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The Science of Champagne (Revised Edition)

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Uncorked quenches our curiosity about the inner workings of one of the world's most prized beverages. Esteemed for its freshness, vitality, and sensuality, champagne is a wine of great complexity. Mysteries aplenty gush forth with the popping of that cork. Just what is that fizz? Can you judge champagne quality by how big the bubbles are, how long they last, or how they behave before they fade? And why does serving champagne in a long-stemmed flute prolong its chill and effervescence? Through lively prose and a wealth of state-of-the-art photos, this revised edition of Uncorked unlocks the door to what champagne is all about.

Providing an unprecedented close-up view of the beauty in the bubbles, Gérard Liger-Belair presents images that look surprisingly like lovely flowers, geometric patterns, even galaxies as the bubbles rise through the glass and burst forth on the surface. He illustrates how bubbles form not on the glass itself but are "born" out of debris stuck on the glass wall, how they rise, and how they pop. Offering a colorful history of champagne, Liger-Belair tells us how it is made and he asks if global warming could spell champagne's demise. In a brand-new afterword, he updates the reader on new developments in the world of bubble science and delves even more deeply into the processes that give champagne its unique and beautiful character.

Bubbly may tickle the nose, but Uncorked tackles what the nose and the naked eye cannot--the spectacular science that gives champagne its charm and champagne drinkers immeasurable pleasure.

From Publishers Weekly

Sep 01, 2004 – "Come quickly, brothers, I am drinking stars!" said 17th-century monk and cellar master Dom Perignon upon tasting the effervescent wine that would come to be known as champagne. Indeed, the experience of drinking champagne is mildly exhilarating in any setting, and University of Reims physics professor Liger-Belair, a Moet & Chandon consultant and self-proclaimed"bubbles addict," reveals the scientific reasons for the behavior and taste of the intoxicant in terms even a science novice can absorb. Though the romance of sipping a flute of champagne is somewhat dispelled by knowing that right after it is poured"the surfactant molecules interlock with each other and with the surrounding liquid molecules, strengthening the surface of the bubble and reducing the velocity of the liquid flows in the films of bubble caps," Liger-Belair is mindful to relate these complex physical and chemical processes to the perceptions of the drinker; he reminds readers that"bubbles bursting at the surface play a major role in flavor release." The bulk of the book is devoted to describing what happens to these bubbles, and Liger-Belair's patient discussions are accompanied by appealing photographs of bubbles at various points in their frenetic dance to the top of the glass. A short glossary, as well as Liger-Belair's unadorned prose, aid readers unfamiliar with fluid dynamics but delighted by the effervescence of champagne, making this book ideal for any champagne aficionado. 32 halftones
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  • $18.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Beverages
  • Published: Jun 02, 2013
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Seller: Princeton University Press
  • Print Length: 216 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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