Global Wine is the Subject of Online Course From Calif. Wine School

San Francisco Wine School announces the debut of CSW Online, a brand new format for its much-lauded Certified Specialist of Wine credential preparation program.

San Francisco, Calif. — San Francisco Wine School announces the debut of CSW Online, a brand new format for its much-lauded Certified Specialist of Wine credential preparation program. Developed by San Francisco Wine School founder and Master Sommelier, David Glancy, to prepare students for the notoriously difficult Certified Specialist of Wine exam, the new CSW Online format allows students to balance work and study by attending classes on their own schedule. The program runs November 17 through February 1.

A visionary for wine education, San Francisco Wine School’s David Glancy understands the demands of Society of Wine Educators credentials better than most. He sits on the Board of Directors for the organization, and is one of only 12 Master Sommeliers in the world to have earned the title of Certified Wine Educator.   The Certified Specialist of Wine is an internationally recognized credential conferred by the Society of Wine Educators (SWE), which has branches around the globe. Earning the distinction of CSW demonstrates a student’s mastery of wines from the entire world, mastery which can help launch, or further, a career in wine. Passing the CSW exam is also a prerequisite for attempting SWE’s top credential, Certified Wine Educator.

“At first I was skeptical; I mean how you can learn about wine online?” wondered Tim Hilcove of, a student in the California Wine Appellation Specialist program, which was the San Francisco Wine School’s first online course. 

Students in CSW Online will join others around the world who share their singular goal. In an engaging and dynamic virtual classroom, they will tackle a new subject each week under the guidance of Glancy, complete weekly tasting assignments, and participate in animated, informative discussions with their peers. There are no set times to be online, and only mid-week and end-of-week due dates for assignments, discussions and practice quizzes. Exam preparedness is gauged every week.

“One of the things I really liked about the online class is that you get to interact with other students and bounce ideas off each other,” Hilcove noted. “Weighing other viewpoints and defending your own are great ways to learn more.”

In fact, says David Glancy, one of the most surprising things revealed in the first online program he taught is that students interacted online even more than students do in a classroom setting. “It is not uncommon for our online classes to arrange meet-ups after the program, too,” noted Glancy. They’ve travelled from all over to cement the valuable personal and professional connections they’d made during their shared experience.” 

Students in CSW Online will also view virtual lectures by Glancy, receive the official Society of Wine Educator's CSW Study Guide, and gain access to Society's Online Wine Academy. The program includes CSW exam registration fees (a $600 value) and students who achieve a passing exam score will be designated Certified Specialist of Wine and granted the use of the post-nominal, CSW. 

San Francisco Wine School tapped an online education veteran to help design effective curriculum and utilizes a leading-edge learning management technology used by more than 800 universities and colleges.

The robust nine-week CSW Online program covers:

  • Tasting, Chemistry & Flaws
  • Viticulture & Enology
  • Northern France
  • Southern France
  • Italy
  • Spain, Portugal & Eastern Mediterranean
  • Germany & the Rest of Europe
  • North America
  • Southern Hemisphere


  • Class runs November 17-February  1
  • Orientation is available online beginning November 10
  • CSW Exam may be taken until Nov 16, 2015 at Pearson Testing Centers worldwide
  • Program fee is $1095; biweekly installment plans are available


About San Francisco Wine School
At San Francisco Wine School, our mission is to breathe new energy into the world of wine education by teaching only the wine topics and credential programs that best prepare students for success, no matter what their career path. We strive to offer programs that are relevant to everyone, from students newly embarked on their discovery of wine, to advanced wine professionals already successfully established in the business.