Friday, January 16, 2009

Liveblogging - with Wine

Abel Pharmboy has arranged a wine tasting this evening for some of us attending ScienceOnline'09, as an extension of the "Friday Fermentable" recurring fun-feature he's been doing over on Terra Sigillata. Well, I've never been to a wine tasting, and I've never liveblogged anything. Why not just combine these two firsts? How bad can it get? Let's find out...

6:30 - We have just received our first samples - two Chardonnays, one from California one from France. The Californian has a more golden color, and has "legs". Abel is telling us some interesting facts - American wines tend to be inoculated with oenococcus oeni cultures (which converts malic acid to lactic acid) where the French tend to rely on airborne bacteria. American wineries tend to use new barrels, where the French do not. Vanillin leaches from the barrels into the wine to give it he characteristic taste of oak. That would explain some of the the taste difference -the Californian has more oak taste and is less tart. Now, my verdict: I like the Californian. The French seems weak in comparison (but perhaps wouldn't have done if I had it on it's own). But I would, and will happily drink both. (NB: We are not spitting!)

7:00 - We are on to the reds. Both are Pinot Noir. One is from Oregon, the other Californian. Both have really nice, rich red color. Both have legs, but the Oregon was slightly more pronounced. I really prefer the Oregon wine. It has a smoother, more balanced taste. I felt that the Californian was more acidic, and didn't have as nice a finish, almost bitter. Apparently, nearly everyone else agrees with me. The conversation is becoming more relaxed and familiar. Could this have anything to do with the fact that we have all had four glasses of wine each? Hmm...

7:25 - Wrapping up: My favorite overall was the Oregon red. I want to look into the whole phenomena of "legs". This is when you swirl the wine in the glass and it forms streams as it runs back down the glass. I am wondering what it is in the wine that causes this to happen, though I'm not sure that it really affects the taste. I will also add the names of the wines later, in case you want to try this at home. Well, off to hear Rebecca Skloot talk. Yay!

5 comments:

Fia said...

Ohh, this is sooo nice, I wish I'd be there. I am not an expert, but I have heard that the more legs, the more alcohol a wine has. However, if you like the Oregon Pinot noir, try a Syrah from a dry location (California, Australia). You might also like that wine. Enjoy!

DNLee said...

Hey There AcmeGirl!

I enjoy wine and I hate I missed this, but I'm glad you got to enjoy it. I'm SOhappy we met at the conference. If you ever get my neck of the woods we must go on a wine stroll. Missouri is quite the regional wine capital.

I posted some of the notes to the session wiki. I expect (Ms) Dr Pat will be posting or emailing her notes soon.

Oh, and I submitted this blog to the ever growing list of Black Blogs on the monthly Black Blog Rankings. Look forward to seeing your blog on next month's ranking.
http://electronicvillage.blogspot.com/2009/01/top-ten-black-blogs-jan-2009.html

acmegirl said...

Thanks, D! It was great to meet you!

ScienceWoman said...

It was wonderful to meet you!

Abel Pharmboy said...

Ping! (11 weeks late, though).

Thanks for joining us and playing along. Hope all is going well in lab and with the family>