Monday, January 23, 2017

C.S.W. Like Me


I’m a C.S.W. There, I’ve said it. Certified Specialist of Wine. I am a member of a group that represents the most knowledgeable among us when it comes to wine. This isn’t bragging, mind you, this is simple fact. I took a test. My answers were found to be correct no less than 75% of the time. I have letters after my name now, and the great responsibility that comes with them. Let me repeat, 75% of the time I selected the proper answer to a question about wine given four answers to choose from. Knowledge is power. And I’m running at a guaranteed 75%. I’m a wine specialist. Certified.

Every now and then, a strange voice will appear in my head and I begin to write down what it has to say. Which is often not a good idea. I have always been offended by those who pass a silly test and then append letters to their names. It's unimportant, and probably says more about me than it does about them, but, nevertheless, it annoys me. Which is a good enough reason for all of you to keep doing it. 

The rest of this piece is over at Wine Advocate's Wine Journal. There isn't a comments section there, but feel free to read it, return here, and then tell me what a jerk I am for making fun of the folks who spend a lot of money to prove they know almost nothing about wine. I don't mind.

WINE JOURNAL

10 comments:

Dean Tudor said...

Ron, congratulations...I had already given you the honorific (in Canada, honourific) of M.W.W., so now you have two pieces of ID after your name. Just add a photo and you are away -- up in the air...

Just a reminder that my university gave you the Hono(u)rary Degree of Master of Wine Writing some time ago, over the Gnat affair (cherchez la femme, or is that Churchy Laphlegm). I already had the MWW, and had recommended you for the award.

Seriously, these are NOT alternative facts or variation on fake news, false news, or post-truths.

Dean Tudor said...

Love you madly

Shott Maker said...

I am a Certified Sipper of Wine.
I know because I invented the title.
Now I'll be known as Baba Montana, C S W.

mark rader said...

Hey, Ron: congratulations...I guess...maybe. I dunno. Well, that's one more...molehill you've...muddled past...

Aren't you glad to have friends like me?

edwin Sokoloff said...

I too am a CSW and damned proud of this designation.
If Dean Tudor and his University, ( which my daughter graduated from ) bestows the MWW ala laphlegm, upon you, wear it with pride and add it to your signature.

Dean Tudor said...

Eddie My Love -- love you madly too...

gbgolfer71 said...

Wasn't the CSW one of majors offered by Trump University?

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Common Taters,
I don't have a CSW. Or a WSET. Or MS or MW. I'm the only HMW, of course, but that's also an imaginary title. And, apparently, I have an MWW, according to Dean, who is himself a DRS--a Dubious Reliable Source.

I was struggling with what to write, and I just started typing this piece. Originally, I was going to open with a little parody of Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man." I didn't. Instead, I just channeled this odd voice of young woman who had passed her CSW exam. The piece isn't very focused. I think I was trying to express my wonderment at folks who find letters after their name fulfilling, especially when the letters are about wine knowledge. Very few things could be more trivial.

Passing a test doesn't make you an expert at anything except passing tests. It's so precious that those with a CSW after their names think it impresses people. It doesn't, it won't, it never has. Take the test, by all means, study and learn. Just leave the initials on your dresser next to the cute little lapel pins.

David Larsen said...

Your post will make another good chapter in a collection of Hosemaster stories destined to be published someday.

Rocky Volcanics said...

Love this. I feel so much smarter for not having any letters after my name. Although MW would earn me more money per word, and III would mean I come from money.