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Philosophy scholars converge to
discuss 'Philosophy and Wine' on April 4



Matt Itelson
SF State Office of Public Affairs & Publications
(415) 338-1665


Press Release published by the Office of Public Affairs & Publications


American Philosophical Association-Pacific, SF State present conference at Westin St. Francis hotel

SAN FRANCISCO, March 9, 2007 -- Does knowledge of wine make it taste better? How meaningful are wine ratings? Are tastes and aromas in the wine or in the head? These are among the questions that 14 distinguished philosophy scholars, a wine tasting expert, two vintners, a sommelier and a wine critic will address on April 4 at an all-day miniconference on "Philosophy and Wine" at the Westin St. Francis hotel at Union Square in San Francisco.

The miniconference, part of the annual meeting of the American Philosophical Association's (APA) Pacific Division, is co-sponsored by San Francisco State University's Philosophy Department. About 1,300 philosophers are expected to attend the full annual meeting from April 3 to 8.

SF State Professor Emeritus of Philosophy Kent Bach, who has published journal articles and presented lectures on philosophy and wine, is the chief organizer. He will introduce the program.

"The idea behind the conference is to use the example of wine to give focus to broader questions about the least studied of the senses, taste and smell, and about the relation of sensory experience to language, knowledge, evaluation and appreciation," said Bach, an avid wine collector. "Most of the speakers are wine-loving philosophers." They come from as far as away as Florida, Toronto and London.

Other speakers include Ann Noble of UC Davis, inventor of the Wine Aroma Wheel; winemakers Paul Draper of Ridge Vineyards and Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon Vineyard; Rajat Parr, wine director of Restaurant Michael Mina; and Gerald Asher, contributing wine editor of Gourmet Magazine.

Session topics include: detecting tastes and aromas in wine, the nature of taste, analyzing and categorizing wines, evaluating wines, and the aesthetics of wine.

Registration for the daylong mini-conference is $10 at the door. A tutored tasting, with a fee of $50, will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Contact Linda Smallbrook at 


WHAT: Miniconference on "Philosophy and Wine," presented by the American Philosophical Association's Pacific Division and San Francisco State University's Philosophy Department

WHO: Distinguished philosophers and wine professionals

WHEN: 9:30 a.m. – 7 p.m., Wednesday, April 4

WHERE: Tower Suite, Westin St. Francis, 335 Powell St., San Francisco


ADMISSION: $10 for daylong conference; $50 for 6 p.m. tutored tasting

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Last modified April 24, 2007, by the Office of Public Affairs & Publications