Idea of Wine Schedule

Schedule of classes, readings and assignments

Book abbreviations followed by chapter #; WMR: Wine Myths and Reality; WP: Wine Politics; WW: Wine Wars. Any other readings mentioned are available on Moodle (post reading notes on Moodle before class each day, unless otherwise noted).

Tue Aug 29

Welcome to The Idea of Wine!


Unit 1: Competing Ideas of Wine Production

Thu Aug 31

The geography of wine


Tue Sep 5

Viticulture basics: “Wine is made in the vineyard”

WMR 2; video: the life of a wine grape

Thu Sep 7

The idea of terroir


Tue Sep 12

The science of winemaking. WMR: 5; Optional (but useful!) additional resources (a video and a graphic): Commercial wine production in Oregon, part 1 and part 2. You may also enjoy this illustrated guide to how wine is made.

Thu Sep 14

Workshop: how to do research for IPE405.

Goal: At the end of today, you will email me a revised proposal and bibliography for feedback.

See guidelines for paper 1 at this link

For this class, you must come with:

Your chosen wine region for paper 1

Five sources (even popular press) about the region

A 100 word preliminary description of what specific issues or controversies you want to explore.

Unit 2: Old World versus New World

Tue Sep 19

Wine politics in France 1: the phylloxera crisis and the origin of French wine regulations

WP 2, pp7-22: start at beginning of chapter 2, and stop just before “Across the Atlantic: overcoming adversity”)

Thu Sep 21

Wine politics in France 2: the political economy of French wine appellations

WP 3

Tue Sep 26

France 3: Champagne and luxury

WMR 19. Read two sections: “The joy of bubbles” and “Marketing Triumph” (pp505-513) + Watch Jancis Robinson’s “Grapes and Gas” episode at this link.

Thu Sep 28

Wine and Health (Reading on Moodle)

Tue Oct 3

Paper 1 due on Moodle by 23:59pm (See guidelines for paper 1 at this link)

Thu Oct 5

Wine politics in the US 1: beginnings, prohibition and repeal

WP 2: pp22- 36: From “Across the Atlantic: overcoming adversity” till end of chapter.

Tue Oct 10

Wine politics in the US 2: the political economy of American wine regulations

WP 4

Thu Oct 12

Idea of wine quiz 1, All class material since the beginning

Tue Oct 17


Unit 3: Wine Wars

Thu Oct 19

Watch Mondovino, streaming on Moodle (parts 1 AND 2). Your reading notes today will be based on the movie. The trailer is here.

As part of your notes, write a 100-word (more if you want to) spiel of an issue raised by Mondovino you would like to explore in paper 2, so you can receive feedback. See guidelines for paper 2 at this link.

Tue Oct 24

Globalization and The DaVino Code

WW 1, 2 and 3

Thu Oct 26

How globalization shapes the world of wine: Missionaries, migrants and market reforms

WW 4 + WMR: New Zealand section + watch the Sauvignon Blanc episode of Jancis’ wine course at this link. You can watch the first ten minutes, then skip to minute 18 (we’ve seen the middle part) and watch till the end.

Tue Oct 31

Retail models: the British wine market, the Germans, and Costco

WW 5, 6 and 7

Thu Nov 2

Paper 2 due on Moodle by 23:59pm (See guidelines for paper 2 at this link.)

Tue Nov 7

How do consumers choose wine?

WW 8, 9, 10

Thu Nov 9

Did Yellow Tail’s global success crush Australian wine?

Watch these two introductory videos:


Next, read this business analysis:

and the following short articles:


Tue Nov 14

The rise of Argentine Malbec. Trailer:

Watch the movie (streaming on Moodle) “Boom Varietal: the rise of Argentine Malbec” (72 minutes)

Your “reading notes” today will be based on the movie.

Thu Nov 16

The McWine conspiracy and the future of wine

WW 11 and 12

Tue Nov 21

Wine and the Environment

Wine Politics Chapter 6

Thursday Nov 23


Tue Nov 28

The China syndrome; “Red Obsession” trailer here.

Your “reading notes” will be based on two sources:

Watch movie, streaming on Moodle: “Red Obsession” 80 minutes

Read WW 15

Thu Nov 30

Aperitif and Dessert Wines!

Reading: WMR start page 513 (Blending through the Solera), until page 546 (end of book)

Tue Dec 5

Idea of wine quiz 2; All class material since the beginning

Reading Period

Thursday Dec 14: Final project due by 6pm