The SOMM Journal

February / March 2016

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14 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } FEBRUARY/MARCH 2016 { notebook } Wine and Spirits Education Trust (WSET) To date, 887 Southern team members have received the award—far more than any other wine and spirits distributor in the U.S. In addition, 33 team members have attained Levels 3 and 4 Awards in Wine and Spirits to date. WSET Saké Pilot Program Beginning in 2014, Southern has collaborated with the WSET to develop a new advanced training and certification program for saké. The pilot programs in SWS of Florida and SWS of New York resulted in 11 passes—these personnel now hold the Level 3 Award in Saké. Two went on to become Level 3 WSET Certified Saké Educators and are now able to conduct WSET courses on their own. These individuals are Eric Hemer and Luis De Santos, both Master Sommeliers as well. To date, 19 Southern team members now hold the Level 3 Award in Saké. Court of Master Sommeliers: Introductory Course To date, more than 1,000 Southern team members nationwide have passed the CMS Introductory Course and Exam, a fast-paced, two-day review of the world of wine, spirits, related beverages, res- taurant sales and service and the art of blind tasting. Southern has an arrangement with the CMS to run this course as an in-house program. One hundred ninety-three new California and Florida team members successfully completed the Introductory Course this year. Overall, Southern had a 95 percent pass rate, well above the 90 percent average for all CMS Introductory Courses nationwide. Court of Master Sommeliers: Certified Sommelier Exam This is Level Two of the four level CMS examinations. The one day examination consists of two wine blind tastings, a challenging written examination and a service examination in which can- didates perform the various tasks of the sommelier tableside in front of judges while answering questions on food and wine pairing, wine and spirits producers, cocktail recipes, to name a few. To date, 117 team members have achieved this certification. In addition to Levels One and Two, SWS is proud to employ more than 20 individuals who have passed Level Three, the Advanced Sommelier Exam, and Level Four, the Master Sommelier exam. SWS now has 11 Master Sommeliers around the country, more than any other wholesale distributor in America. Society of Wine Educators (SWE): Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW), Certified Wine Educator (CWE) and Certified Specialist of Spirits (CSS) Southern has been working with the SWE longer than any other wine certification organization and has many hundreds of individuals that have passed the CSW over the years. In addition, 16 team members around the country have passed the SWE's highest level of wine certification, the CWE exam. The Society now also offers an exclusive spirits certification, the Certified Specialist of Spirits (CSS.) To date, 117 SWS team members have this certification. SOUTHERN WINE & SPIRITS' EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS AND NEW CERTIFICATIONS SHOW COMMITMENT TO EMPLOYEE DEVELOPMENT Southern Wine & Spirits team members taking the two-day CMS Introductory Course and Exam in Southern California on July 25, 2015. Learning Curve Late last year, Master of Wine and Master Sommelier Eric Hemer, Senior Vice President, Wine Education for Southern Wine & Spirits of America, Inc., was able to announce more than 2,500 successful completions of wine, saké and spirits educational programs by the company's employees to date, from introductory to master-level achieve- ment. Among the proud accomplishments: PHOTO: COURTESY OF SWS C M Y CM MY CY CMY K

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