The Science of Wine

After last night’s Six Pack Sunday post, you might start thinking I’m some sort of wine-o. Lucky for you, I barely know the difference between tannin and a tastevin (And the only reason I DO know the difference is because I just Googled “wine terminology“.)  That didn’t make last Thursday’s Science of Wine event at the Museum of Life and Science in Durham any less fun!

I had a blast at September’s Science of Beer event at the same venue and, as we were walking out of the building, I remember the folks mentioning a Science of Wine coming up in February.  Well, I waited patiently and my dreams came to fruition. [Note: I was trying to make some sort of wine/fruit pun there, but it just wasn’t happening. Imagine you just read something hilarious.]

I asked my beer buddy, Melissa, to join me for all the shenanigans of the night.  Sometimes I worry that you who don’t know me might assume that I have no other friends, as Melissa seems to be the only person that comes up regularly in my blog.  I promise, I have more than one friend (if you count my bathrobe as a friend.  Do you? Good, me too.)

Our other friends came to visit in their fancy Chirba Chirba dumpling truck!! Well, who are we to resist their Juicy Buns (especially after realizing that they sponsor one of Durham’s infamous Luchadoras, aptly named Juicy Buns herself!)

Juicy and Delicious!

After a little juicy appetizer, we were ready for the wine.

But really, we were just ready for the main event of the night, one of the biggest reasons we decided to go to the event at all!

Also juicy: Grapes!

The second we heard about the opportunity to squish our own grapes with our toes, we couldn’t resist the chance to live out all our I Love Lucy fantasies.  Though the “barrel” was a little smaller, the experience was just as joyous.

Total rapture

I even took some time from my uncontrollable laughter to pose!

Oh, hey eyes, thanks for un-squinting for a moment!

Melissa squishing those grapes!

I made Melissa go after me so as not to have to squish in anyone’s foot germs but my own (luckily, she had faith in my own feet, and happily obliged my wishes.)  After we got our fill of the fun in a tub, we washed our tootsies and started the night off right with a glass of wine and a side of edu-tainment.

Marsh-MALO!

We discussed the effect that malo-lactic fermentation can have on the mouthfeel of a wine (and why some malic acidic wines give you the mouthfeel of a sharp, tart fruit like an apple while others with more lactic acid taste smoother, like a GIANT marshmallow.)

Trader Joe’s did a cool exhibit where they described the regions that two wines that derived from the same grape came from (such as New Zealand vs. Germany) and guess, by taste, which was which.  Melissa and I decided to make a game of it.

Guess who won that face-off?

#1 stunner!

(it was me.)

Another total treat of the night?

DIY Coaster Creation Station!

Mine's the one on the right (I like turtles.)

This station, along with the DIY Wine Charm station, were great additions to the night.  It was an excellent way to sit back without any wine and just relax with some Modge Podge, scrapbooking scissors, and beads. Bonus? We all got to take home some very nifty crafts.  And I flipping LOVE crafts.

The most exciting aspect of the night (after the grape squishing, of course) was probably from the folks at The Wine Feed. Their exhibit was dangerous enough to require everyone to rock safety goggles (don’t worry, Ol’ Four Eyes here brought her own glasses!) There were sharp knives, swords, and BUBBLY!

En garde!

They showed off their fancy sabers, explained where you need to hit the bottle for maximum poppage, and blasted off a few tops.

Pop bottles!

This was a fantastic party trick that doesn’t actually require a fancy saber to do… I wonder if it works with bottles of Andre (mostly since that might be all I can afford for a practice or two…) The cool part about the sabering of a bottle is, because of the angle you hit it, the glass breaks AWAY from the wine itself, allowing you to pour it into a glass and drink it without lining your throat with shards of glass!

We started to get hungry and ventured over to the Reliable Cheese Company’s table for some wine and cheese pairing (ah, the sweetest pairing of all?!)

Heaven must be missing angels...

Stinky, sharp, creamy, nutty, buttery, sheep’s, goat’s, I couldn’t get enough.  They really put on a solid presentation, and now I must get out to the store…  They even have cheese classes if anyone’s trying to get their PhCheese (bahahaha.)

Our photographer at the end of the night didn’t really understand how to snap a shot of a pair of ladies, but I appreciated the effort of getting our last few moments at the event.

Beer buddies venturing into the world of wine!

We finished the night with the tasty treats served up by newcomer Baguettaboutit and Pie Pushers, always a favorite.

Pesto Chicken don't mind if I do!

Perfect accessory to soak up that vino!

Thanks to all the amazing vendors, vineyards, food trucks, and OF COURSE the museum for putting on another great event.

What do you think your favorite exhibit would’ve been? 

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8 thoughts on “The Science of Wine

  1. Pingback: So Two Thousand and Late « Food, Sweat, and Beers

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