jamie goode's wine blog

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Cheltenham is a charming town, chocked full of beautifully elegant Georgian town houses. I’d never visited before, so it was nice to spend half an hour wandering around before I reported to the Town Hall for my tasting/talk on the science of wine for the Science Festival.

The event was a sell-out, with the primary draw not being the speaker but the fact that there were six wines to drink. The wines themselves were well chosen by the local Majestic branch: a New Zealand Sauvignon, Marques de Murrieta’s Rioja Blanco, a McLaren Vale Viognier, Hochar 2001 (Musar’s second wine), Yering Station Shiraz Viognier and a Regnie (Beaujolais).

I was using a powerpoint presentation, and I started off with a brief introduction: wine science can be used to make commodity wines more cheaply and consistently, or it can be used to understand what makes fine wines interesting, with a view to putting this information to use to help winegrowers produce more interesting wines. Then I pulled up a slide of tasters busy at work, with the heading ‘tasting break’. That this should occur so early on elicited a spontaneous burst of applause from the thirsty crowd.

This pattern was repeated. A few slides, some wine science, and then another tasting break. After getting a glass of wine down their gullets, the audience warmed up fast. There were questions; even some heckling. It was all rather good fun, and I was quickly relaxed. Before we knew it the wine was all drunk, I was on the 89th (and final) slide, and it was time to go home, or at least to the Hotel Kandinsky, where I was staying. I hope I get invited back—next time I’d like to spend a bit more time at the festival, which looks very good fun. It’s also important in that it helps counter the strong ‘antiscience’ sentiment that exists in our society.


At 10:09 AM, Anonymous David Moëd said...

Sounds interesting - any chance you can put the presenation online for those who are interested?

At 8:28 PM, Anonymous Magnus Pyke said...

Sorry Jamie,
You can't just chuck in an emotive remark like that at the end of your entry. "Antiscience" element, indeed...

Can you justify this?

At 8:47 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

I'll see how big a pdf low res version of the presentation is (which was 100 megabytes) and then decide whether this is feasible.

Mr Pyke, I think I can justify this, but it would probably take 500 words. How interested are you? This evening I have two features to finish, one on yeast and one on wine and health. But if this is something you want to discuss, I'll attend to it in due course.

At 11:24 PM, Anonymous Magnus Pyke said...

Not that interested, actually

At 12:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is slightly off topic, but does anyone know a good place where I could sell the odd bottle of red wine (mainly 15-20 year old bordeaux) in Cheltenham?

If you do, then please email me at alexharrison247@hotmail.com . Absolutely any kind of reply would be greatly appreciated.

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