If you’re the typical oenophile, you’ve toured wineries, done wine tastings, and bought books on how to shop for and drink wine. In fact, one of the books you may have purchased was “Wine For Dummies,” by Mary Ewing-Mulligan and her husband, Ed McCarthy.
But if your passion for the grape runs beyond that basic level — if you’ve considered pursuing a career in wine — then you’ll want to know about author Ewing-Mulligan’s day job. She is president of the International Wine Center (IWC), in New York, which was recently licensed by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) as a Private Career School.
Begun in 1982, IWC has helped many thousands of wine professionals and wine lovers increase their wine knowledge. In 1994, the Center became the first organization in the U.S. to offer the programs of the prestigious Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET®) and in 2003, IWC became the U.S. Headquarters of that organization. Now, as a fully functioning professional school, IWC seeks to promote independent-minded wine study and responsible enjoyment, devoid of promotional interest.
The Center’s wine and spirits courses are still open to any students interested in serious and challenging study, but are now newly recognized as professional training for individuals in the wine and spirits trade, or those wishing to enter that sector.
Four levels of study are currently available at IWC. The courses are a progression, beginning with WSET Level 1 – Foundation, an introductory course to wine. WSET Level 2 – Intermediate, includes both a wine course and a spirits program. Level 3 – Advanced and Level 4 – Diploma follow; the three upper levels cover the entire world of wine including viticulture, vinification, and appellation labeling laws, as well as wine-tasting technique and in several cases, spirits training.
According to Ewing-Mulligan, who also happens to be the first woman in North America to earn the title Master of Wine:
At IWC, we strive to prepare aspiring industry professionals for any eventual employment opportunity. Our courses provide a vitally necessary world view, with each course level covering more depth than the previous one. Our graduates leave IWC with a thorough knowledge base of all the world’s major wine and spirits types and wine and spirits regions — along with internationally-recognized wine and spirits credentials.
For more information about enrollment and courses, visit the IWC’s website at www.internationalwinecenter.com.
International Wine Center is located at 350 Seventh Avenue, (212) 239-3055.