More Thoughts Related to the CSW and CWE Exams

The smartest thing I’ve done this year was to attend the Certified Wine Educator (CWE) Preview this week, a good six or seven months before I’m scheduled to actually sit for the CWE exam. The preview has not only proven motivational, as I realize that I’ve become rusty in several areas, but it also allows me enough time to take some action. I’ll definitely be reviewing my wine books this spring and summer, as I prepare myself for the 85-question multiple-choice test, as well as the hour-long essay. As for the tasting portion of the exam, I’m just hoping to have a good day, with my olfactory nerves firing on all cylinders.

I’m about to start a weekly wine tasting session with some colleagues who are also in the midst of various certifications (not only the CWE, but CMS and WSET students as well). I’ve read an awful lot about wine in my life, but my heavy California bias won’t be enough to guide me through a blind tasting of the world’s wines. These meetings should prove helpful. For those unfamiliar with the blind tasting format of the CWE, candidates must correctly match eight wines (four red, and four white) against a list of 10 ten possible wines (five red, and five white). Six correct answers represents a passing score for this portion of the exam.

The mock exam at the CWE Preview included the following 10 wines:

• Babich, Marlborough, Sauvignon Blanc, 2009

• Peter Lehmann, Eden Valley, Riesling, 2008

• Napa Cellars, Mount Veeder, Chardonnay, 2008

• Mulderbosch, Stellenbosch, Chenin Blanc, 2008

• Jean Baptiste Adam, Alsace, Pinot Gris, Réserve, 2008

• Allegrini, Valpolicella Classico, 2007

• Bruno Giacosa, Nebbiolo d’Alba, 2007

• Napa Cellars, Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2007

• Peter Lehmann, Barossa, Shiraz, 2008

• Louis Jadot, Nuits-St-Georges, 2006

[The two wines that were not in the actual flight of eight were the Allegrini Valpolicella and the Napa Cellars Chardonnay.]

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