Pamela Wood is now a Certified Specialist of Wine
January 8, 2016
Last month, Park City Wine Club President Pamela Wood became a Certified Specialist of Wine.
Already a certified wine sommelier, Wood said the CSW is the next step to following her dream.
"I think there are only four or five of us in Utah and it’s a globally recognized prerequisite to becoming a certified wine educator," she told The Park Record. "It’s also recognized by the American Culinary Federation and it’s only administered by the Society of Wine Educators."
Wood took the test Dec. 18 in a testing center in Salt Lake City.
The test is timed and runs one hour and 10 minutes and there is only a 45 percent pass rate for first-time testers, she said.
"There are 100 questions and they are all multiple choice," Wood said. "Quite honestly, I looked at the first four that came up and said, ‘Oh, my God. I have to guess,’ because they were about Hungary and Austria, areas that I didn’t study as much as I should have."
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To prepare for the exam, Wood started a 12-week online course on May 5.
"You have up to one year to finish the course and pass the exam," she said. "I have been studying ever since and must have at least 750 flash cards with wine facts on them."
Becoming a CSW requires a different knowledge of wine than it does to becoming a level-one certified sommelier.
"A sommelier needs to have a great deal of knowledge of wine, grape variety, food pairing and service," Wood explained. "CSW delves into the whole world of wine, including wine chemistry, wine faults and wine laws in every single country and the test results break down each area."
Wood scored 100 percent in chemistry, grape variety and viniculture as well as the questions about South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.
"When I finished the exam and saw my results, I gave the woman, a complete stranger who was giving the test, a big hug," Wood said. "Now I can proceed to become a certified wine educator, which is recognized globally. So, no matter where I go, wherever life takes me, I can always teach wine."
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