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After the Bell: The Chemistry of Wine with Dr. Paul Schmitt

Tuesday, August 24, 2021
8:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. EDT

After the Bell: The Chemistry of Wine with Dr. Paul Schmitt

Wabash "rings-out" a new class to our alumni ranks each year. After the Bell offers opportunities to come back to the Wabash classroom and attend virtual liberal arts sessions with current faculty members. Join us for this live virtual event being offered for Wabash alumni, spouses, partners, parents, and friends.

Join Dr. Schmitt for a crash course in wine and wine chemistry, complete with a tasting you can curate from home! We will briefly discuss the world of wine and winemaking, and then learn some digestible basics of wine chemistry as we try some representative wines. Specific topics will include wine regions and varietals, the impact of geography and climate on wine, tasting basics, and recognizing the presence of some common aroma compounds.

The wines for the tasting are listed below. If you live in the Indianapolis area, the wines have been made available in a special tasting pack from The Wine Guy @ Grapevine Cottage, with locations in Zionsville (61 S Main St. Zionsville, IN 46077) and Fishers (8235 E 116th St Suite 210, Fishers, IN 46038). The pack of four wines is available at a 25% discount from normal price when you mention Wabash’s Chemistry of Wine lecture. If you live elsewhere, you may be able to track down some of the wines at your local wine shop, or can always order them online! Alternatively, give the parentheticals below to your local wine shop, and they would be happy to find reasonable substitutes.

1. Domaine Pinson Chablis, 2019 (Chablis – neutral, no oak)
2. Diora La Splendeur du Soleil Chardonnay, 2018 (new-world style chardonnay – apple, oak)
3. Chateau Blaignan Cru Bourgeois, 2016 (any old world-style Cab or Bordeaux blend with detectable pyrazines)
4. Substance Cs Cabernet Sauvignon, 2018 (big, fruit-forward, new-world Cab)

Paul Schmitt, Byron K. Trippet Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Paul Schmitt came to Wabash College after completing his PhD at Purdue University. At Wabash he regularly teaches analytical chemistry and physical chemistry, and has also taught general chemistry and an immersion course, “The Chemistry of Wine.” Dr. Schmitt’s research is centered around using nonlinear optical microscopy, specifically second harmonic generation (SHG), to increase the quality of emerging agrochemical materials (e.g., fungicides). The relative crystallinity of an active ingredient can have a profound impact on its performance and stability. As a crystal-specific imaging technique, SHG microscopy enables many otherwise challenging measurements in formulation development. Dr. Schmitt has an active collaboration with Corteva Agriscience (Indianapolis, IN) using feedback from SHG microscopy to decrease formulation development time/ assess formulation efficacy.

Outside of the classroom and lab, Dr. Schmitt enjoys many hobbies, including fly fishing, rock climbing, cooking, collecting wine, and playing music. He has family nearby in Michigan and enjoys spending time with them.