The Society of Wine Educators (SWE), founded in 1977, is a membership-based nonprofit organization (501c3) focused on providing wine and spirits education along with the conferral of several certifications. The Society is internationally recognized and its programs are highly regarded for both their quality and relevance to the industry.
The Society of Wine Educators is proudly anti-racist, anti-sexist, and pro-diversity. We strive to create an inclusive, flexible culture in our workplace, among our membership, at our events, and on our educational platforms. We will continue to actively recruit those who have been marginalized in the wine and spirits industry—including people of color, women, non-binary people, LGBTIQA+, and people with disabilities—to be speakers at our events, contributors to our blog, members of our organization, and candidates for certification. To this end, we offer need-based scholarships, pro-diversity guidelines for our staff and board of directors, a range of testing accommodations, and—above all—we are continuously striving to refine and improve our behavior, platform, and message.
The mission of the Society of Wine Educators is to set the standard for quality and responsible wine and spirits education and professional certification.
- These credentials are a valuable and widely respected mark of a wine professional’s commitment to personal career development and ultimately to the wine industry as a whole.
- Individuals that receive professional certification raise the standard of proficiency in the wine arena and assist the industry by elevating the knowledge base of everyone with whom they come in contact.
- Professional certification encourages an industry to build upon itself by fostering an environment where individuals can pursue excellence and achieve subject mastery.
With its diverse programs, SWE is unique among other educational programs in the wine and spirits field. Each year, the Society presents an Annual Conference with several educational sessions and significant opportunities for professional interaction. Education and networking are further enhanced through symposiums, the Society’s newsletter, and robust social media efforts.
SWE offers four professional credentials for those seeking to certify their wine and spirits knowledge, including the Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW), the Certified Specialist of Spirits (CSS), the Certified Wine Educator (CWE), and the Certified Spirits Educator (CSE). In addition, the Hospitality/Beverage Specialist Certificate is available, which covers a variety of beverages, in addition to wine and spirits. Certifications and certificates are offered as self-study programs and/or via instructor-led online classes available to members of SWE.
SWE members include the following types of individuals:
- Educators offering classes and tastings
- Instructors in public and private colleges, universities, and hospitality schools
- Importers, distributors, and producers
- Retailers, restaurateurs, servers, and hoteliers
- Industry consultants
- Sommeliers, wine stewards, bartenders, and mixologists
- Culinary and hospitality school students
- Wine industry media professionals
- Wine Enthusiasts
Our seminars, conferences, tutored tastings and other wine events are designed to educate the student and train the trainer.
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