Founded in 1974, the Society of Wine Educators (SWE) is a non-profit dedicated to furthering the promotion and advancement of wine education in individuals and the industry as a whole. Its certificates are highly regarded both within the industry and outside, with each successful candidate urged to use post nominals in their professional signatures.
SWE’s main certifications are the Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW), the Certified Specialist of Spirits (CSS), and the Certified Wine Educator (CWE).
The CSW covers topics including: Physiology of Taste, Wine Composition & Chemistry; Faults; Viticulture & Enology; Labels, Laws & Wine Regions; The U.S. Wine Industry; Wine's Contribution to Health; Wine Etiquette & Service; Food & Wine Pairing; and Responsible Beverage Alcohol Service. The test is comprised of 100 multiple choice questions, of which the candidate must answer 75% correctly. The CSW is the prerequisite to the Certified Wine Educator.
Washington Wine Academy teaches the course over five theory sessions. The exam is the following week. The course tuition includes all material and registration fees (reduced if a member of SWE- please notify WWA if so). Tuition is $675.00.
The CSS covers specific topics tested include: Fermentation & Distillation; Whiskies; Brandies; Vodka; Liqueurs; Gin; Rum; and Tequila. There is a 100 multiple choice question exam, of which the candidate must successfully answer 75% to pass.
The CWE tests not only the candidates’ knowledge, but also his or her ability to taste and teach. It is a very difficult exam, comprised of a theory exam, two blind tasting exams and a presentation skills demonstration. It also requires candidates to provide evidence of Responsible Beverage Alcohol Service certification. Candidates must hold the CSW certificate to enter the CWE.
CSW Class Dates for 2013
Monday January 28th - Monday February 25th 6:30 - 9:30 PM. Test is Monday March 4th at 7:00 PM.