Certified Specialist of Wine

Wat is een CSW ‘er in hemelsnaam? Wel ook in de USA is men uiteraard druk met het geven van wijnonderricht. Net als we dat hier in Nederland trachten te doen. En het programma dat een CSW’er moet doorlopen om te slagen voor het CSW examen is een pittige! Het leidt op voor “Certified Specialist of Wine”!

De studie is bedoeld voor iedereen die op de een of andere manier iets met wijn van doen heeft.  Denk aan importeurs, aan PR bureaus in de wijn, hotelscholen, medewerkers in restaurants, in wijnbars. Kortom, voor iedereen die graag en op min of meer professionele wijze bezig is met wijn.

Een stevig programma dat afgesloten wordt met een eindexamen.
Als ik het programma zo bekijk, dan zou ons Nederlandse boek “Aan de slag met wijn”, in een Engelse vertaling, hier goed voor gebruikt kunnen worden.

Behalve wijnbouw en vinificatie, komen de wijnlanden en –streken van de wereld in het programma uitgebreid aan bod. Ook is er aandacht voor de wijnwetgeving in Amerika, voor wijnspijs combinaties en voor ‘wijn en gezondheid’.

Hieronder laat ik graag even de Amerikaanse ‘Miss Jane’  aan het woord om te zien hoe zij haar studenten helpt en ze strijdvaardig maakt in wijn! Slim, lekker om te lezen en vol goede tips, die ook hier bij onze wijnstudies goed toepasbaar zijn!

“Being the Bubbly Professor, I get lots of emails asking the question, “How do I study for the CSW?”  Usually people that contact me have been studying a while – thankfully – and have many more specific questions as well.  Since I have spent so much time answering these questions on a one-on-one basis, I figured it was time for a new series of posts:  “How to Pass the CSW!” 

I really should call this series “How to Study for the CSW” but somehow “How to Pass…” just seemed like more fun.  So stay tuned as I try to address these questions one by one.

“Do I need to study the maps?”  Yes. 

“Do I need to know everything on the maps?”  This is one of the most common lines of questioning I receive.  It’s like people don’t want to have to study the maps.  However, let me make it perfectly clear:  Yes, you need to study the maps.  Yes, you need to know everything on the maps.

Hold on, it’s about to get even better, because imho, if a wine region is listed on a map, someone up at SWE thinks it is important, and you should also know what types of wine they produce there, including the grape varieties and any tidbits about terroir or production methods that are noted in the text of the CSW Study Guide.  You should also know where the region is located in relation to other wine regions, as well as the rivers, mountain ranges, and cities that surround it.  If any specific geographical information is including in the text, you might need to know that as well!

Here are a few examples of what I mean:

New Zealand is located 1,200 miles east of Australia (page 208).

Napa County lies north of San Pablo Bay (page 185).

Chile is over 3,000 miles long and barely 100 miles wide (page 198).

These bits of information are what I call “factoids.”  Factoids are seemingly random pieces of information and can be baffling to study – if all you are trying to do is memorize them.  A factoid such as “New Zealand is located 1,200 miles east of Australia” seems trivial – unless you put it in context.  So please don’t try to just memorize random factoids.  You will get bored and shut down; you might as well try to memorize a series of non-sequential numbers.  More importantly:  The brain just isn’t good at it. 

What the brain is very good at doing, however, is learning meaning, context, and stories.  The New Zealand/Australia factoid makes perfect sense, and is pretty memorable, when put in context.  We could weave the factoid into a story such as:

“Many people studying for the CSW lump the wines of Australia and New Zealand together and call it something like “wines from down under.”  However, the two land masses are separated by 1,200 miles of ocean – they are about as close together as San Diego and Dallas. Australia and New Zealand have more distance between them than Tuscany and the Mosel.   

This means that the climates of Australia and New Zealand have little in common except the name of the nearest ocean.  Australia is hot and dry and only hospitable to grapes in certain regions along the coastlines or clustered around the Great Dividing Range.  New Zealand has a maritime climate, and is even cooler than one might imagine due to the fact that most of the country lies within 50 miles of the frigid South Pacific Ocean.

This huge distance also means that New Zealand is quite isolated, considering that Australia is its closest neighbor. To the south, there’s nothing but ice – Antarctica is the only continent south of New Zealand. Chile, its closest neighbor to the east, is over 5,000 miles away.   Seeing as how sheep outnumber people in New Zealand, this isolation makes for some interesting challenges, particularly when it comes to mobilizing a non-existent labor force for harvest.

That’s what you need to learn from the maps. Does it make sense? Sure does.  Is it a good story?  Hell yeah.  Will you remember it?  Just try not to.

 The Bubbly Professor is “Miss Jane” of Austin, Texas –

Bubbly Disclaimer:  This is my own personal advice and should not be considered as “official” advice from any school or organization. I hope the materials here on The Bubbly Prof help you out with your wine studies, and that you are successful in your certification endeavors.  Cheers!”

 

 

 

 

Lees ook:Interview Miles Mossop, Tokara Winery, Zuid Afrika
Lees ook:Investeren in wijn was in 2007 een top investering!
Lees ook:Schroefdop in de aanval
Lees ook:De schroefdop discussie
Lees ook:De toekomstige leiders voor Australische wijn

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