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 foreword, renowned chemist Hervé This places the evolution of champagne within the context of molecular gastronomy and the science of cuisine, and in an original afterword, Liger-Belair 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.
Gérard Liger-Belair is a physics professor at the University of Reims, located in the Champagne region of France.
Praise for the previous edition: "[This] jewel-of-a-book makes the perfect companion gift to a bottle of bubbly. . . . Written by a passionate, wine-loving physicist with just the proper level of jargon for non-scientists, the birth, rise and bursting of a Champagne bubble is scrutinized, rhapsodized, diagrammed, photographed and, finally, demystified. . . . Knowing more about a bubble's lowly birth (formed from debris on the side of the glass) and ephemeral rise to fame will only serve to make you love it more."--Claudia Conlon, Wine News
Praise for the previous edition: "This book presents the birth, life and death of a champagne bubble with such gusto, good humor and clarity that you will devour its delicious contents in one gulp. Whereas good champagne is to be sipped, this book is not. You will never experience the sensual elegance of champagne in quite the same way again once you have read this entertaining account of its history and 'fizzics.'"--Richard N. Zare, Nature
Praise for the previous edition: "A highly entertaining introduction to the science of champagne bubbles. . . . Uncorked is very readable, and Liger-Belair's clear and simple descriptions of the physics are superbly suitable for a general audience. The book is also very aesthetically pleasing, making it an ideal present for wine lovers and bores alike."--Stuart West, Science
Praise for the previous edition: "Uncorked is an interesting, enjoyable read for anyone who has gazed too long upon a champagne-filled flute."--Gregory Mone, Popular Science
Praise for the previous edition: "Liger-Belair, a physicist inspired to study bubbles by a brainstorm over a beer, delves into a champagne flute with a curiosity as strong as his microscope. The result is a book as informative as it is engaging, boosted by the gorgeous, up-close photos of bubbles in motion."--Tara Q. Thomas, Denver Post
Table of Contents:
1 Introduction 1
2 The History of Champagne 7
3 The Making of Champagne 19
4 A Flute or a Goblet? 31
5 The Birth of a Bubble 37
6 The Bubble Rises 59
7 The Bubble Bursts 85
8 The Future of Champagne Wines 133