Many individuals think of scientific phenomena as events that are difficult to understand but that is not the case. Scientific phenomenon explains events that are observable through all five senses. A good example is yawning. There are several explanations about why people yawn. It is a signal that the body sends to the brain to stay awake. In addition to that yawning is believed to help cool the brain. Another observable phenomenon is why yawning is contagious. Some of the possible explanations are that it is a way of demonstrating empathy and in some cases contributes to social bonding. Contrary to what many believe, a scientific phenomenon does not have to be anything mysterious.
If something can be observed through sight, touch, smell, taste, or hearing it is considered a scientific phenomenon. My Uncle Mark, who is a wine lover, uses a common scientific phenomenon that he witnessed and decided to use to his advantage. My middle-aged uncle had a small garden in his backyard where he liked to grow flowers and vegetables as a hobby. He used most of his free time caring for his plants. He nurtured them in the best way possible by watering and pruning them often. Additionally, he would apply manure on his plants to give them nutrients. This is when he observed the simple phenomenon of fermentation. Fermentation is the breakdown of organic materials by microorganisms like bacteria and yeast to produce nutrients that plants need to grow. At first, he would buy the manure but later discovered the organic waste from his kitchen worked well too.
A few years later, Uncle Mark inherited a huge piece of land from our lovely grandparents when they passed away. He debated for a while what to do with the under-utilized land. After some months of discussing it with his wife and their money manager, they decided that they would venture into the winemaking business. The soil and the local weather in the area were conducive to growing grapes. He did extensive research on the business and saw that it was a good fit for him since he had access to the necessary resources and was already passionate about growing and caring for plants.
He explains the process of making wine as simple, fun, and worth every sip. Even though the process is time intensive, the exotic flavors that come out are exquisite. Before the fermenting process begins, the fruit is crushed then frozen for at least three days. This is followed by pouring boiling sugar water or fruit sterilizing substance (if it is not organic wine) over the fruit to ensure all the bacteria, yeast, and unwanted flavors are removed. The next step involves adding yeast to the fruit and stirring it into the mixture to make a must. The must is left in a well-ventilated room to ferment. The yeast breaks down the sugar into alcohol. It is therefore important to consider the amount of sugar so as not to make the wine too sweet. Other than for drinking, wine makes a wonderful culinary ingredient for sauces, salad dressings, and some desserts.
Although it was not easy at first, he managed to build his winemaking business from the ground up. Applying the simple concept of fermentation, is what is currently making him a fortune. Who thought that a simple scientific concept observed in one’s backyard could make them wealthy. The biggest lesson I learn from his decision to make wine is to always do what you love and everything else will fall into place.