Scientific discovery wine pairings

Emily Bills for – @emilygbills

Sitting alone one night, drinking wine, I thought it would be cool to do a list of wine pairings with scientific discoveries. In fact, I thought this was a really, really good idea. I imagined that we’d all sit around a big table drinking wine, laughing, and associating it with (what else?) science. Then I pitched this idea at a production meeting and everyone was like, “Were you drunk?”


Anyways, the editor thought it was weird enough to run anyways: The perfect list for the science nerd’s night in. I also contemplated doing a wine and cheese pairing, but realized that might be going a little far.

To be clear: Each monumental scientific discovery is paired with the wine that best brings out its scientific flavors. I also have included a link to a cool book related to each discovery.

Without further ado, I give you: Scientific discovery wine pairings.

1. Gravity paired with a rich Merlot

Legend has it that Sir Isaac Newton saw an apple fall from a tree and was like, “woah guys I bet that’s a force of nature.” Because the discovery of gravity was so monumental and a little but fruity, it should be paired with merlot. Merlot has that hint of sweetness with earthy undertones, and each sip is sure to help you feel grounded.

A Journey Into Gravity and Spacetime by John Archibald Wheeler

2. Herschel’s Map with Prosecco spumante

William Herschel was, without a doubt, the man. He saw the faint, frothy band of the Milky Way and theorized that it was full of stars. He built larger telescopes and eventually became the first to map the size and shape of our Milky Way Galaxy. He also assembled the largest catalogue of nebulae ever, and found that these patches of light also were made of stars. We’re thinking that the obvious pairing here would be with a light prosecco, full of bubbles to remind you of starry nebulae as your mind drifts to galaxies far, far away.

Discoverers of the Universe: William and Caroline Herschel by Michael Hoskin

3. Electric generator with Sauvignon Blanc

In 1831, Michael Faraday used a magnet inside a coil of copper wire to create a flowing electric current. Although crude, his invention led the way for Edison and Swan who went on to invent the incandescent filament light bulb. A classic staple, sav blanc pairs well with this discovery. Your first sip of sauvignon blanc might taste a bit acidic and dry, almost like your tongue has been electrocuted. It’s okay though, because it gives way to ‘lighter’ flavors like grapefruit and grass.

The Electric Life of Michael Faraday by Alan Hirshfield

4. Plum pudding model of an atom with Zinfandel blush

J.J. Thompson knows where it’s at because he, too, paired science with delicious food. (Yes, wine is a food group.) Thompson took his earlier discovery of electrons and wondered how they worked in a cell. He looked at his dessert and it came to him! The raisins are the negatively charged electrons, and the plum pudding was the positively charged stuff. Although his theory was disproved with the discovery of the atomic nucleus, he had the right idea with the electrons, at least. A nice zinfandel blush pairs well with this discovery, as it is sweet, but doesn’t pack as much punch as other wines.

Good Old Fashioned Puddings by Sara Paston-Williams


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