By all measures, the Web is enormous and growing at a staggering rate, which has made it increasingly difficult-and important-for both people and programs to have quick and accurate access to Web information and services. The Semantic Web offers a solution, capturing and exploiting the meaning of terms to transform the Web from a platform that focuses on presenting information, to a platform that focuses on understanding and reasoning with information. To support Semantic Web development, the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency launched the DARPA Agent Markup Language (DAML) initiative to fund research in languages, tools, infrastructure, and applications that make Web content more accessible and understandable. Although the US government funds DAML, several organizations-including US and European businesses and universities, and international consortia such as the World Wide Web Consortium-have contributed to work on issues related to DAML's development and deployment. We focus on DAML's current markup language, DAML+OIL, which is a proposed starting point for the W3C's Semantic Web Activity's Ontology Web Language (OWL). We introduce DAML+OIL syntax and usage through a set of examples, drawn from a wine knowledge base used to teach novices how to build ontologies.