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Course Descriptions – CSW Prep Course & Exam

Course taught by Shelby Ledgerwood, CWE of Savant Wines:



This is a six week, advanced level course (21 hours), based exclusively on the The Society of Wine Educators CSW Study Guide and Lesson Plans.  This is not an introductory course.  Class topics include: the major wine-producing regions of the world, viticulture, grape varieties, the composition of wine, wine production and tasting technique.  Each class meeting includes a structured wine tasting along with instruction on core grape varieties, as presented in the CSW Study Guide. The objective of this course is to thoroughly review the CSW Study Guide and prepare students for taking the CSW Exam.


Location: this course has been discontinued, please see our other courses offered at UCLA Extension
6 meetings, 1 night per week, 6:15 – 9:45 pm
When Offered
: typically in the Winter and Summer quarters only
Exam: 3-4 exam date options
Course Materials: Course materials ship out 4 weeks prior to course start date
Register-by-mail/Pay-by-check: See information below


Class Meetings: TBD

  • Course material delivered via PowerPoint presentation
  • Wine tasting and instruction, 6 wines per meeting
  • Access to private online course folders with additional resources for exam preparation

Course Materials & Exam: TBD

  • Society of Wine Educators CSW Study Guide: 200+page reference manual
  • Society of Wine Educators CSW Lesson Plans: 100+page exercise workbook
  • Course Guide: course lecture outlines with key terms
  • Society of Wine Educators CSW Exam: 100 questions, multiple choice

Exam Administration Fee: TBD
Total: TBD

* Course fees do not include membership to the Society of Wine Educators.
Please see The Society of Wine Educators website for more information.



Shelby Ledgerwood, CWE, is the owner of Savant Wines – a wine education and consulting company based in Southern California.  She has worked in the food and wine industries for over 20 years, where she regularly conducts wine education seminars for luxury hotels, restaurants, retailers and wine distribution companies.  Shelby is a senior instructor in the Wine Education and Management Program at UCLA Extension and a former Academic Instructor of wine at The California School of Culinary Arts (Le Cordon Bleu).  Shelby Ledgerwood is a Certified Wine Educator (CWE) with the Society of Wine Educators and wrote her first exams for the Master of Wine in 2008.  She holds credentials from numerous wine organizations such as: The Court of Master Sommeliers, The Wine and Spirits Education Trust, The Wine Academy of Spain, L’Ecole du Vin de Bordeaux and L’Ecole du Vin de Bourgogne.


This course is given by Savant Wines and is not affiliated with the Society of Wine Educators or UCLA Extension.  CSW Exam topics are the heart of this course – however, to the best of the instructor’s knowledge, no exam questions will be directly discussed.



The Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) wine certification is earned by passing the Society of Wine Educator’s CSW Exam.  The exam comprises of 100 multiple-choice questions that come exclusively from the CSW Study Guide.  The CSW certification is a well-respected achievement in the wine industry – thus, it requires dedication, commitment and significant effort on the part of the student to earn a passing grade.  While every effort will be made to clearly explain the concepts and information in the CSW Study Guide, there is no guarantee that students of this course will pass the CSW Exam.  Please visit the The Society of Wine Educators  for more information about the CSW Exam.


This course has limited seats and is only offered two times per year.  This is not an introductory wine course.  Students should have a solid base of wine knowledge prior to registering for this course.  Aside from class meetings, students should plan to spend 5-10 hours per week reviewing course materials.  To best prepare for the exam, students should be completely familiar with the course materials PRIOR to the course start-date.  Course Materials ship out to students approximately 1 month prior to course start date.  Once you have chosen your exam date, I recommend that examinees plan to spend 15-20 hours per week for 10 weeks preparing for the CSW Exam.  The actual amount of time needed, will depend on each student’s base of wine knowledge.  According to the Society of Wine Educators, most students spend 6 months preparing to take this exam and the current pass rate for first-time examinees is 58%.



The Course Materials are non-refundable once they have shipped to the student.  The remaining Course Fees are refundable up until 21 days prior to course start-date, minus cancellation fee.  Cancellation requests must be received in writing, 21 days prior to the course start-date.  There are no refunds when there are less than 21 days prior to the course start-date.  However, your Course Fees are FULLY transferable to another person for the same course.  As well, if you miss a class meeting, you are welcome to make it up the next time the course is offered.  If Savant Wines cancels the course, all Course Fees will be refunded, minus cost of the Course Materials (if they have been shipped out to the student.)


Please download the form to register by mail and pay by check.  If you wish to receive your Course Materials earlier than the dates noted above, you must register by mail and pay by check.  Registration for the course is limited; please notify us by email if you intend to register by mail.  Payment made by personal check must arrive no later than 2 weeks prior to course start-date.



The Society of Wine Educators (SWE) is a national organization dedicated to advancing wine education in the USA.  They offer two exams for Wine Certification and one exam for Spirits Certification.  Certification from the Society of Wine Educators is widely recognized and respected within the wine industry throughout the USA.

Savant Wines works with the Society of Wine Educators to offer their Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) Exam in Los Angeles several times a year.  If you are interested in registering for the public EXAM ONLY and not the CSW Prep Course & Exam – please contact The Society of Wine Educators .   Exam seats typically fill up 3 months prior to the exam date.