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College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management

  • Sandy Strick, director or the Wine and Beverage Institute, conducts a wine class in the Marriott Foundation Culinary Lab at the College of HRSM.

Wine and Beverage Institute

The Wine and Beverage Institute at the University of South Carolina is dedicated to expanding and sharing knowledge of the wine and beverage industry by providing specialized research, courses and training for students,  professionals and the community.

Carnegie Foundation-Recognized Research and Community Engagement

The Carnegie Foundation has recognized the university with top classification — R1 university — for “very high research activity.” In addition, South Carolina is one of few public universities that has also earned Elective Community Engagement Classification, a prestigious designation recognizing universities with strong community relationships.

The Wine and Beverage Institute was established to advance knowledge, best practices and innovation of one of the most integral segments of the hospitality and tourism industry. Beverages can be a memorable and special part of a wide range of customer experiences. From raising a glass of fine wine at a celebratory meal, to savoring a locally roasted coffee or crafted drink while on vacation — beverages are part of the way we share and enjoy experiences. 


The institute actively works with companies and welcomes new partners to explore opportunities. Benefits of collaboration include employee development, community engagement and brand enhancement. The Wine and Beverage Institute interacts closely with industry and community partners to integrate the latest industry trends and demands into course offerings and research. These partnerships provide students with the opportunity to learn from leaders in the field and experience — through the classroom and internships — the latest in best practices and innovation.

Research Publications

Career Enhancement

The Wine and Beverage Institute offers students certificate programs designed for professional career development. Certificates can be earned in the following areas: Hospitality Beverage Specialist, Cicerone (craft beer) Certification, WSET Level 2 Award in Wines, and Master Sommelier (introductory level). 

Industry Immersion for Future Leaders

A collection of wine glasses with the text "Enoteca Alessi Delicatessen Dal 1952, Firenze" in the foreground and patrons sitting at a table in a blurred background.
Students in the Maymester course Luxury Management in Italy visit wine bars such as Enoteca Alessi in Florence.

For University of South Carolina students, the institute offers industry immersion opportunities through unique courses, field trips and study abroad programs. Trips to Italy, France, London, Argentina, Napa and beyond provide students with domestic and international insight into the wine, craft beer, alchemy, and luxury management industries. We work with vineyards, restaurants, brewers, distillers and other hospitality partners to create immersive learning opportunities that expose students to the business of beverages. 


The Wine and Beverage Institute develops engaging courses for a variety of topics and audiences. A few highlights of previous courses are listed below. 

For Students:

  • Wine, Beverage and Culture (online)
  • Introduction to Beverage Management
  • Wine and Spirits in Foodservice Establishments (includes Hospitality Beverage Specialist Certification)
  • Craft Beer (includes Cicerone Certification — beer server level)
  • Advanced Topics in Wine (includes Master Sommelier introductory level certification)
  • Global Business of Beverage Management
  • Luxury Management in Italy (study abroad)
  • Chemistry of Beer and Wine (study abroad)
  • Food and Fashion in London, France and Italy (study abroad)

For the Community:

  • Wine 101
  • Beer 101
  • Bordeaux Deconstructed
  • Riesling
  • Scotch
  • Rosé
  • Sparklers
  • Amaro
  • Sake
  • Oktoberfest Beers
  • Bourbons Not From Kentucky
  • Italian Wine
  • We’re Talkin’ Turkey (Thanksgiving pairings)
  • Women Wine Makers
  • and many more! 

Upcoming Events

Get in

To learn more about the Wine and Beverage Institute, contact director Sandy K. Strick, assistant director Scott T. Taylor, Jr., or fill out our form and a member of the institute will be happy to reach out to you.

Sandy Strick headshot

Sandy K. Strick, Ph.D.

Wine and Beverage Institute Director
Associate Professor

School of Hospitality and Tourism Management
College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management


Scott Taylor Jr. headshot

Scott T. Taylor, Jr., Ph.D.

Wine and Beverage Institute Assistant Director
MIHTM Program Director

Assistant Professor

School of Hospitality and Tourism Management
College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management




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