The Business of Wine


    General Information

    Professor Information

    Professor Photo
    Terry Lease
    By Appointment (but please use Canvas for class-related messages)

    Course Description And Purpose

    Overview of the wine business including: importers, wholesalers, growing grapes, making wine, retailing in supermarkets, restaurants, and liquor stores, analytical tastings, matching wine and food.

    Course Objectives

    • To learn in general how the wine business works
    • To develop your palate through analytical tasting*
    • To learn how wines are made
    • To be exposed to the different areas of the wine business
    • To learn from top experts in the wine field

    *Tasting is not required

    Important Information


    Please review the FIU's Policies webpage. The policies webpage contains essential information regarding guidelines relevant to all courses at FIU, as well as additional information about acceptable netiquette for online courses.

    As a member of the FIU community you are expected to be knowledgeable about the behavioral expectations set forth in the FIU Student Code of Conduct.

    Technical Requirements and Skills

    One of the greatest barriers to taking an online course is a lack of basic computer literacy. By computer literacy we mean being able to manage and organize computer files efficiently, and learning to use your computer's operating system and software quickly and easily. Keep in mind that this is not a computer literacy course; but students enrolled in online courses are expected to have moderate proficiency using a computer. Please go to the "What's Required" webpage to find out more information on this subject.

    Please visit our Technical Requirements webpage for additional information.

    Panthers Care & Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)

    If you are looking for help for yourself or a fellow classmate, Panthers Care encourages you to express any concerns you may come across as it relates to any personal behavior concerns or worries you have, for the classmate’s well-being or yours; you are encouraged to share your concerns with FIU’s Panthers Care website.

    Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) offers free and confidential help for anxiety, depression, stress, and other concerns that life brings. Professional counselors are available for same-day appointments. Don’t wait to call 305-348-2277 to set up a time to talk or visit the online self-help portal.

    Course Prerequisites

    There are no prerequisites for this course.

    * Tasting is optional (for students of legal drinking age)

    Accessibility and Accommodation

    The Disability Resource Center collaborates with students, faculty, staff, and community members to create diverse learning environments that are usable, equitable, inclusive and sustainable. The DRC provides FIU students with disabilities the necessary support to successfully complete their education and participate in activities available to all students. If you have a diagnosed disability and plan to utilize academic accommodations, please contact the Center at 305-348-3532 or visit them at the Graham Center GC 190.

    Please visit our ADA Compliance webpage for information about accessibility involving the tools used in this course.

    Please visit the Canvas Accessibility webpage for more information:

    For additional assistance please contact FIU's Disability Resource Center.

    Academic Misconduct Statement

    Florida International University is a community dedicated to generating and imparting knowledge through excellent teaching and research, the rigorous and respectful exchange of ideas and community service. All students should respect the right of others to have an equitable opportunity to learn and honestly to demonstrate the quality of their learning. Therefore, all students are expected to adhere to a standard of academic conduct, which demonstrates respect for themselves, their fellow students, and the educational mission of the University. All students are deemed by the University to understand that if they are found responsible for academic misconduct, they will be subject to the Academic Misconduct procedures and sanctions, as outlined in the Student Handbook.

    Academic Misconduct includes: Cheating – The unauthorized use of books, notes, aids, electronic sources; or assistance from another person with respect to examinations, course assignments, field service reports, class recitations; or the unauthorized possession of examination papers or course materials, whether originally authorized or not. Plagiarism – The use and appropriation of another’s work without any indication of the source and the representation of such work as the student’s own. Any student who fails to give credit for ideas, expressions or materials taken from another source, including internet sources, is responsible for plagiarism.

    Learn more about the academic integrity policies and procedures as well as student resources that can help you prepare for a successful semester.


    No textbook is required, but you will need access to a variety of instructional materials.  Please see the “Instructional Materials” module in Canvas for more details and suggestions.

    Expectations of this Course

    This is an online course, which means most (if not all) of the course work will be conducted online. Expectations for performance in an online course are the same for a traditional course. In fact, online courses require a degree of self-motivation, self-discipline, and technology skills which can make these courses more demanding for some students.

