Certified Specialist of Wine
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. Accordingly, the CSW certification is meant to be self-study educational program. There are no formal sessions to attend. However, on occasion the Society offers an optional CSW Preview, which some candidates find useful.
Exams are offered throughout the year in numerous locations in both the United States and abroad. Please check the Exam & Seminars calendar for a current list of exam dates and locations. Once candidates purchase the CSW Exam from the Catalog, they need to register for the exam of their choice on the exam calendar. Exam registrations are good for one full year from the date of purchase.
The CSW Study Guide is included with the cost of a CSW Certification Exam sitting, and will be sent to you from the SWE Home Office upon purchase. For those who would like a digital copy of the Study Guide to supplement the hard copy, an eBook version is available on Amazon
As of April 30, 2014, the CSW Exam will be available at Pearson Testing Centers worldwide. Those candidates that wish to use a testing center 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. More information on the availability of Pearson Testing Centers will be posted in the near future.
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.
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 Society. 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, private wine schools and accredited culinary schools and colleges/universities. Contact us for more information.