner of Ready to a Drink, a small fine and rare portfolio for collectors and a Zoom-seminar leader for Harker House Wines.

Some of Andrea's fondest childhood memories are about wine: getting a sip of Manischewitz on Fridays, learning how to pronounce French by reading wine lists with her parents, and honestly just liking the taste of it early on. This developed into a more serious passion while she was attending CIA when she realized that she enjoyed wine class more than any culinary class. Upon graduation she first got a job as a kitchen server at Eleven Madison Park, then found her first sommelier position at the Michelin-starred Oceana. Shortly thereafter she landed at Jean-Georges on the Upper West Side, passing her advanced sommelier exam at 24 and joining the wine team that would go on to get a Grand Award. After more than three years, she left to be the opening beverage director of Nix, John Fraser's Michelin-starred vegetarian restaurant, where she was listed on Zagat's 30 under 30 as well as StarChef's Rising Star sommelier. From there she joined the opening team of the experimental Intersect by Lexus restaurant, where she was recognized as one of Wine Enthusiast's 40 under 40 Tastemakers for her work creating a new beverage program every four months to match the rotating chefs. Most recently she has taken over the beverage program at the storied Union Square Cafe. When she's not working or studying wine, Andrea can be found doing yoga, attempting to bake bread or hanging out with Janet, her cat.

About the Become a French Wine Expert Program

The Become a French Wine Expert Program will educate wine professionals on French wine regions and the quality wine produced in France. The program, with the support of the French Ministry of Agriculture, will bring French wine to the forefront, highlighting French wine’s important place in the wine industry. Attendance is limited to 35 wine professionals who are required to attend all 4 seminars.

The program will also make donations to industry charitable organizations — Wonder Women of Wine and The United Sommeliers Foundation.

Please note: registration does not guarantee admittance to the program. Qualified attendees will be selected by the VinePair team, and notified via email.

The Exams & Awarded Certification

At the completion of each seminar, the wine professionals will receive a quiz via mobile app, testing their knowledge and retention of the information. In the app, participants will receive scores and rankings against the other wine professionals working towards a final certificate, and a chance to participate in VinePair’s Text a Wine Pro: French Wine! The participants will then take a final exam, encompassing questions covering the entire four seminars. The top 4 scorers will participate in Text a Wine Pro: French Wine as well as earn a Certificate of Advanced French Wine Knowledge from The Ministry of Agriculture.