Terra Sigillata

Let’s face it, after the holidays I’m not terribly interested in drinking any beer or wine for the next two weeks.

i-293d55b94ac33ab02e52c5b3c536feac-scionline09 small.jpgHowever, two weeks from today will mark the beginning of ScienceOnline’09, the online science communications unconference being held in our little ol’ neck-o-the-woods. Being as how I’ll have the chance to meet so many of you then, I’d like to throw out the idea of having a live Friday Fermentable.

On the evening of Friday, 16 January, conference attendees will be gathering at the Radisson RTP headquarters hotel bar and Sigma Xi conference center between returning from laboratory tours at 4 pm and the 7 pm reception preceding Rebecca Skloot’s much-awaited talk, “Women, science, and storytelling: The immortal life of Henrietta Lacks (a.k.a. HeLa), and one woman’s journey from scientist to writer,” on behalf of Duke’s Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) organization.

My proposal is this: I’d like to host about 20 of you for a private, free-of-charge winetasting from 6 to 7 pm, Friday, 16 January 2009 at the Sigma Xi center with the only obligation that you liveblog the event. With the help of my advisors at the Wine Authorities and with the input of readers like DrZZ and guest blogger, Erleichda, we’ll select three or four fine offerings, talk about the wines, drinks the wines, then write about the wines.

The wiki page is growing a little cluttered for a signup list. So, if you are attending the conference and want to spend a little time enjoying some fine fermentables with other like-minded bloggers, either 1) drop your indication of interest in the comments below and/or 2) send a note to fridayfermentable [booga-booga] gmail [unga-bunga] com.

Feel free to also suggest a theme of wine varieties (e.g., same varietal from different parts of the world, two whites/two reds, random selection. I look forward to seeing y’all.


  1. #1 Skloot
    January 2, 2009

    Sounds great. Though I’m guessing I should probably not drink a bunch of wine before my talk, alas.

  2. #2 Isis the Scientist
    January 2, 2009

    I can haz wine?

    Or maybe I can just tandem liveblog from MRU.

  3. #3 leigh
    January 2, 2009

    i will be making up for a couple of missed work days earlier in that week, so i’m not registered to attend the conference.

    though i’d love to enjoy a glass of wine with other science bloggers for a brief evening (and then go back to work!) if i am eligible to do so.

  4. #4 Coturnix
    January 2, 2009

    You can register for Friday event alone here. That would make it possible to do the wine-tasting with Abel as well.

  5. #5 Abel Pharmboy
    January 2, 2009

    leigh, I’d love to see you. The wise event does not require that you be registered for scionline. Hence, you’d be welcome at the live FF and the Skloot talk.

  6. #6 DrZZ
    January 2, 2009

    Sounds interesting. I won’t be able to make down to NC, but there is a pretty good chance that I could talk the fine people at the Frederick Wine House into doing a parallel tasting. Their normal Friday tasting runs 4-7 anyway. I’m not sure what the best theme would be, but I think the easiest way to make a point with only 3 or 4 wines is to keep the varietal constant and try some examples from around the world. I’m partial to syrahs or Rhone blends, but let me think a bit and make some more specific suggestions in the next day or so.

  7. #7 scicurious
    January 2, 2009

    oooh! oooh! me!!!!

  8. #8 Abel Pharmboy
    January 4, 2009

    @Skloot – you’re off the hook but I’m buying the first round after your talk!

    @Isis – perhaps we’ll try to do what DrZZ suggests and I could send you the three wines (or see if you can buy them in MRU-town). Maybe Skype the session or at least chat?

    @leigh – you’re in if you’d like (dang Bora is always 5 min ahead of me)

    @scicurious – without a doubt

    Looks like we still have about 10 slots. Spread the word.

  9. #9 Propter Doc
    January 5, 2009

    Any room left? If so, I’m in!

  10. #10 DrZZ
    January 5, 2009

    I haven’t seen anyone make any specific wine suggestions yet, so I’ll start.

    1. 4 syrah/shiraz, one each from Rhone, Australia, Calif., Washington -or-
    2. A syrah from Rhone with a shiraz from Australia and a viognier from Rhone with a viognier from Calif (or maybe Virginia) -or-
    3. A syrah from Rhone with a shiraz from Australia and a Pouilly Fume or Sancerre with a sauvignon blanc from New Zealand.

    The Frederick Wine House would be interested in having the parallel tasting, but would like to get the list settled before the end of this week. Send me an email if you think it would be better to work out the specific wines via email rather than the blog.

  11. #11 Clark Boyd
    January 5, 2009

    I’m game if there’s still space!

  12. #12 Josh Rosenau
    January 5, 2009

    I’d like to attend, along with my NCSE colleague Robert Luhn. It’ll be great to see you.

  13. #13 ScienceWoman
    January 5, 2009

    I’m game. Forget picking up Alice at the airport, I’ll take the wine. (ssh, don’t tell her I said that).

    Any chance for a fortified wine or two? I’m very partial to a nice port. In fact, I’ve got one right now.

  14. #14 Abel Pharmboy
    January 7, 2009

    @DrZZ, we can e-mail but I’d like to get more suggestions out here. For me, I like your suggestion of two viogniers and two syrah/shiraz.

    For the Aussie shiraz, I’d be interested in the Nugan Estates that I spoke of a couple weeks ago. For a Cali vigonier, I like Peirano Estates. I know there are some great ones in VA and would actually love to show the terrior of the Southeast but I’m not sure about availability here.

  15. #15 Abel Pharmboy
    January 7, 2009

    Okay, I’ve got:
    Clark Boyd
    Josh Rosenau
    Robert Luhn
    Elissa Hoffman
    Victor Henning

    Counting me, that gives us nine remaining slots. Takers?

  16. #16 Peggy Kolm
    January 7, 2009

    I’d love to participate.

    As for suggestions, what about comparing a California Meritage to a French Bordeaux?

  17. #17 DrZZ
    January 7, 2009

    I talked to Gary at the Frederick Wine House. He has the Nugan Estate 2006 Shiraz ($21.99) so I say we go with that. (Although now that I look back over your old post, you might be talking of a different bottling. The one he has is this one). For the French syrah, I really like the 2005 E. Guigal Crozes-Hermitage ($23.99). It should be widely available. He didn’t have very many viogniers. There is an E. Guigal 2006 Cotes du Rhone ($13.99) that should be nice. The only California viogniers he has on the shelf are >$25 which I thought would be getting a bit steep. I could talk him into ordering the Peirano Estate or we could go with sauvignon blanc. he has a lot of very nice New Zealand ones that should be widely available.

  18. #18 GrrlScientist
    January 7, 2009

    i am interested to attend (and may be dragging a friend along too). i can photograph the event as well as “live blog” it or .. i guess you could say i would be “live photoessay blogging” it. but .. how do i get there from the hotel?

  19. #19 Martin Fenner
    January 8, 2009

    I would also like to attend. And a Syrah/Shiraz tasting would be great.

  20. #20 Elissa
    January 8, 2009

    @GrrlScientist – I’ll be coming from the hotel too. They are supposed to have a shuttle – we could try to snag a ride on that.

  21. #21 Bjoern Brembs
    January 9, 2009

    If it’s not too late, my g/f and I would also like to attend.

  22. #22 Josh Rosenau
    January 15, 2009

    FYI, Robert Luhn will not be able to attend, so if you’ve got a waitlist, someone can move off of it.

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