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Uncorked – The Science of Champagne - Hardcover

 
9780691119199: Uncorked – The Science of Champagne
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Uncorked is the first book to quench our curiosity about the inner workings of one of the world's most popular drinks. Prized 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, by how long they last, by how they behave before they fade? Why exactly does serving champagne in a long-stemmed flute prolong both the chill and the effervescence?



Through lively prose and a wealth of state-of-the-art, high-speed photos, this book unlocks the door to the mystery of what champagne effervescence is really all about. Gérard Liger-Belair provides an unprecedented close-up view of the beauty in the bubbles--images that look surprisingly like lovely flowers, geometric patterns, even galaxies as they rise through the glass and then burst forth on the surface. He fully illustrates: how bubbles form not on the glass itself but are instead "born" out of debris stuck on the glass wall; how they rise; and how they burst--the most picturesque and functional stage of the bubble's fleeting life.



Uncorked also provides a colorful history of champagne, tells us how it is made, and asks: could global warming spell its demise? Bubbly may tickle the nose, but this book tackles what the nose and the naked eye cannot--the spectacular science of that which gives champagne its charm and gives us our pleasure.


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Review:

Winner of the 2005 Best Book on European Wine, Gourmand World Cookbook Awards
Winner of the 2004 Award for Best Professional/Scholarly Book in Physics and Astronomy, Association of American Publishers
"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

"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

"Uncorked is an interesting, enjoyable read for anyone who has gazed too long upon a champagne-filled flute."--Gregory Mone, Popular Science

"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, The Denver Post

"This small, gold-wrapped 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, The Wine News

"A delightfully readable little book."--Joanna Simon, The Sunday Times (London)
"[A] convivial examination of the party season's favorite tipple."--Paul
Nettleton, The Guardian

"The ultimate guide to the 'fizzics' of sparkling wine."--Deborah
Scoblionkov, Philadelphia Inquirer

"Chances are good that during the holiday season, you found yourself holding a glass of champagne. If the festivities were flagging, a question may have crossed your mind: What causes those delightful little bubbles that tickle your nose? In Uncorked, Gerard Liger-Belair answers this and other questions that have occupied the wine world since the night French monk Dom Perignon invented champagne in the late 17th century."--Donald Morrison, Time Magazine (Europe)
From the Back Cover:

"The latest champagne science explained in blissfully plain English by a French scientist. Not just any French scientist. The author, Gérard Liger-Belair, is an associate professor at the University of Reims, where he has devoted his professional life to the study of bubble science. In 2002 he shook the champagne world when he trashed previous nucleation theory with photographic proof of how and where bubbles are created. Now he has written a remarkably concise book around his discovery, and it is something that even the least technically minded champagne lover should raise a glass to."--Tom Stevenson, author of Christie's World Encyclopedia of Champagne & Sparkling Wine


"You'll be surprised how much there is in this tasty and effervescent little book. The history of champagne, and the secrets of its preparation, are charming and (to a home-brewer like me) thoroughly enticing. But there is also a wonderful illustration here of science at its best: an everyday phenomenon like the fizzing of champagne, when considered closely, reveals hidden beauties and permits of elegant explanations. And what a beguiling place to look for them!"--Philip Ball, author of Life's Matrix and consultant editor, Nature


"A healthy dose of science cleverly disguised as a wine book. I wolfed it all down before I realized I now knew way too much about bubbles for polite dinner conversation."--Bruce Cass, Pacific Rim Wine Education Center, San Francisco


"The subject matter of this book is fascinating, and the argument is extremely well presented, with just enough hard science to make the text read authoritatively without overwhelming the general reader. Gérard Liger-Belair conveys a sense of champagne's sensual delight."--Darra Goldstein, Editor of Gastronomica: The Journal of Food and Culture


"Readers of this book will be intrigued to learn what can be seen in and deduced from a glass of champagne."--J. F. Harper, Emeritus Professor of Applied Mathematics, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand


"Champagne has enriched our lives for centuries. Not only does Professor Liger-Belair capture its poetry, he has solved the problem of how the champagne bubble is born. This book covers it all . . . how best to drink champagne, its discovery, how and why it sparkles, how the bubbles affect you, the life cycle of the champagne bubble, and yes, the future of champagne."--Karl S. Kruszelnicki, Julius Sumner Miller Fellow, Science Foundation for Physics, School of Physics (A-28), University of Sydney


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9780691158723: Uncorked: The Science of Champagne (Revised Edition)

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Publisher: Princeton University Press, 2013
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