The Wine Institute of New England is proud to offer a study course for the Certified Specialist of Wine certification examination. This examination is given under the auspices of the Society of Wine Educators (SWE). The SWE, the premier professional wine society in the United States to provide knowledge-based wine certifications, is committed to the professional education and development of the individual in particular, and to the wine industry as a whole.
What is a CSW?
The Certified Specialist of Wine certification was developed by the Society of Wine Educators in conjunction with prominent members of the wine industry. The CSW has become one of the most important trade credentials in the wine industry today. Companies such as Banfi, E & J Gallo, Kobrand, Trincero Winery, and many national distributors are major supporters.
A Certified Specialist of Wine is a person who has received the Certified Specialist of Wine certification from the Society of Wine Educators by passing a 100 multiple-choice question examination within a 60-minute time frame.
Those candidates scoring 75 percent or higher on the examination will receive a certificate recognizing their achievement, a CSW lapel pin, and the ability to use the post nominal “CSW” as part of their professional title.
What is the CSW study course?
The Certified Specialist of Wine study course is an intensive program designed to guide those seeking to take the Certified Specialist of Wine examination through the course material provided by the Society of Wine Educators. The course will take you chapter by chapter through these materials, will help illuminate the most important aspects therein, and will provide useful study methods, all designed to help the participant achieve a passing score on the examination.
The areas covered include the following units:
- Wine Defined
- Viticulture & Enology
- Wine Labels, Laws & Regions
- Wine Consumption and Service
- Additional Resources
The course includes 24 hours of instruction, the new 300-page 2014 CSW Study Guide published by the Society of Wine Educators, in-class practice quizzes, and the final examination.
Who Should Consider Becoming a CSW?
As stated by the Society of Wine Educators, “the Certified Specialist of Wine certification recognizes a high standard of academic wine knowledge and the mastery of key elements within the worlds of wine and vine, as determined by a team of wine industry educators.”
The CSW certification program is for anybody in the wine industry, or a related industry, such as food, seeking to broaden their knowledge of wine. Professionals who will benefit from the program include:
- Start-up wine industry entrepreneurs
- Wine bar owners and employees
- Restaurant and hotel owners and employees
- Wine writers and publishers
- Winery owners and employees
- Importers and exporters
- Public relations firms
- Culinary event planners
- Culinary school faculty, staff & students
The CSW certification program is also for the wine enthusiast seeking to become a more knowledgeable consumer.
The SWE’s Certified Specialist of Wine certification is internationally recognized and will provide the successful candidate with a valuable career-enhancing credential.
The CSW study course includes 24 hours of instruction, practice quizzes, the NEW 2014 CSW Study Guide, a one hour practice exam, and a one hour multiple-choice examination.
The Study Guide consists of the following content:
Unit One: Wine Defined
1. Wine Composition and Chemistry
2. Wine Faults
Unit Two: Viticulture and Enology
3. Grape Varieties
5. Fermentation and Still Wine Production
6. Sparkling Wine Production
7. Fortified Wine Production
Unit Three: Wine Labels, Laws, and Regions
8. Introduction to the World Wine Industry
14. Central and Eastern Europe
15. Eastern Mediterranean
16. United States and North America
17. South America
18. Australia and New Zealand
Unit Four: Wine Consumption and Service
20. Physiology of Taste and Tasting Procedures
21. The Impact of Alcohol on Health
22. Wine Etiquette and Service
Appendix A. Glossary of Wine Terms
Appendix B. Bibliography and Supplementary Reading
Appendix C. Society of Wine Educators' Logical Tasting Rationale
Appendix D. Wine Aroma Checklist
NEW: 2014 Certified Specialist of Wine Study Course Schedule
The 2014 Certified Specialist of Wine Study Course will begin on May 20th and will be held at The Crush Club in Wallingford. If you have any questions about the course, please feel free to contact us.
The CSW Study Course will meet 8 times for 3-hours each class. There will be scheduled breaks to allow participants extra time to study. The examination will be scheduled within 2 weeks of the final class.
NEW LOCATION: We will be meeting on Tuesday evenings from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at The Crush Club, 65 South Colony Street, Wallingford, CT
Tuition is $850 per participant.
Professional members of the wine industry will receive a $50 discount.
Payment is required in full in advance. Enrollment is on a first come, first served basis. The course is limited to 24 participants.
Registration and Payment
You may register and pay for the CSW study course online using Paypal.
Don't have a Paypal account? To register with a credit card, email or call:
To register and pay by mail, send your contact information and check to:
Wine Institute of New England
5 Adirondack Lane
Guilford, CT 06437
Renee B. Allen is a Certified Specialist of Wine and the Founder and Director of the Wine Institute of New England. WINE is the only location in Connecticut offering this advanced course and exam. We are an institution dedicated to wine appreciation and wine education of consumers and professionals in Connecticut and our surrounding New England states.