The appliance of science

Visitors to the current two week-long Brighton Science Festival will learn the science of winemaking from lecturers and alumni of Plumpton college as well as a local Sussex winemaker.
As part of the Big Science Saturday at the Sallis Benny Theatre, Grand Parade, Brighton on Saturday, February 25, the show is set to “show people that there is more to wine and winemkaing than tasting but a little insight into the science behind what is involved without going to deep into science – more of an introductory beginners exploration,” says Belinda Kemp, wine lecturer and wine research co-ordinator at Plumpton College.
She says: “We are turning water into wine, not literally, sadly, using chemicals to show the importance of pH in winemaking and why it is so important, to start discussions about the science involved in winemaking. The Supertasting test will see if people are Supertasters and we want to start discussions about what the impact is on your taste as well as food and drink preferences if you are.
“It is part of the Big Science Saturda . Plumpton College wines will be on sale by the glass – the cloudy Ridge White at the Theatre Bar as well. We are not doing wine tasting as many great wine tasting events are available across the city. Instead, we wanted to approach wine from a science angle. I am sure that we can do many more events like this with more experiments, demonstrations in the future to show what is involved in the wine they buy.
Plumpton will interweave experiments with anecdotes about winemaking from personal and international experiences.
Kemp says: “This is the first time we have attempted anything like this so do not know how it will go but I am sure that if people find it interesting that we could do more similar events. I am keen to do a ‘Winemaker QI gameshow’ one day which I think could be fun! So much wine education available to consumers focuses on regions, grape varieties, tasting, terroir aspects but none about the actual wine science which is fascinating especially winemaking science and sensory science.”
As well as Kemp, the panel will consist of Tony Milanowski, oenology lecturer and BSc course eader of viticulture and oenology; Emma Rice, ex-student, founder of wine analyst Custom Crush UK Ltd; and Simon Woodhead, ex-student and owner/winemaker from Stopham Vineyard.

There is an entrance fee for the whole day that covers all the events
The Science of Wine – Debate Table; Saturday 25 February; 2pm; Sallis Benney Theatre, 58-67 Grand Parade Brighton BN2 0JY Ages 16+ Tickets £10 / £6. Available on the door or online

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