Which Way to Wine Education?

Which Way to Wine EducationStudying wine is endless. It is a rabbit hole with no end. Many people assume that passing the Master Sommelier (MS) or Master of Wine (MW) exam is the end of the journey. Once I passed the MS I gained the freedom to decide WHAT I wanted to study about wine, but never slowed down. I am addicted to wine education and hope that my passion (obsession) is adopted by my students, as well. In my many years preparing for the MS I took every class, read every book, tasted every wine and traveled to every region that I could find the time and money for.  One of the stops on my education journey was the Society of Wine Educators (SWE) annual conference and later their Certified Wine Educator (CWE) exam.  I passed this exam halfway between attempts at the Master Sommelier exam and this pit stop was a critical piece to my success. Another tune up on the road to success was an invitation only multi-day seminar put on by the Napa Valley Vintners called Master Napa Valley. I also took classes at UC Davis Extension and gained immense support and knowledge from my colleagues in the three tasting/study groups I joined.  Some of my study partners took Wine Spirit Education Trust (WSET) classes in pursuit of their MS or MW and found them to be very helpful. The best educational/credentialing organizations should not view each other as competitors. The best students will cross pollinate between each and every respectable program.

Which Way to Wine EducationI am such a fan of the SWE Conference that in my 13 years as a member I have gone to 9 of their conferences and presented seminars at many of them. I am not alone as this year’s conference line-up of presenters includes 6 Masters of Wine (MW) and 6 Master Sommeliers (MS). Hundreds of people will attend from every corner of the United States plus Canada, the Caribbean, China and Japan. Any full conference attendee will be able to attend at least 14 seminars out of the 60 offered this year plus Dine Arounds, Receptions, Pop Up Tastings, Bonus Sessions, SWE’s 3 exams: CSW, CSS and CWE and the final evening’s silent auction and gala. I think this annual event is the best way to have a condensed education update about a vast array of topics in a short time.

Which Way to Wine Education 3This year’s conference is in Orlando, Florida July 29-August 2. Fortunately there will be plenty of air conditioning. I am presenting two sessions: “Chateauneuf-du Pape & Tavel in Red, White & Pink” and “Master Level Wine Service” which I am co-presenting with fellow Master Sommelier Andrew McNamara. I am very excited to hear sessions that are new to conference this year such as: Alsace Update by Eric Hemer, MS; Asian Market for Wine by Charles Curtis, MW; The Modern Waiter by Chef Charlie Palmer; 5 Bad Teaching Habits to Break by author/consultant Marnie Old; Matching Wine and Food-The Salt Paradox by author David Rosengarten; Artisan Wines vs Big Brands by Antony Moss, MW & Adam Chase, DWS; Chardonnay’s Ability to Age by Geoff Labitzke, MW; and Eating with Lambrusco by Alfonso Cevola, CSW. I will also check out a very popular session that I missed last year by Tim Gaiser, MS called Tasting Strategies of Genius. There are so many other great topics and great speakers that I will surely ask people to collect handouts and notes for sessions that I cannot attend. I will get to Orlando early and soak up every bit of tasting, education, networking and fun that this year has to offer.  Click here to register soon as some sessions fill up quickly.

What year, location or seminar was your favorite SWE Conference? What sessions are you looking forward to in Orlando? Are there any other wine conferences or education programs that are among your favorites?

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By David Glancy | | Blog, conferences, David Glancy, events, Orlando, seminars, Society of Wine Educators, SWE |
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San Francisco Wine School strives to open up the world of wine to serious students and enthusiasts everywhere while helping people of all levels break into the wine industry, advance their career, or simply pursue their passions. Founded by Master Sommelier and Certified Wine Educator David Glancy, San Francisco Wine School is the largest wine school in the U.S., offering the most thoughtful approach to wine study. Their inspired educational programs and workshops are taught in their state of the art wine education & events center and their cutting edge virtual classroom by industry-leading instructors from all major educational disciplines. San Francisco Wine School’s curriculum features the best content in the business: expert course materials, carefully conceived wine flights, and in-depth blind tasting exercises designed to engage students, illuminate course content and enhance learning. Their brand new sunlight-filled wine education & events center is conveniently located just 5 minutes from San Francisco International Airport and boasts 16-ft high coved ceilings, eight 12-ft tall arched windows, and gorgeous 180 degree views of the San Bruno Mountains, South San Francisco City Hall and the San Francisco Bay, making it the perfect place to enjoy classes, industry seminars and tastings and host a wide variety of private events—from serious educational programs for wine/hospitality industry staff to team-building and other fun, social, private events for wine enthusiasts.

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