Candidates who follow this in-depth curriculum on the wines of Spain and pass the exam, earn the Spanish Wine Scholar™ (SWS) post-nominal.
The exam is given in multiple-choice format. There are 100 questions covering all of the wine regions of Spain. Passing score is 75.
Candidates scoring 85-90 pass with HONORS. Candidates scoring 91-100 pass with HIGHEST HONORS.
Preparing for the exam:
In order to prepare properly for the SWS exam, you must read and study the SWS manual carefully. At first, it may seem a daunting body of knowledge to tackle…but we would like to give you a few tips.
What facts are important?
- Pay close attention to superlatives (biggest, smallest, highest, lowest, newest, oldest, youngest). Note the facts associated with words such as “first” and “last”. They make for good exam questions.
- Learn the Spanish wine terms and their English equivalents.
- Pay close attention to the passages citing “exceptions to the rule” throughout the text. They also make for good exam questions.
- Know your soils, geography, mountains and rivers.
- Know your grapes and their synonyms.
- Become conversant in Spain’s DOs and the primary grape(s) grown within their confines.
- If any particular DO is responsible for the bulk of the production in any given region, you should know all the particulars about it (minimum alcohol, maximum yield, blending formula etc.) But, no, you do not need to know this type of specific detail about lesser DOs.
- Know your history and the key individuals who have figured prominently in the development of wine culture of any given region.
- Study the specifics of wine production for white, pink, red, sparkling, late-harvest, and fortified wines.
- Know your sparkling wine label nomenclature (especially as it pertains to Cava) and the terms used to qualify the various styles of Sherry.
- Study your maps. You need to know where the wine regions and their Dos are located.
Scheduling your exam:
Don't feel ready? know that you have the possibility to extend your enrollment for another year for a nominal fee from HERE
Recognizing the exceptional depth and accuracy of the program, Wines from Spain (ICEX - Spain's Trade & Investment Government Agency) has endorsed the program.