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Certified Specialist of Wine

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Certified Specialist of Wine


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The Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) Exam is a rigorous exam, which tests a candidate's wine knowledge and mastery of key elements within the worlds of viticulture and wine production.

This certification is widely recognized and regarded by the international wine and spirits industry.

The CSW Exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions, with all question content drawn exclusively from the CSW Study Guide. Candidates are provided with one (1) hour in which to complete the exam.

Candidates will purchase the CSW Exam through the SWE Catalog+Store. The Exam Authorization does not include any study materials. The 2019 CSW Study Guide may be purchased as a hard copy through Amazon. The 2019 CSW Study Guide is available on Amazon as an eBook, and is also available on Apple's iBooks as an eBook. The 2018 CSW Study Guide can be purchased as an eBook through Amazon, and on iTunes as an eBook. 

CSW exams are available only at Pearson VUE testing centers. Candidates will be sent an authorization code after purchasing the exam credit on the SWE Website. With the authorization code, a CSW Exam may be scheduled through Pearson at the candidate’s preferred time and place. Pearson VUE Testing center locations are in almost every major city in the United States and available worldwide. Exam registrations are good for one full year from the date of purchase.

Specific topics tested include: 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 Society of Wine Educators offers many additional resources for CSW Candidates, including the following:

A 220-page workbook, featuring valuable study resources and practice quizzes, is available on Amazon as a hard copy workbook.  

Monthly Webinars, free and open to the public, based on the CSW Study Guide and associated topics; you can find the schedule here: 

Guided, 12-week online classes, available free of charge to Professional Members of the SWE. You can find more information on the classes here: 

Practice Tests and Quizzes: A suite of practice tests and quizzes, based on the entirety of the CSW Study Guide and Workbook and ideal for use near the end of your studies,  The price for our Practice Tests and Quizzes are $19.00, which includes unlimited use for six months. The Practice Tests and Quizzes are only available online.

Digital flashcards—nearly 900 in total—based on the CSW Study Guide. The price for our flashcards are $19.00, which includes unlimited use for six months. These are digital flash cards, and they are only available online. For more information, . Please note, these are the only Certified Specialist of Wine flashcards that are approved and created by the Society of Wine Educators. These flashcards are only available on the link above.

Additional tools for exam preparation also include the Online Wine Academy. The Online Wine Academy is an online course available to Professional Members of the SWE. It is designed to be an interactive system that educates candidates on the different aspects of viticulture and wine. The Academy includes practice quizzes. It is meant to be supplemental to the CSW Study Guide.

Successful candidates who achieve a score of 75% or better are entitled to use the CSW post-nominal as part of their professional signature. They will also receive a certificate (suitable for framing) and a CSW lapel pin.

The CSW also serves as the prerequisite for those wishing to pursue the Certified Wine Educator certification. There are no exceptions to this rule, regardless of a candidate's background or other credentials.

The Society offers special pricing for partnering corporations, and accredited culinary schools and colleges/universities. Contact us for more information.

The Society of Wine Educators owns the copyright in all exam materials and supplements referenced herein.  Any redistribution or reproduction of part of all of the content is prohibited except as permitted by copyright law.  You may not, except with the express permission of the Society of Wine Educators, distribute or commercially exploit the content.  Nor may you transmit it or store it in any other website or other form of electronic retrieval system.

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