Flavors of Chemistry 2016 Brings Together ACS Local Sections

three people, center one holding award

Steve Hummel (center), 2016 Janan Hayes High School Teacher of the Year, with Dean Tantillo (left) and Bill Miller (right)

The 2016 Flavors of Chemistry: Wine and Cheese event brought together members of three local ACS sections to learn about and taste wine and cheese. District VI Director Paul David Jagodzinski gave introductory comments to open the event. Several members of the Sacramento section were also honored, including Steve Hummel, the inaugural winner of the Jan Hayes High School Teacher Award.

Dr. Moshe Rosenberg, Professor and Specialist, Dairy Engineering and Technology, Department of Food Science and Technology, UC Davis “Evolution and Manifestation of Cheese Flavor”. In his talk, he focused on what distinguishes cheeses from different legally defined cheese-making regions as certified by the Appellation d’origine controlee (AOC). These regions are defined geographically. He also spoke about how the growing regions (and therefore the cheeses) might be changing due to the effects of global warming these regions.

Dr. Andrew Waterhouse, Professor of Enology, Department of Viticulture and Enology, UC Davis spoke on “Wine Varietal Flavor: Four Chemistries”. One of the chemistries involved the chemical TDN, (1,1,6,-trimethyl-1,2-dihydronapthalene) in Rieslings. It creates a distinctive “kerosene” aroma that in small amounts is positive but can become negative in large amounts. He also discussed ways in which the level of the TDN could be managed. One of the wines tasted, the 2014 Authur Metz Riesling, had a significant but not overpowering aroma of TDN.Members of the Sacramento, California, and Santa Clara Valley sections got to taste four different wine and cheese pairings:

Members of the Sacramento, California, and Santa Clara Valley sections got to taste four different wine and cheese pairings:



Red Witch: made from raw whole milk, the paste is creamy, easy melting, and relatively mild. Authur Metz Riesling, 2014: chosen as an example of an aged Riesling with a kerosene aroma
Krauterschatz: a raw cow’s milk cheese from whose rind is coated with a melange of eight dried, organic herbs Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc Private Bin, 2015: chosen for its grapefruit flavors
Lamb Chopper: a sheep milk cheese with a buttery color and smooth texture sold by Cypress Grove of Humboldt County Nobles Rives Cave de Tain Crozes Hermitage, 2014: chosen as an example of a smoky Syrah
Fourme d’Ambert AOC: cave-aged for a minimum of two months, made from raw cow’s milk, and has a tremendous, creamy, full-bodied flavor. Bodegas Botani Moscatel Secco, 2011: chosen as an example of a dry muscat


For a photo gallery from the event, click here.

Author: Bill Miller

Bill Miller is a Councilor of the Sacramento Section of the ACS. He also teaches chemistry at Sacramento City College.

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