Wine Education Designations

Curious what the DWS, CWE, and CSS designations mean after my name?

The Master of Wine and Master Sommelier are two of the highest designations one can get in the wine world, with there being just over 300 MWs in the world, and a similiar number of MSs.

En route to the Master of Wine designation is the Diploma from the Wine and Spirits Educational Trust. This is a two to three year program that ends in the DWS designation, which is also known as the AIWS in the UK.

The Society of Wine Educators offers three designations, the CSW (Certified Specialist of Wine), which is received following a very involved written test) in which one must get eighty percent of the questions right. Once one has the CSW, one can work towards the CWE (Ceritified Wine Specialist) which involves many involved tests and tastings.

The Society of Wine Educators also offers a CSS (Certified Specialist of Spirits) designation.

From the Court of Master Sommeliers, I have the second level “Certified Sommelier” designation (second level on the way to the MS) along with several other designations from the American Sommelier Association, the Sommelier Society of America, etc.

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