Dal expertise and wine tasting – an excellent pairing

Part of Homecoming 2012

- September 21, 2012

A nice glass of wine. (Flickr user zoxcleb, used under Creative Commons licence)

Popping the cork on a bottle of wine doesn’t always require a special occasion. But Allan Paulson, a professor of food science with the Faculty of Engineering, says the variety you choose is often enhanced by when and how you serve it.

“Each wine has a quality that makes it more desirable in a particular context,” says the certified sommelier. “It could be the meal you eat, or a romantic evening, because it’s more than wine: it’s a social experience.”

In that spirit, Dr. Paulson is working with the faculties of Engineering and Architecture & Planning to create a unique social experience for Homecoming 2012. The two faculties are jointly hosting a wine tasting event for Dalhousie alumni and faculty on September 28 from 6-8 p.m. in the Exhibit Room at the Ralph Medjuck Building as part of the university’s Homecoming festivities.

The seeds for this event were sown last winter when Josh Leon, dean of engineering, and his wife, with Dr. Paulson’s help, hosted a wine tasting for some friends at their home. To make the evening even more special, they decided to make it a fundraiser for Feed Nova Scotia.

“My wife and I have long been supporters of this organization, but we’d never held a fundraiser like this,” explains Dr. Leon. “So we created a menu for the night, everyone contributed for the wine and we asked our friends to make a $50 donation if they wanted to participate. At the end of this wonderful evening, we had raised $1,400 for an important cause.”

Supporting the Student Experience Fund


Given the success of the event, it seemed a natural fit for Homecoming and a great opportunity to raise funds for the Science Student Experience Fund, which supports community outreach activities, field trips and conferences for students.

“It’s all about ensuring our students get a complete education,” says Dr. Leon. “The ability to participate in activities and events outside the classroom is important because it augments what they learn. That’s what makes a university great. Thanks to the generosity of our community and our alumni, we’re able to offer our students these experiences.”

Adds Dr. Paulson: “I’m a professor. I don’t want to compete with a sommelier that does this for a living, so I always do wine tastings for charity. It’s a nice way to give back to the community and it makes for a unique evening.”

Everyone who attends will get to sample several wines provided by Bishops Cellar and a lovely assortment of delicious canapés specially chosen to complement each variety. “It’s a great opportunity for anyone with a  connection to Dalhousie to visit the university while seeing old friends and making new ones,” says Dr. Leon. “Plus, Allan is a great professor who is very passionate about food and wine, so I think it’s an evening that faculty and alumni won’t want to miss.”

The Architecture & Planning and Engineering Wine Tasting will take place from 6- 8 p.m. Friday, September 28 in the Exhibit Room of the Ralph Medjuck Building at 5410 Spring Garden Road. Tickets for the event are $45 and are available online here, or call Terri Mann at 902.494.1378 for more details.

Sponsors for Homecoming 2012 include platinum supporters TD Insurance Meloche Monnex, MBNA and Egg Films.


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