Certified Specialist of Spirits


SocietyofWineEducators 4970


The Certified Specialist of Spirits (CSS) Exam is a rigorous exam, which tests a candidate's spirits knowledge and mastery of key elements within the world of distillation and spirits production. This certification is widely recognized and regarded by the international wine and spirits industry.

The CSS Exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions, all the material for which is drawn exclusively from the CSS Study Guide. Candidates are provided with one (1) hour in which to complete the exam. There are no prerequisites required to take the CSS Exam. Successful candidates who achieve a score of 75% or better are entitled to use the CSS post-nominal as part of their professional signature. They will also receive a certificate (suitable for framing) and a CSS lapel pin.

Candidates will purchase the CSS Exam through the SWE Catalog+Store. The Exam Authorization does not include any study materials. The 2018 CSS Study Guide may be purchased as a hard copy through Amazon. The 2018 CSS Study Guide can be purchased as an eBook through Amazon, and on iTunes as an eBook. The 2016 CSS Study Guide eBook version is available on Amazon and iTunes

CSS 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 CSS 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.

The Society of Wine Educators offers many additional resources for CSS Candidates, including the following:

CSS Workbook: A 108-page workbook, featuring valuable study resources and practice quizzes, is available on Amazon as a hard copy workbook.  

SWE is pleased to offer monthly SWEbinars based on the CSS Study Guide. SWEbinars are offered free of charge and available to the public. For more information and a schedule of our SWEbinars, please see our webpage at: http://winewitandwisdomswe.com/swebinars-2/swebinars/ 
Guided, 10-week online prep classes are provided, free of charge, to individual Professional Members of the SWE. You can find more information on the classes here: http://winewitandwisdomswe.com/csw-online-review-class/

Practice Tests and Quizzes: A suite of practice tests and quizzes, based on the entirety of the CSS Study Guide and Workbook and ideal for use near the end of your studies, may be found at this link for purchase. 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 800 in total—based on the CSS 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, click here. Please note, these are the only Certified Specialist of Spirits flashcards that are approved and created by the Society of Wine Educators. These flashcards are only available on the link above.

The Online Spirits Academy is a supplemental online course, designed to aide candidates in their studies. It covers the same topics as the CSS Study Guide, while providing automatically graded quizzes and tests that help an individual understand what they need to study. Please note, though, that all questions on the CSS Exam are drawn from the CSS Study Guide.

The SWE also has a free mobile app, SWE Wine and Spirits Quiz, for iOS and Android devices. All of the questions in levels 1-5 are taken from the CSS and CSW Study Guides, everything in levels 6-10 are "CSS/CSW and beyond."
Click here to download the App for IOS!
Click here to download the App for Android!

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

We have been recognized as an ACFEF Quality Program: