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The next time you stroll into Bottles Beverage Superstore Mount Pleasant, seek out a staff member for wine advice before snagging your usual bottle of cabernet sauvignon or pinot noir.

After several employees studied vino with the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), Bottles Mount Pleasant and Bottles Columbia have earned its WSET Level 2 certification.

So, what exactly does that mean? The WSET “provides best-in-class education and qualifications to inspire and empower the world’s wine and spirits professionals and enthusiasts,” according to its website. The not-for-profit organization offers four levels of qualifications in the wine category. The Level 2 certification “is a beginner- to intermediate-level qualification exploring wines, suitable for industry professionals and wine enthusiasts.”

“It’s more geared toward the retail side of things versus the restaurants,” said Bottles co-owner Mike van Beyrer. “We’re really the only retailer that I can think of in the state that has their staff at this level.” 

In order to earn the certification, eight employees from both Bottles stores participated in 28 hours of Level 2 course work involving studying and tasting wine. According to the WSET website, Level 2 participants gain “knowledge of the principal and regionally important grape varieties of the world, the regions in which they are grown and the styles of wine they produce.”

Bottles has locations in Mount Pleasant, Summerville and Columbia. For more information, visit