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 Jan 17

Welcome to The Idea of Wine!


Unit 1: Competing Ideas of Wine Production

Thu Jan 19

The geography of wine


Tue Jan 24

Viticulture basics: “Wine is made in the vineyard”

WMR 2; video: the life of a wine grape

Thu Jan 26

The idea of terroir


Tue Jan 31

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 Feb 2

Workshop: how to do research for IPE405.

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

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. This is the beginning of brainstorming to find an angle for your paper. Think about what kind of economic, business, political, social issues your wine region has faced. To get ideas, check the Oxford Companion to Wine, the World Atlas for Wine (both reference books at the library), and also your textbook WMR. This will give you ideas of what potential interesting issues are relevant for your region of choice.

Unit 2: Old World versus New World

Tue Feb 7

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 Feb 9

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

WP 3

Tue Feb 14

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 Feb 16

Wine and Health (Reading on Moodle)

Tue Feb 21

Paper 1 due on Moodle by 23:59pm

Thu Feb 23

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 Feb 28

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

WP 4

Thu Mar 2

Wine and the environment

WP 6

Tue Mar 7

Wines of South Africa

No reading for today. Movie and discussion in class.

Thu Mar 9

Idea of wine quiz 1

All class material since the beginning



Unit 3: Wine Wars

Tue Mar 21

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.

Thu Mar 23

Globalization and The DaVino Code

WW 1, 2 and 3

Tue Mar 28

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

WW 4 + WMR: New Zealand section

Thu Mar 30

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

WW 5, 6 and 7

Tue Apr 4

Paper 2 due on Moodle by 23:59pm

Thu Apr 6

How do consumers choose wine?

WW 8, 9, 10

Tue Apr 11

Did Yellow Tail’s global success crush Australian wine?

Listen to interview with John Casella, in two parts:

Part 1:

Part 2:

And read this short piece:

Thu Apr 13

The rise of Argentine Malbec (Movie trailer here)

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

Tue Apr 18

In class today: Meet the author of WW and founder of the Idea of Wine course today!

Guest speaker: Mike Veseth!

Before class: read WW 11 and 12 (post reading notes as usual; After class: email me a summary of his presentation and the discussion

Thu Apr 20 (No class, Pierre still in China! See homework below)

Watch this one hour long film online and post “reading” notes on Moodle about it:

It’s a great look inside the business of a top Bordeaux Chateau, one of those 1855 First Growths. In particular, pay attention to recognizing some of the themes you know (about growing, winemaking, the Bordeaux wine trade, etc), as well as the importance of the China connection.

Tue Apr 25

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 Apr 27

Aperitif and Dessert Wines!

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

Tue May 2

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

Reading Period

Thursday May 11: Final project due by 6pm