BAR HARBOR, MAINE – “The Science of Wine” will be the topic of a February 10 MDI Science Café presentation. Dr. Iain Drummond, Professor and Director of the Kathryn W. Davis Center for Regenerative Biology and Aging at the MDI Biological Laboratory, and Scott Worcester, Owner of Sawyer’s Specialties Wine and Cheese in Southwest Harbor, will give a brief history of wine, followed by an explanation of how our perception of taste varies according to our individual genetic makeup. The presentation will also include a discussion on the role fermentation, different soils and pests play in the development of wine. Attendees will have the opportunity to conduct some experiments that will illustrate the role our genes play in determining our sense of taste.
Drummond, highly respected for his research on kidney regeneration, is also a certified sommelier. “I became interested in winemaking when my father made all sorts of country wines at our house when I was growing up. There was always a tub of apples or strawberry wine bubbling at the back door. At graduate school in Berkeley California I was part of a wine making cooperative project and had many trips to “Sonapanoma” (a tongue-in-cheek reference to Napa Valley and Sonoma winemaking regions on the west coast) to do research. I’m looking forward to collaborating with Scott as we explore the genetics of taste and how chemistry and physical environment influence can have a profound effect on the flavor characteristics of the wine.”
Worcester first became interested in wine in 1993 when he was tasked with buying it for the family business, Sawyer’s Market. After just a couple of tastings, his fascination with the many flavors, aromas and personalities of wine grew. With new varieties being produced all the time, Worcester says he loves that wine offers a continual learning curve. Established in 1996, Sawyer’s Specialties provides Mount Desert Island and Downeast communities with more than 2,000 thoughtfully curated wines and a large selection of gourmet cheeses and specialty products.
MDI Science Cafés are offered in fulfillment of the MDI Biological Laboratory’s mission to promote scientific literacy and increase public engagement with science. The popular events offer a chance to hear directly from speakers about trends in science. Short presentations delivered in everyday language are followed by lively, informal discussion.
The café will be held at 5 p.m. in the Maine Center for Biomedical Innovation on the MDIBL campus, 159 Old Bar Harbor Road, Salisbury Cove, Maine.
The winter series will be held on the second Monday of the month through May, when the bimonthly summer series will begin. For more information, please visit mdibl.org/events/ or call 207-288-3147.