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Uncorked: The Science of Champagne (Revised Edition)

Overview

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 ...

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Uncorked: The Science of Champagne

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NOOK Book (eBook - Revised edition with a New foreword by Hervé This)
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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

Popular 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
Wine News - Claudia Conlon
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.
Nature - Richard N. Zare
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.'
Science - Stuart West
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.
Popular Science - Gregory Mone
Praise for the previous edition: Uncorked is an interesting, enjoyable read for anyone who has gazed too long upon a champagne-filled flute.
Denver Post - Tara Q. Thomas
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.
Sunday Times - Joanna Simon
Praise for the previous edition: A delightfully readable little book.
Guardian - Paul Nettleton
Praise for the previous edition: [A] convivial examination of the party season's favorite tipple.
Philadelphia Inquirer - Deborah Scoblionkov
Praise for the previous edition: The ultimate guide to the 'fizzics' of sparkling wine.
From the Publisher
Winner of the 2005 Best Book in the World on French Wine, Gourmand World Cookbook Awards

Winner of the 2004 Award for Best Professional/Scholarly Book in Physics and Astronomy, Association of American Publishers

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

Praise for the previous edition: "A delightfully readable little book."—Joanna Simon, Sunday Times—London

Praise for the previous edition: "[A] convivial examination of the party season's favorite tipple."—Paul Nettleton, Guardian

Praise for the previous edition: The ultimate guide to the 'fizzics' of sparkling wine."—Deborah Scoblionkov, Philadelphia Inquirer

Wine News - Claudia Conlon

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.
Nature - Richard N. Zare

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.'
Science - Stuart West

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.
Popular Science - Gregory Mone

Praise for the previous edition: "Uncorked is an interesting, enjoyable read for anyone who has gazed too long upon a champagne-filled flute.
Denver Post - Tara Q. Thomas

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.
Sunday Times - Joanna Simon

Praise for the previous edition: "A delightfully readable little book.
Guardian - Paul Nettleton

Praise for the previous edition: "[A] convivial examination of the party season's favorite tipple.
Philadelphia Inquirer - Deborah Scoblionkov

Praise for the previous edition: "The ultimate guide to the 'fizzics' of sparkling wine.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691158723
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 6/2/2013
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Pages: 212
  • Sales rank: 999,335
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Gérard Liger-Belair is a physics professor at the University of Reims, located in the Champagne region of France.

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Table of Contents

Foreword ix
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
Afterword 143
Glossary 183
Bibliography 185
Acknowledgments 188
Index 189

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2005

    Illustrated history of a champagne bubble

    Uncorked : the science of champagne or how all to learn on this festive and sparkling beverage so much appreciated throughout the world? In a very pleasant prose to read, the author : Gerard Liger-Belair, an associate professor in Physical Sciences at the University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne and consultant for the research department of Moet & Chandon, describes elegantly and for the first time the fragile and transitory life of a champagne bubble from its birth to its burst on the surface. Furthermore superb and fascinating black and white photographs permit to visualize what the naked eye cannot perceive like the formation of geometrical structures in the shape of flowers or dynamics of the bubbles such galaxies at the liquid surface. This book is a real concentrate of knowledge combining with brilliance history, science and art. Here is a physicist in love with bubbles and phenomenon of effervescence which makes the dynamics of fluids attractive! I think that Uncorked is a remarkable tool for popularisation, accessible to the greatest number and Gerard Liger-Belair, a professor that any student would dream to have. Never again you will look at a champagne flute in the same way!

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