Wine Technology, Merchandising, and Marketing


    General Information

    Professor Information

    Professor Photo
    Clark Smith
    Conference Calls
    Tuesday and Thursday by appointment (712) 432-1630
    Access Code 125587#
    (707) 237-7000
    (206) 984-0353
    Canvas Inbox

    Course Description And Purpose

    Introduction to wine appreciation and management.

    Course Objectives

    Students will be able to:

    • Learn as a buyer or manager the economics of buying and selling wine.
    • Learn how to taste and evaluate wines.
    • Learn about the wines of the great vineyard area of the world.
    • Learn the proper way of storing, serving, and merchandising in a restaurant or dining facility.

    Important Information


    Please review the policies page as it contains essential information regarding guidelines relevant to all courses at FIU and additional information on the standards for acceptable netiquette important for online courses.

    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" page to find out more information on this subject.

    Please visit our technical requirements page for additional information.

    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.

    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.

    Course Prerequisites

    Students must be at least 21 years of age to register for this course. 

    For more information about prerequisites, click here.

    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.


    Textbook Image
    About Wine
    J.Patrick Henderson, Dellie Rex
    Cengage Learning, 2nd Edition, 2011
    ISBN 10: 1439056501
    ISBN 13: 978-1439056509
    Click here to buy your textbook online at the FIU Bookstore.

    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 via Inbox.

    Inbox are a private and secure text-based communication that occurs within Canvas. Users must log on to Canvas to send/receive/read messages. It is recommended that students check their Inbox routinely to ensure up-to-date communication.

    Do not use email for course matters. E-mail (emergencies and matters outside the course):

    Discussion Forums

    Keep in mind that your discussion forum postings will likely be seen by other members of the course. Care should be taken when determining what to post.


    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.

    All assessments will auto-submit when (1) the timer runs out OR (2) the closing date/time is reached, whichever happens first. For example, if a quiz has a closing time of 5:00 pm but the student begins the exam at 4:55 pm, the student will only have 5 minutes to complete the quiz.

    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.


    The course consists of weekly online modules, each containing a reading assignment from the text, an online MP3 podcast lecture, and assorted videos and links to view.

    Participation in the weekly blog is mandatory. Each module has a short quiz worth 2.5% of the grade.

    Four wine tasting training sessions will be scheduled in which students will taste wine together with Professor Smith in a webinar format (using Adobe Connect).  Students must arrange to attend these sessions on campus or obtain the wines independently and taste while viewing the recording of the session.

    Optional discussion topics are available for extra credit, and students are encouraged to start their own discussion threads. A final exam will be given in addition to the weekly quizzes.

    Grading is based on participation (50%), quiz scores (30%), and a final exam (20%). Perfect participation is not required for a good grade, nor are perfect quiz scores.There will be 15 quizzes worth 2.5 pts each (5 questions @ 0.5 pts each).  I will cap this grade at 30% so you can miss a few questions and still have a top score. Participation points are received when you post a thoughtful comment or question on the weekly blog.  These posts are worth 2 pts each, capped at 26%. You will also be asked to submit a tasting review of a wine of your choice to your journal for 4%. Tasting webinar participation (four sessions) is valued at 20%. Extra credit up to 10% can be earned based on the quality of participation in the optional Wine Talk Forums.

    Adobe Connect Pro Meeting

    The Adobe Connect Pro Meeting is an online meeting room in which you can interact with your professor and fellow students by sharing your computer, screens or files, chat, broadcast live audio and take part in other interactive online activities. We will be utilizing this tool to conduct our wine tasting sessions. Please be alert to announcements and information about dates and times, which will be posted at a later date.  

    Requirements for using Adobe Connect Pro Meeting:

    • Disable any window pop-up blocker.
    • Adobe Flash Player is required to successfully run your Connect Pro meeting. You can test your computer to make sure that you are set up with all of the tools you will need to participate in the meeting.
    • Use of a combination headset and microphone  with USB connection is recommended to ensure quality sound and reduce technical difficulties.

    Please click here for additional information on Adobe Connect (Tutorials & Help).


    Course Requirements Weight
    Participation in Module-related discussion boards (2% per module up to 26%) 26%
    Participation in one Wine Tasting Webinar  20%
    Wine Review Writing Assignment 4%
    Quizzes (2.5% each) 30%

    Final Exam



    Up to 10% additional extra credit is available by posting in Wine Talk, the extra credit discussion board (2% per thoughtful post)  
    Range Letter
    Range Letter
    A Above 93 B 84 - 86 C 71 - 76
    A- 91 - 92 B- 81 - 83 D 61 - 70
    B+ 87 - 90 C+ 77 - 80 F < 61

    Course Calendar

    Weekly Schedule

    Week Beginning

    Week 1


    Introduction to Wine Appreciation

    Wines + Grapes

    The History of Wine

    Pgs. 4-19

    Pgs. 20-51

    Week 2


    How Wine is Made

    Pgs. 51-74

    Week 3


    Sensory Evaluation of White & Red Wine

    Cellaring, Opening and Serving Wine

    Webinar: Sensory Evaluation of White & Red Wine

    Pgs. 86-121

    Pgs. 584-616

    Week 4


    The Wines of France 

    Pgs. 146-225

    Week 5


    The Wines of Germany

    New Winemaking Technologies

    Pgs. 304-332

    Week 6


    The Wines of Italy

    Matching Wine and Food

    Pgs. 226-271

    Pgs. 122-137

    Week 7


    Champagne and Rose

    Pgs. 64, 74-78, 204-209, 244-245

    Week 8


    The Wines of Spain and Portugal Dessert Wines

    Pgs. 78-82, 272-303

    Week 9


    American Wines in National Distribution

    The Wines of America: the Other 99%

    Pgs. 358-429

    Pgs. 430-449

    Pgs. 36-37

    Week 10


    The Wines of Australia and New Zealand

    Pgs. 450-483

    Week 11


    The Wines of Chile, Argentina and South Africa

    The Business of Wine

    Pgs. 484-535

    Pgs. 536-583

    Week 12

    7/22 - 7/26

    Final Exam


    Final: Due 11:59 PM EST 7/26