J. Ernest ("Ernie") Simpson joined the Chemistry Department at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, in 1968 after completing his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. (organic chemistry) at the University of New Mexico and spending one year as a visiting chemistry professor at Pomona College. In 1973-74 he was on leave as visiting research associate in the Department of Enology and Viticulture at UC/Davis. He is an active member of the American Society for Enology and Viticulture and has served on the editorial review board committee for the society's journal.
He has published a California wine guide. He is a member of the Society of Wine Educators and the American Wine Society. At Cal Poly he has developed industrial chemistry and cooperative education courses/programs. He was the Director of Cooperative Education for Cal Poly (1980-2001). His research interests and publications are in the areas of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, Carbon-13-labeled compounds, and phenolic compounds, especially in grapes and wine. He was selected several times for Exceptional Merit Service Awards at Cal Poly. In 1996 he was selected as the outstanding advisor in the College of Science, and his co-op program was chosen as the best in California. He is a member of ACS (San Gorgonio past chair and current councilor), California Association of Chemistry Teachers (program chairman and southern section president, 1985-87), California Cooperative Education Association (president 1996-97), and Sigma Xi.
Chemistry of Wine
The talk will include an overview of wine and wine making and more detailed descriptions of the chemical composition of grapes and wine, laboratory methods for analysis of grapes and wines, sensory and organoleptic methods used for wine, the role of tannin and other phenolic compounds in wine, and some potential health aspects of wine. This talk is ideally designed for a 50-65 minute presentation but it can be condensed to 30 minutes. It can also be combined with a "component and varietal analysis" which allows audience participation during a 75-90 minute presentation. During a component analysis the audience will be given a reference wine sample with known levels of components such as acid, sugar, alcohol, etc. and then "unknown" samples in which one or more components have been increased by a known increment. During a varietal analysis a representative number of white and red wines will be compared. A local section may elect to have part or all of the varietal analysis combined with the meal portion of their meeting. Local sections or groups wishing to have the component and varietal analysis will need to give the speaker 4-6 weeks advance notice in order to allow the sample to be prepared and shipped to the meeting site as well as to arrange other details involved in putting on such an analysis. The cost of the wine samples will vary depending on how many samples are presented. The cost should be in the $5-6 per person range.