The champagne was flowing at last night's Mitsubishi party - Ruinart, as Chris pointed out to me. As guests greeted each other in the fiercely over-heated room with a clink of their glass flutes, little did they think of the chemistry going on under their very noses.
Advances have been made this very week and reported in the Times in scientists' understanding of what makes champagne taste so good. Surprise, surprise - it's all in the bubbles.
"The bubbles carry aromas up to the surface and leave them hovering above the sparkling liquid in a fine mist ... the molecules responsible for the aroma come attached to fatty acids released by the yeast ... The acids are double-ended compounds with one end that is attracted to water and another that shuns it ... As the bubbles rise to the surface, the aromatic molecules are carried upwards and released as aerosols as the bubble pops at the surface."