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An Introduction to Wine Science Part I
FNH 330
Instructor: Dr. David McArthur
Office: MCML 133
Office Hours:
Class Schedule:
Important Course Pages
Lecture Notes
Course Discussion

Course Description

Principles of viticulture, enology, and wine microbiology and chemistry; marketing, regulation and classification of wines from selected regions of the world; social, economic and health aspects of wine consumption; wine appreciation.

Course Format

Lectures: A 50-min (4:00 pm to 4:50 pm) lecture/discussion class is provided Tuesdays & Thursdays.

Note: Lecture #1 will introduce many of the topics of this wine science course and discuss expectations, labs and mark distribution.

A 1.0-hr laboratory with sensory training and also wine-tasting (5:00-6:00 pm* -note a few labs may go slightly overtime as we try to taste as many wines as feasible; please address any concerns to Dr, McArthur re. schedule issues) is held in MCML rooms 154, 256, 258 & 260 each Tuesday or each Thursday (depends on lab section: 1A-1H).

Note that our wines are tasted (and then spit into a spit-cup), there will be NO CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL. Failure to comply with this rule will result in student failure of the lab and expulsion from the course lab without refund. The TAs & Instructor will monitor all tastings and periodically check each student’s spit cup.

Power Point Lectures (PDFs) and supplemental Word Notes will be on CONNECT for FNH 330. Note that exams will cover the lecture material especially (PPT and word documents) – readings from wine texts are helpful and provide depth, but the examinable material is provided in lecture, lab & via CONNECT.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Describe the role of wine as a specialty food and its impact on nutrition, health, and society,
  2. Critically assess specific classes of wine for their main attributes and some basic faults found in wine,
  3. Relate viticulture, geography, & climate to a typical wine profile e.g. wine regions,
  4. Describe basic fermentation processes & an overview for the production of various classes of wine,
  5. Compare and contrast the wine classification and appellation system of example wine regions.


Activity Percent of Grade
Quiz (TBA) 20%
Midterm Exam (TBA) 30%
Final Exam (TBA) 45%
Lab Participation/attendance marked each lab 5%


  • The final exam will include a sensory evaluation of wine, faults and/or wine-type identification.
  • 20% deduction from the 5 Lab marks for each lab missed (makeup may be possible; contact Instructor)

Tentative Lecture & Lab Outline

  • presentation order of wine may be altered
  • Reference Connect notes before class
  • SEE lab directions for each week

Lab Assignment

Day/Section A B C D
Tuesday MCM 256 MCM 258 MCM 260 MCM 154
Day/Section E F G H
Thursday MCM 256 MCM 258 MCM 260 MCM 154

WEEK 1 Lecture

An overview of course topics and requirements

Pre-lab: the SENSORY components of wine assessment; white & red wine varietals

Thursday, Sections A-H pickup ISO glasses & pay wine-tasting fee

WEEK 2 Lecture

Pre-lab: continued the SENSORY components of wine assessment; white & red wine varietals. All lab fees must be paid by Thursday; late fee applied after Thursday 6 pm.

A brief history & overview of wine & society; regulations & economics considerations

Lab: *Sections A-H pickup ISO glasses & pay wine-tasting fee

Analytical sensory evaluation exercises– training: aroma recognition, taste.

WEEK 3 Lecture

A primer on reading wine labels.

Viticulture: the vine, grapes, training systems

Starting this week –on your lab day, always put your labeled wine glasses, spit cup, & aroma chart into your assigned lab room MCML 256, 258, 260, 154 BEFORE lecture. Bring your lab book & water bottle when you come to lab.

Lab: Brief- white wine– training: aroma recognition. Wine review: possible white varietals: Sauvignon Blanc, Gewurztraminer, late-harvest Riesling. Review the label information

WEEK 4 Lecture

Viticulture & Terroir

Viticulture & Oenology Harvest considerations: whites versus reds

Lab: Analytical sensory evaluation exercise– training: aroma recognition and retrieval for reds. Wine review: possible red varietal: Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon. Review the label information.

WEEK 5 Lecture

Oenology Overview of white winemaking.

Quiz (50 min) material up to & including whatever lecture has been covered in week 5 (includes relevant lab info, but no wine ID/tasting component)

Lab: Wine review possible: unoaked and oaked Chardonnay, aged Chardonnay (if available). Review the label information.

WEEK 6 Lecture

Oenology: Overview of red winemaking

Wine Lab possible wines: Rosé, Cabernet Franc (or Shiraz), Merlot, Review the label information.

(Note in term 2 Week 7 will likely be the Reading Break)

WEEK 7 Lecture

Overview of specialty winemaking – sparkling wines and sweet wines.

Wine Lab possible wines:: Sparkling wine (Champagne), sweet fortified wine (Port). Review the label information.

WEEK 8 Lecture Wines of the old world: Some history, cru classé, AOC: infrastructure & regulations

Wine Lab possible wines: Wines of France (e.g.; Bordeaux, Rhone, Sauternes/or alternate). Review the label information.

WEEK 9 Lecture

Wines of the old world: Wines of the old world: France & its appellations.

Thur MID-TERM EXAM (50 minutes) Includes material from & including week 6 to week 10 (includes lab info, but no wine ID component)

Wine Lab possible wines:: Wines of Germany: (eg QbA Riesling & Spatlese-Pradikatswein). Review the label information.

WEEK 10 Lecture

Wines of the old world: Germany & its appellations.

Wines of the new world: USA – California & the PNW

Wine Lab possible wines: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel,

WEEK 11 Lecture

Wines of the new world: California & the PNW, Canada

Wine Lab possible wines: BC White-style, BC Meritage-style, BC Icewine. Review the label information.

WEEK 12 Lecture

Wines of the new world: Canada and southern hemisphere

Wine Lab possible wines: Oz Shiraz & others TBA (e.g. Chilean-Carmenere, ) Review the label information.

WEEK 13 Lecture

Food & wine pairing discussion

Wine & health

Wine Lab possible wines: Cava & BBQ salmon sushi (vegetarians – please talk to Dr. McArthur before he orders food for this lab); fortified wine (Framboise/Oz sticky) & chocolate; Review the label information