    Course Detail

    Course Communication

    Communication in this course will take place within Canvas. See the Canvas Guide on communicating with course users for more information.

    Discussion Forums

    Each week by noon (EDT) on Monday, I will post a news article (or link to it) along with a few questions or prompts to provide some guidance to get the discussion started. (You are not limited to using these prompts. You may have a completely different take on the article or question about it; feel free to pursue that line of thought.)

    Your task is to advance the discussion. To advance the discussion you need to add insightful analysis (which may involve asking questions as well as making declarative statements) or provide additional interesting, relevant data/information (or both). You may advance the discussion by starting a new thread in the discussion, or you could respond to an ongoing thread.

    What does not advance the discussion? Merely agreeing (or disagreeing) with a post without adding more does not advance the discussion. Saying that you think something is interesting, by itself, does not advance the discussion. Starting a new thread that is essentially the same as an ongoing thread does not advance the discussion. Read prior posts before add something so that you are not saying something that has already been said (and not adding anything new).

    What does it take to “pass” a given discussion board? On this question, I follow Supreme Court precedent: I know it when I see it (Jacobellis v. Ohio, 378 U.S. 184 (1964)). You may do enough by posting something that starts a highly interesting discussion. You may ask a brilliant and insightful question. You may contribute some key information. You may have three or four posts that each advance the discussion a little bit and cumulatively are enough to pass. Quantity alone will not do it. If your post is climbing above 200 words (for reference, the answer to the previous question was about 70 words), you need to assess whether your message is coherent and concise. You also begin to risk that other students will skip over your posting. Having students reply to your post is not required in order for you to pass, but having students add to your post would strongly suggest that you have advanced the discussion.

    Your discussion board posts give you an opportunity to demonstrate your written communication skills and your critical thinking and/or analytical skills. Please consider both factors when drafting your post. A bad showing on either may result in you not passing a discussion board.

    How long do you have to post to a board? For each discussion board opened on Monday, you will have until the end of the day (EDT) on the following Sunday. Some weeks I may open a second discussion board during the middle of the week, and I will leave those open until the end of the seventh day (e.g. if posted on Thursday, until the end of the following Wednesday).


    Module Quizzes: Each module will have a quiz. You need to score at least 80% on the quiz to pass it. If you do not pass it, you will be able to repeat the quiz.

    The purpose of the quiz is to see if you have developed a good set of information resources, know how to use it appropriately, have spent some time exploring that area of the course, and can make logical inferences from the information or connections between different pieces of information. Each week’s module notes should guide you in your exploration of the material to be tested.  If you wait until the test to begin that exploration, however, you are likely to experience extreme time pressure during the test. If you do not pass the quiz and repeat it, you will often have different questions (or sets of responses) when you repeat the quiz.

    In order to mitigate any issues with your computer and online assessments, it is very important that you take the "Practice Quiz" from each computer you will be using to take your graded quizzes and exams. It is your responsibility to make sure your computer meets the minimum hardware requirements.

    Assessments in this course are not compatible with mobile devices and should not be taken through a mobile phone or a tablet. If you need further assistance please contact FIU Online Support Services.

    Online Resources

    Although I suggest that you have at least one reference book (see the “Instructional Materials” module in Canvas), you will also need to identify a set of online resources to supplement the book(s).  The “Instructional Materials” module in Canvas has a list of websites that you may decide you want to use to begin building your set of resources.


    For each assignment, you will receive credit or not—essentially a pass/fail score. Whether you pass a module quiz with 80% or 100% is irrelevant. Failing a module quiz with 60% is no different from failing with 10%.

    I do not intend to give “D” grades in this course this semester. To receive a grade of C (and thus pass the class) you need to pass all of the required modules. To earn a higher grade, you need to pass more modules. See the Grade module in Canvas for more details.


    Course Calendar

    Weekly Schedule

    See the WEEKLY SCHEDULE in Canvas