Students can open their minds to the ‘world of wine’

Julianna Frantz

Ashley Pucci, senior art education major, watches as professor Anthony Carlucci pours a sample of wine on Feb. 6 in McGilvrey Hall. Carlucci gives students the opportunity to sample 30 different wines throughout the semester.


Credit: DKS Editors

There should be a government warning not to mix wine and Banner.

After registration for the spring 2008 Geography of Wine class was complete, a total of 120 students had signed up.

Tony Carlucci, instructor for the class, said that number is more than triple the amount of students he normally sees sign up for the class.

“It was just way too many,” Carlucci said. “I’m used to teaching between 35 and 40 students. When I was told there was 120 students signed up, I couldn’t believe it.”

Carlucci said the class was then cut by 50 students leaving him with a total of 70, still double what he’s used to.

Carlucci has taught the class for more than a decade at Kent State. He has seen the number of courses offered rise from one course a semester to three courses scheduled for the spring 2008 semester.

“Twenty-somethings are the quickest growing demographic of wine tasters,” Carlucci said.

He said people have become much more open about wine in recent years.

“They know they need it for their careers,” Carlucci said.

Sarah Loney, senior general studies major, always wanted to learn more about wine but didn’t know how to go about it.

“I went to a winery in Israel. It was really cool,” Loney said. “I knew I had to learn more.”

Last semester, she saw a flier posted in McGilvrey Hall and decided to sign up for the class.

Students enrolled in the Geography of Wine course are taken on a journey around the world every Wednesday night between 5:30 and 8 p.m.

Carlucci stands at the front of the class and starts on his lecture with excitement and enthusiasm. A cart at the front of the lecture hall holds boxes of wine glasses waiting to be used, and the students sit eager to learn about the complexity of wine.

Throughout the semester students will have the opportunity to taste a total of 30 wines, Carlucci said.

There are discussions about the importance of wine in a laid back atmosphere as well as a professional one.

“What better way to say that you’re all grown up than to be knowledgeable about wines from around the world,” Carlucci said.

Jordan Plottner, senior public policies major, works at a grocery store and has participated in wine tasting before.

“I’m taking the class to supplement and enhance any further experience I have,” Plottner said. “It gives me something more to look for in wine.”

Carlucci has made wine his life’s work.

In 1981, he graduated from Mississippi State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Enology (winemaking) and Viticulture (grape growing).

He started his career at Renault Winery in New Jersey as an assistant enologist and then went on to work at Mirassou Vineyards and Chalet Debonné Vineyards.

In 1996, he decided to start his own business as a wine consultant. Since then he has been involved in educating and consulting in several states.

In addition to teaching classes at Kent State, he also teaches at Lakeland Community College and Loretta Paginini School of Cooking located in Chesterland, Ohio.

Carlucci said staying active in the industry gives him the opportunity to share the most up-to-date information with his students.

“I want to take the mystery out of it,” Carlucci said. “I want them to open their minds to the world of wine.”

In addition to the Geography of Wine class that runs the length of the semester, there are also four other classes that Carlucci teaches.

During the field experience classes students will have the opportunity to taste wines, tour the wineries and learn about food and wine pairing, Carlucci said.

Students who sign up for his classes must be 21 to taste the wines and pay a special fee ranging from $55 to $399.

“I want students to take the knowledge of wine that I’ve given them, use it and have fun with it,” Carlucci said.

Contact regional campuses reporter Julianna Frantz at [email protected].