Next SWEbinar: Monday, March 17!

SWEbinar CliffsideMarch 2014 SWEbinars

Each month, our own Director of Education, “Miss Jane” Nickles, will be leading a webinar on “How to Pass the CSW.”  Over the course of 2014, she’ll be covering the entire Study Guide, as well as handing out study tips, providing the “tales of the vine” behind the famous wines, and taking your comments and questions.

The second set of installments in our CSW Review Series SWEbinars is scheduled for March, 2014.

These identical sessions will cover grape varieties and viticulture – chapters 3 and 4 in the CSW Study Guide.

These sessions will be first come, first served, and each has a capacity of 100 attendees.  Suggested drink-along beverages:  Gavi di Gavi,  Pink Champagne on Ice, or Espresso.

Logon Instructions:  At the appointed time, just click on the link.  When the SWE Adobe Connect homepage appears, click on “enter as a guest,” type in your name, and click “enter room.”  Remember that each session is limited to 100 attendees, and that several of our past sessions have reached capacity.  We are hoping to avoid this issue in the future by offering each SWEbinar a minimum of three times, but its still a good idea to log on early!

If you have never attended an Adobe Connect event before, it is also a good idea to test your connection ahead of time.

Invitations will go out via email to the SWE Membership at the beginning of each month, but you can keep up with the schedule and access the webinar home site here at this page.

Click here for the 2014 SWEbinar Calendar

If you have any questions, please contact Jane Nickles:  jnickles@societyofwineeducators.org

 

CSW Workbook Preview!

CSW Wine Map Exercise - ItalyWith a pending publication date of March 1, 2014…we are putting the finishing touches on our new CSW Workbook!!  This comprehensive study tool will feature 29 map exercises and over 150 pages worth of materials designed to help the serious student master the copious amount of information contained in the new CSW Study Guide. (It should be fun, as well!)

As a preview of coming atractions, we offer you this sample Wine Map Exercise covering the main cities and wine regions of Italy.  Click the links below the picture to download a pdf of both the map exercise and the answer key.

Stay tuned to Wine, Wit, and Wisdom for updates and more information on the soon-to-be-released workbook!  Good luck with your studies!

Click here to download a copy of the CSW Wine Map Exercise – Italy

Click here to download a copy of the Answer Key – CSW Wine Map Exercise – Italy

Click here to return to the SWE Website.

Post authored by Jane A. Nickles, CWE – your SWE Blog Administrator – jnickles@societyofwineeducators.org

 

Is that Kona in your Coffee?

Hawaii Big IslandCoffee was first introduced to Hawaii in about 1813, via an ornamental coffee tree brought to Honolulu by Don Francisco de Paula y Marin, the Spanish physician to King Kamehameha the Great.  Soon, it became an agricultural mainstay of the islands, along with sugar cane and pineapple.

However, several circumstances combined to reduce the amount of coffee grown on the Hawaiian Islands, including the coffee blight of 1858, the result of an insect infestation; the world coffee crash in 1899, and the labor-intensity of coffee agriculture.

Of the small amount of land growing coffee in Hawaii today, the most famous region is Kona.  Located on the western slopes of the Big Island of Hawaii, the Kona district contains the heart of Hawaii’s “coffee belt,” which is about two miles wide and at the highest point measures 2,000 feet in elevation.  The area has a microclimate ideally suited to growing coffee, in part because the prominent volcanoes provide rich soil and help block the rains that fall prominently on the eastern side of the island.  The small size of the growing area and the high quality beans it produces contribute to a high price and a high demand.

Coffee on TreeThere are two types of Kona coffee, each with several grades.  Grades are determined by size, density, moisture content, and defects.  Type I grades are Extra-Fancy, Fancy, Kona #1, and Prime.  The grades for Type II are Kona #1 Peaberry and Kona Peaberry Prime.  The term “peaberry” refers to the shape of the bean.  Normally the fruit of the coffee plant contains two beans that develop with flattened facing sides, however, if only one of the two seeds is fertilized, the single seed develops into an oval (or pea-shaped) bean.  Kona is, along with Tanzanian Coffee, one of the two main types of coffee associated with peaberry beans.

These grades originated in the 1980s, when the word Kona was used on a wide variety of products.  In order to protect the region of origin and control the quality of the product, the Hawaii Department of Agricultural created the grades and required inspection of beans, proof of geographic region of origin, and proper labeling of its coffee.

Coffee labeled as Kona must be completely from the Kona District and include the identifier “100% Kona Coffee,” a phrase trademarked by the Hawaiian Department of Agriculture in 2000.  Kona Blends are allowed and may be a combination of Kona and beans from other regions, but must contain at least 10% Kona beans with the percentage of Kona beans clearly displayed.

As with other coffee regions, the producers and the state have had to be very protective over the Kona name and label, as some third-party companies were found to be labeling Central American coffee as Kona.  These mislabeled beans made it to coffee-store chains such as Starbucks and Peet’s, who upon learning of the issue contributed to a settlement and agreed to buy future beans directly from Kona farmers.

If this story sounds similar to those you have heard regarding wine, brandies, types of cheese and other agricultural products, you are correct!

If you would like to learn more about coffee, you may be interested in SWE’s Beverage Specialist Certificate program, which in addition to coffee, includes information on wine, beer, spirits, sake, tea, bottled water, and ready-to-drink beverages.

 

Click here to return to the SWE Website.

Post authored by Ben Coffelt  – bcoffelt@societyofwineeducators.org

Cash and Prizes: Recap Quiz for December 2013

Wine Tasting Red Wine Glass Happy New Year from SWE!!!

To celebrate the new year, we are offering a special prize for this month’s recap quiz….a FREE sitting of the CSW or CSS Exam, including a Study Guide.

Questions for the recap quiz come exclusively from the educational material posted to Wine, Wit, and Wisdom for the month. This month’s quiz has 10 questions that cover the topics and information included in our posts for the month of December 2013.

To refresh your memory, our posts for the month of December were:

  • Wine Book Review – “The Nose” by James Conaway (December 5)
  • The Legacy of Peter Jahant (December 8)
  • The Egg Nog Riots of 1826 (December 10)
  • Coda di Volpe – The Tail of the Fox (December 14)
  • The Ice Wine Fiasco of 2011 (December 19)
  • Cheers to the Kir Royale! (December 24)
  • U.S. Distillery License #1 (December 28)

scantronEveryone who takes and passes the quiz with 100% of the questions correct by January 10, 2014 (midnight CST) will have their names put into a drawing for the prize! You can take the quiz over and over again if you like…it’s all about the education!

The winner will be notified via email on January 11.

Click here for a link to the quiz.

If you have any questions, contact us at:  jnickles@societyofwineeducators.org .

Update:  Congratualtions to Denise H. of Nashville, Tennessee who won our Recap Quiz Contest for December!  Denise is new to the study of wine, but is going to take the CSW Exam in June!! Good luck, and congrats!

Click here to return to the SWE Website.