2016 SWE Conference Recaps: Friday Evening

The following sessions were enjoyed by all on Friday evening, August 12, 2016 as part of SWE’s 40th Annual Conference, held at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington DC!



Mexico: A “New” Exciting Wine Country, presented by Sandra Fernandez, CWE: Sandra’s session started with a discussion of the history of wine in Mexico, which dates back to 1200, when a type of wine was produced in the area from honey and fruit, and typically based on a red berry known as acahul. Starting in the 1500’s, vinifera vines were brought to Mexico from Spain and wine was produced in many parts of the colony then referred to as “Nueva España.” In August of 1597, the Hacienda San Lorenzo winery was founded, which is today known as Casa Madero and recognized as the oldest winery in the New World.

Fast forward to today, and Mexico has a blossoming wine industry with a total of 4,000 hectares (9,880 acres) of commercial vines, over 200 wineries, and 19.5 million liters of annual wine production.

The wine producers of modern day Mexico are spread out over eight wine regions, located mostly in the northern and central parts of the country. The leading wine region—by far—is Baja California, which surrounds the city of Ensenada. The Baja California region, located near the Pacific Coast, enjoys a Mediterranean climate and produces over 80% of Mexico’s wine. For more information on the wines of Mexico, click here to download the handout and slide show from the session:Mexico – a New and Exciting Wine Country – presented by Sandra Fernandeez



Mindset and the Millennial Learner, presented by Sarah Malik, CSS, CWE, CWS, and Alistair Williams, PhD: Who are the Millennials? They were born in the 1980’s through the early 2000’s, are post-Baby Boomer and pre-Gen X. This means that they make up 100% of the 21–25 year old market, and they are responsible for 42% of the wine consumed in the US. In other words, they are an important market!

This session focused on how to create meaningful learning experiences for Millennials.  Some of the best practices include putting an emphasis on collaboration with others and sharing work assignments, using technology to enhance teaching, and facilitating critical thinking by using Wikis and blogs to enhance an inclusive learning assignment by allowing contribution and editing. For more ideas and information, download the session slide show here: Mindset and the Milennial Learner – presented by Sarah Malik and Alistair Williams



Wine and Cheese, Cheese and Wine—do they make a Good Marriage? Presented by Ed Korry, CSS, CWE, and Sarah Hill: Wine and cheese are ageless companions—or so the mythology tells us! This session attempted to cut through the clichés of food and wine pairing (referred to in the session as “cacophony” – which makes sense to anyone who has ever studied the subject) and delve into the “how” and the “why” of why food and wine—and specifically cheese and wine—working well (or not working well) together.

Some of the tenants of the session included a true definition of flavor as a combination of taste, smell, tactile sensations, and chemesthesis (among other factors) and the realization that people have differing levels of sensitivity, perceptions, and even preferences to certain taste components and flavors.

In order to explore this subject via experimentation, six different wines representing six different styles of wine were poured alongside six different cheeses (representing the award-winning cheeses of Wisconsin). To wrap up the session, the “new rules” of food and wine pairing were discussed, which include “Cause and effect is real, but whether you like it or not is individualized.” For the rest of the “new rules” as well as details on the wines and cheeses presented at the session, click here to download the session PPT for: Wine and Cheese, Cheese and Wine – presented by Ed Korry and Sara Hill

We will be posting additional conference recaps in the next few days. In addition, we are building our permanent archive of notes from the 2016 SWE Conference-click here! If you are a conference speaker who would like to share your materials, please contact Jane A. Nickles at jnickles@societyofwineeducators.org

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