apple cider in glasses

December 2022: Letter from the Director

Winter Wishes & 2023 Events

The holidays arrived quickly this year, and while it is a time for reflection and celebrations with family, we are also busy planning a great line-up of events for 2023.

One surprising success this year was our Sips and Bites: Exploring Wine Treatments, an experimental wine tasting. We took an alumnus-donated wine and, to separate bottles, added sugar, tartaric acid, tannin, acetic acid, and alcohol. We asked tasters to identify which glass had each addition. Then we discussed how winemakers manage these components in a bottle of finished wine and how we individually perceive the flavors. Our planned one-hour program, which sold out in 2 days, extended to more than 1 ½ hours when we stopped the Q&A and bid everyone goodnight. The audience provided many helpful suggestions to improve the format, and we will offer more like this in the future.

Registration is now open for our first event of the new year, Sips and Bites: Fascinated by Fungi, on January 25. Since childhood, Dr. Gordon Walker has harbored a deep fascination with all things fungi. Through his social media (@FascinatedByFungi), he has reached millions around the globe, sharing the fantastic diversity of colors, forms, and functions in the fungi kingdom. It promises to be a fascinating event, and we will host a wine and hors d’oeuvres reception immediately following the program.

On February 1, we will host our next Savor event, Beyond Soul Food: Black Women’s Leadership in American Food Culture, with Kimberly Nettles-Barcelón, Psyche Williams-Forson, and Chef Tanya Holland. These three award-winning thought leaders and culinary changemakers in Black women’s cultural food work will address how Black women’s creative labor is the root of American cuisine. Registration will open soon.

On February 7, join us for Sips and Bites: Wine and Chocolate Pairing. Just in time for Valentine’s day, Thalia Hohenthal and Rebecca Kuehn from Guittard Chocolate Company will join Gus Zhu, the first Chinese national Master of Wine, as we discover how to pair different chocolates with the perfect varietals of wine.  

Future events we are exploring include California agave spirits, the UC Davis Student Farm, varieties of small grains, and kombucha. In addition, we’ll host programs highlighting UC Davis student products developed as part of their academic courses, such as the annual Iron Brew beer brewing competition and food science product development. There are also many other exciting food-related events across the campus. See below for details.

We are working on our annual Year in Review publication to wrap up milestones and accomplishments in 2022. We’ll share it in an upcoming newsletter, and you can view past reports on our website.

Stay well this holiday season, and cheers to a happy new year!


Andrew Waterhouse
Director, Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science
Professor Emeritus, Department of Viticulture and Enology

View the entire December 2022 Newsletter

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