Report on Chemistry Call My Bluff Wine Tasting 2015:
In Vino Mendacium at the Call My Bluff chemistry wine tasting
The Call My Bluff wine tasting with a (chemical) twist held on 25 September as an event for the Alumni Festival may have to become an annual event after the rapturous reception of its inaugural occasion. The audience, which consisted of alumni and guests not just from Chemistry but from all different fields, were perhaps drawn initially by the lure of free wine, but ended up enjoying the humour, the camaraderie and the pure joie de vivre of the event (ok, as well as the wine!).
With team names such as "The Aromatics," and "Only Here for the Wine", the audience quickly assimilated the mood of the event. The three experts were excellent foils, and, along with a bit of chemical tomfoolery, bluffed their way through the rounds with exceptional brio.
It was perhaps the last official event hosted by Professor Daan Frenkel as Head of Department, whose tenure ended on 1 October. He and new Head of Department Professor John Pyle exchanged quips about the post, while Dr Silvia Vignolini used her Italian accent to great effect, fooling all of the teams in both of the rounds in which she was telling the truth.
Comments received on the feedback forms mentioned the fun of being in a team, getting to have a real chance to talk with other alumni, and, of course, the delights of drinking the wine. Somebody said they were surprised to find out that chemists have a sense of humour. Perhaps most telling, many commented that the worst part of the event was that it had to end!
Top photo: From left, wine enthusiasts John Pyle, Daan Frenkel and Silvia Vignolini bamboozle the teams, while Diane Harris keeps score.
Photo 2: Two bottles of wine were present on each table on arrival, with instructions to "Guess the Country" of origin. Nobody was able to guess the red wine was from Romania, and only one team successfully guessed the white bubbly was Australian!
Photo 3: PhD students helped pour the wine - round 2 was a "Picpoul de Pinet" from the Languedoc.
Photos 4 and 5: The experts try the wines before delivering their verdict.
Photo 6: The teams were composed of alumni from all areas of the University and their guests, as well as members of the Department.