How do they get those little bubbles into champagne, and why are they -- the plural bubbles -- called the bead in the singular? Pink champagnes are back, but can we afford to drink them instead of aperitifs? What's the methode champenoise for opening a bottle without making a loud, unprofessional pop? Those are a few of the questions that will be answered by Smitty Kogan, of the Champagne News and Information Bureau.
Kogan's lecture on champagne is one of a 14-week series for restaurant, bar, hotel and liquor trade personnel. It's the second Wine Captain's Seminar, organized by the Washington Chapter of the Sommelier Society of America, starting Sept. 8.
Wine education is a major activity of the society, and this year's expanded syllabus covers a broad range of wine-related subjects, from the serving of wine, through the wine producing regions of Europe and the United States, to the merchandising of wine. Lecturers from the wine trade and wine media will present tastings, films and slides.
Members, or prospective members, of the Sommelier Society can get more information from the society's president, Norman Larsen, 1530 Wisconsin Ave. NW, or call 333-3108 or 333-8194.
No prizes for spotting the difference, but the two designs have meant double trouble for label collectors. When Baron Philippe de Rothschild invited French-Canadian artist Jean-Paul Riopelle to design the 1978 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild label, Riopelle came us with the two designs, using circle motif for which he is known. The baron couldn't decide which he preferred, so, with his usual talent for promotion, he used both.
Mouton-Rothschild labels have been collectors' items since 1945, when the baron started the custom of inviting a different artist to design the label for each vintage. Past artists include Cocteau ('47), Braque ('55), Chagall ('70), Picasso ('73) and Warhol ('75). Riopelle's two designs have made the '78, at the current shelf price of $45 a bottle, a pricey newcomer to a collection.
Georges Duboeuf, whom Alexis Lichine called "Beaujolais' moving spirit," is moving all right. To California -- at least on a part-time basis. Beaujolais' famed producer has joined the growing band of transatlantic winemakers.
With the financial help of Tom Jordan, of the Jordan Winery, he has just released his first California wine and, as one would expect, it's a fruity red in the beaujolais style. Duboeuf himself has not made that comparison; there's no predominant grape varietal, and the wine has been unassumingly labeled 1980 Red Table Wine, North Coast. However, the blend of varietals shows the intentions of the producer: 45 percent Napa gamay, 45 percent gamay beaujolais, 10 percent petite sirah.
The beaujolais qualities are there, more noticeably than in other California gamays. The wine is light-bodied and fruity, in the fuller style of the crus, such as a chenas or julienas. To really appreciate its freshness, take the label's advice and serve the wine slightly chilled.
Washington is scheduled to be the first area outside California to receive the new wine. It'll be on the shelves by mid-September, at $4.99 a bottle. From his home ground, Duboeuf's '79 and '80 crus beaujolais will also be available in September