Uncork your inner sommelier — and your inner scientist. The Pink Palace Museum is hosting its annual Science of Wine on Friday.
This is not your normal wine tasting. Yes, you will get to taste some amazing wines — around 95 will be poured. But this event is being put on by the education department of the Pink Palace, and they couldn’t help but turn it into a fun — and educational — night.
“We are excited to introduce the museum and learning to adults,” said John Mullikin, education instructor at the Pink Palace.
This will be the fourth Science of Wine event. The first occurred after guests to the museum’s popular Science of Beer started asking for a wine event, too.
“At our events, we give the attendees a questionnaire asking what they liked and what they want at the next event,” Mullikin said. “We were inundated with requests for a Science of Wine so we knew we had to do it.”
If you have a thirst for great wines and to learn, plan on attending this party.
Sip and expand your wine knowledge as you wander throughout the museum, tasting bites from 12 of Memphis’ finest restaurants and making note of the wines paired with each dish. Liz Grisham, trade marketing director of wine for Memphis-based distributor West Tennessee Crown, has carefully chosen just the right wine to complement each chef’s creation. The list of participating restaurants includes Rizzo’s, Alchemy, Char, Café Society and Las Tortugas, to name a few.
Take time to enjoy the lectures, one of the most popular parts of the night.
The team at the Pink Palace has worked closely with West Tennessee Crown to organize the educational lectures. West Tennessee Crown has been the museum’s partner in this event since year one.
“West Tennessee Crown does lots of tasting events but none have an educational component like this one,” said Celeste Autry, the distributor’s wine sales director. “The guests want to actively taste and learn about the wines they might want to buy.”
The three lectures at this year’s event are all varied but geared toward the latest trends in wine.
“These breakout sessions are so important because they are key to explaining the true science behind wine,” Grisham said.
Michele Clarke from Kiona Vineyards will talk about “The Science of the Red Mountain Terroir.” This third-generation winery in Washington state not only makes its own wines but also sells its grapes to more than 60 of the Northwest’s finest wineries. The mountain has both a unique soil and climate.
Coming all the way from Oregon, Jennifer Kerrigan with Del Rio Vineyard Estate will cover the topic of “The Science of the Rogue Valley AVA.” In case you were wondering, AVA stands for American Viticultural Area. This area is the warmest and driest of Oregon’s wine-growing regions.
Alexandere Remy from Atlas Wine Company will discuss “The Science of Wine in a Can.”
“People are often afraid to try wines in a can because they are concerned about the quality. But the quality is there,” Grisham said. “Remy will discuss what they do with the wine to stabilize it in a can and what it takes to get it to market.”
Because this is a tasting event, guests will get to taste two of the wines from each lecture speaker.
In addition to the lectures, entertaining educational opportunities will be offered throughout the museum.
“Kim O’Brien, who is a Rhodes professor, will be doing a science experiment on the direct spherification of wine,” said Luke Ramsey, the museum’s manager of public and special programs. Basically, this feat of molecular gastronomy turns wine into an edible jelly-like sphere.
If you want to look at your favorite beverage on a cellular level, find the table with microscopes. You will get a closeup look at the cells in grapes, wines and even cork thanks to the Science department of Christian Brothers University.
As an added bonus for the night, guests will get a sneak peek at the newly renovated Pink Palace mansion.
“The mansion has been closed for two years as part of the museum’s renovations,” Ramsey said. “It doesn’t open to the public until December,”
As you sip, sample and learn, you can also feel good about what you are doing for the community. “Everything we raise at this event goes directly to the museum’s education department. We serve over 140,000 students in the area each year.”
At a glance
Pink Palace Museum Science of Wine
When: 6:30-9:30 p.m. Friday
Tickets: $65 for regular admission and $85 for VIP admission. VIP tickets give guests early access to the event (from 6-6:30 p.m.), access to the VIP Lounge and special educational component, first pick of lecture tickets and a souvenir glass.