Wine Mythbusters: Elucidating the Science of Wine
Dr. Christian Butzke, Purdue University
May 9, 2008
Very little of the mountains of research Purdue University produces every year goes as well with dinner as that of
Dr. Christian Butzke who is the Enology Professor in the Department of Food Science. A Purdue professor, wine
scientist, commercial winemaker and German engineer, professional wine judge and life-long wine sipper and sniffer,
this Fermilab lecturer will debunk some of the classic myths that surround wine. Wine is the most important
value-added commodity in American agriculture and a delectable topic for a discussion how modern technologies meet
ancient traditions. From corks to global warming, from proper bottle storage to the genetics of tasting wine, this
lecture will address topics of interest, concern and mystique for consumers and producers alike.
Dr. Butzke is President-elect of the American Society for Enology and Viticulture and a leading member of
the Wine Grape Action Team that serves the Midwest’s vintners and growers and helps propel its wine industry into
world-class competitiveness. He is chairman and chief judge of the Indy International Wine Competition, the largest
of its kind in America. His engagement responsibilities include the planning and teaching of a wide variety of
professional education programs as well as winery “house calls” to consult on emerging winemaking issues.
His research program focuses on conditions that affect wine and brandy quality, and he teaches FS470 “Wine
Appreciation” to over 300 students every semester. Prior to arriving in the Midwest, Dr. Butzke was Director of
Winemaking for Sakonnet Vineyards in coastal New England. An award winning producer of wines, he has been featured
in the Wine Spectator, The Economist, Rolling Stone Magazine, Food and Wine, The Financial Times
and many other publications. Prior to making wines professionally, he was a tenured faculty member in the
world-renowned Department of Viticulture and Enology at the University of California, Davis. Dr. Butzke is the
founder of the Joint Burgundy-California-Oregon Winemaking Symposia, and has served as enology program and trade
show chair for the wine industry's largest annual conference, the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium.