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Science of Wine

Sip, Sample and Learn

Story by Emily Adams Keplinger  |  Photos by Don Perry

An enduring appreciation for wine was evidenced by the sold-out crowd gathered at the Memphis Pink Palace Museum for the third annual Science of Wine event. Presented by Bluff City Land Rover, a wide array of wine was provided by West Tennessee Crown Distributing Co. As guests entered the museum they were given a wine-colored organza bag, furnished by Pinnacle Financial Partners, that held a list of available wines, a table guide mapping the various stations, a schedule of events, and a pencil and card on which to note individual favorites for red wine, white wine, hors d’oeuvres, and food and wine pairings.

In the VIP lounge, ticket-holders had early access to the evening’s event, as well as an opportunity to sample exclusive food and wine tastings from Babalu Tacos & Tapas, J. Brooks Premium Coffee Roasters, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Whole Foods, Mionetto USA, Boisset Wines, San Antonio Winery, Natural Merchants, Inc., Sutter Home Winery, Inc. and Pacific Highway Wines and Spirits. VIPs also received souvenir wine glasses and had access to the general area, food and wine stations, and lectures.

Darlene Loprete, a chemistry professor at Rhodes College, presented information to teach people know how to determine if a wine had turned or “gone bad.” Bobby Maupin of West Tennessee Crown Distributing Company,helped educate guests about the “Cause and Effect of Wine.”

“When enjoyed together, wine and foods always have a chemical reaction,” explained Maupin. “My demonstration showcased how different food pairings could alter the taste of a wine.”

At this year’s event, participating wineries included Amber Falls Winery & Cellars, Boisset Wine, Bronco Wine Co., Ca’ Momi, Constellation Brands, Cape Classics, Don Sebastiani & Sons, Integrity Wines, Laneau USA, Inc., Old Bridge Cellars, O’Neill Vinters & Distillers, Prestige Wine Import Corp., Roco Winery, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, Takara Sake, and William Harrison Imports.

Participating restaurants and food vendors included Alchemy, Bounty on Broad, Café Society, Ecco on Overton Park, Erling Jensen, Grove Grill, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Rizzo’s, Sweet Grass, Tom’s Tiny Kitchen and Whole Foods.

In addition to tastings, the event offered mini-lectures focused on “Bordeaux for Dummies,” “Soil and Climate of South Africa,” and “It’s a Wash.” The latter explained how events from The Ice Age impact wines we enjoy today. All proceeds benefited the education department of the Pink Palace Family of Museums, and a Prize Pull, sponsored by Decadent Avenue, added to the evening’s coffers.

“Our Science of Wine event is always a crowd pleaser,” said Ronda Cloud, marketing and public relations director of the Pink Palace Family of Museums. “It offers educational opportunities to spotlight various aspects of wine and gives us a way to show of a fun side of science.”

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