Think Differently

Kendal Koorenny

A student's take:

I’m Kendal Koorenny, a senior in the UC Davis Viticulture and Enology program who has been given a fun and exciting task: giving a student’s perspective on events hosted by the Robert Mondavi Institute for Food and Wine Science.

Before I give my hot takes on all things food and wine, I want you to get to know me and my quirks. I adore cats, I’m a budding home chef and mixologist, I drink coffee like it’s my job, and I learned how to saber Champagne during quarantine. I have worked in various roles in the wine industry—from helping with harvest to marketing wines—but my favorite job is writing, and I hope to become a full-time wine writer once I finish school.

I have been attending events at the Robert Mondavi Institute for Food and Wine Science since I began studying at UC Davis, like last year’s Walt Klenz Wine Business Speakers Series, featuring winemaker, author and physician Laura Catena. I also attended the event Sips and Bites: Iron Brew Competition Winners. This was a virtual tasting featuring the winning beer made by UC Davis students. Getting to drink and learn about beer made by peers and friends was an incredible experience!

I love that the institute’s events bring a personal feel to global topics, and present unique perspectives that paint big pictures. Each event showcases campus scientists and leaders in the wine and food industries who put their research into practice. They are people who have accomplished incredible things with tangible and far-reaching impacts. The topics presented in each event highlight the individuals who have used their ability to think critically and differently to discover, to create, to grow.

Hearing from researchers and innovative professionals has always inspired and challenged me to think, and I view the institute’s events as being just as valuable to my education as my regular classes and science labs.

My goal for my column is not to summarize events or to reiterate points that have already been made, but rather to provide an authentic and unique perspective as a UC Davis student and to challenge you to think differently, just as the events have done for me.

I hope you follow along with me—with a glass of wine in hand, of course!


Kendal Koorenny is a senior at UC Davis, where she is majoring in viticulture and enology and minoring in professional writing. She adores food, wine, and science and writing about it all! When she is not in class or working, you can find Kendal reading a book or in her kitchen crafting a new cocktail recipe.

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