Here is a lovely bottle of wine I had not long ago together with my good friend and colleague Mark Lautens. The bottle is from 1986 and has waited for us in Mark’s impressive wine cellar. I was not even an undergrad at that time! Gorbachev was still in power, I lived in the Soviet Union, and my generation had no clue what awaited us in about 4 years. I knew I wanted to be a chemistry teacher but I was not really sure I would get into the University.
Anyways, we always have fun when we visit Mark’s place. It is too bad Jovana (my lovely wife) was on call that night and could not join us…
Speaking of Mark Lautens – here is a really cool paper from his lab from a while back. The reason this work is special for me is that it deals with amphoteric reactivity. In this particular case, Stéphane Ouellet (one of Mark’s PhD students at the time) showed how vinyl epoxides behave as amphoteric reagents.
I love the tautomerization event that creates the nucleophile capable of aldol chemistry!