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Uncorked: The Science of Champagne [Kindle Edition]

Gérard Liger-Belair , Hervé This
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £16.95
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Book Description

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.



Product Description

Review

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

From the Back Cover

"No one knows bubbliness better than Gérard Liger-Belair, and this new edition of his delightful Uncorked brings fresh insights--and beautiful photographs--to illuminate its sparkling subject."--Harold McGee, author of On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 11789 KB
  • Print Length: 205 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press; Revised edition with a New foreword by Hervé This edition (2 Jun. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CRYV812
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #840,627 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Illustrated history of a champagne bubble 26 Jan. 2005
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
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!
A lover of champagne
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and fun 21 Jan. 2014
By AP80
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
An excellent little book detailing the intrinsic characteristics of bubble formation in champagne. Fascination for a champagne lover like me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 12 Mar. 2015
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Great Item, High Quality. Arrived on time, just as you'd expect really.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  8 reviews
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Illustrated history of a champagne bubble 24 Jan. 2005
By a biochemist - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
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!

A lover of champagne
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Stick to the Science 10 Sept. 2005
By Mitchell Pressman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
A short review for a short book -- the science is fascinating; unfortunately the author mixes his knowledge of science with his lack of knowledge about wine. While I share his love of Champagne, some of M. Liger-Belair's other vinous statements are either not based on fact or are based on opinion -- that would be welcome whether I agreed with his opinions or not, if it didn't confuse the original thesis, which is, "this is a book about the science of bubbles." Still, this book is worth reading if only for the terrific, entertaining foreward. Cheers.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this book, but it's not for every Champagne drinker 4 Jan. 2014
By Ursiform - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The subtitle of this book is "the Science of Champagne", and this is a book of science. It starts with an historical introduction to sparkling wine (the real history, not the myths). But then it get into science. Real science.

As you go through this book you'll encounter Henry's law and Van der Waals forces. You'll learn the difference between the fluid sphere limit and the rigid sphere limit. On one page you'll encounter wake instabilities and hydrodynamic instability. You'll learn about nucleation and laser tomography.

None of which is bad. I'm a physicist by training, and I eat this stuff up. If you are interested in both science and bubbly, you should enjoy this book. But if the preceding paragraph put you off, this probably isn't the book for you.

This is a fairly technical book with figures, photos, and references. As technical works go, it's a quick read. But if technical stuff turns you off, you won't enjoy it.

As a warning, there is a section on what global warming might do to the Champagne region. If you refuse to accept that warming is occurring, this might annoy you.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. But it's not for everyone.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Book about my Favorite Drink 22 Jun. 2005
By Bernard M. Patten - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The problem with Champagne, at least for me, is that it tends to disappear too fast. That was also the problem with this book. It reads too fast. Before I knew it the pleasure was behind me. Uncorked starts with the history of this famous drink, including the revelation that Dom Pierre Perignon was originally told by the Pope and other powers to get those lousy bubbles out of the white wine. Then the members of the Royal Court at Versailles under Louis XIV began to appreciate the bubbles. So, after years of fruitless labor trying to get the bubbles out of the wine, at the end of the seventeenth century, Dom was ordered to reverse his efforts and devise methods to increase the bubbling in the wine, which, incidentally, he did. After history, we have a chapter on making Champagne: pretty standard stuff. But if you don't know it yet, learn it here so at the next dinner you can talk with authority. Next comes the most informative chapter: A Flute or Goblet? Which is better? Those of you who know Champagne know the answer. And those of you who don't know Champagne can find the correct answer here. The amazing thing for me is that I knew the answer, but I didn't understand the scientific reasons why flute was better. Science is always right and here we find no exception. The last few chapters then talk in extenso about bubbles and as this is the essence of Chamapgne, the discussion is well worth the effort expended in studying the science of Champagne bubbles and the photographs that illustrate that science. Just as a book has a beginning, a middle, and an end, a bubble has a birth, a rise, and a burst. This book didn't make me want to go out an read more about Champagne, but it did make me want to go out and drink some more and while drinking I shall appreciate the remarkable history and science that goes into this fine drink.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful, but not amazing 20 July 2013
By D. Speer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
When I ordered this book I was hoping for more about science around Champagne as a whole, but this book is very focused on the bubbles and the science behind them. Literally how the bubbles form, move, etc not much on which yeasts will get better results, nor how various grapes or styles of rose will impact the bubbles. There's definitely some useful information in here, but I would buy this book only if you're really into Champagne or liquid/bubble physics.
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