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Champagne and Chocolates: The Nose Knows

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Friday evening Morton's in Burbank hosted a tasting of Piper-Heidsiek champagne and Vosges chocolates. The evening started with generous pourings of Piper Sonoma Brut and hearty appetizers including Smoked Salmon Wedges, Broiled Sea Scallops and Petite Filet Mignon Sandwiches.

The party then moved into the dining room where tables were set with champagne glasses and chocolates along with various fruits and vials of scents for "nosing". Yes, "nosing". French people often use the term for sniffing your wine or champagne, but the term is also used to describe a tasting technique. While tasting the wine or champagne, the taster smells various fruits and essences to bring out the different notes.

We were first treated to a lecture on the making of champagne as well as the story of Vosges chocolates. After being warned there would be a test, we were a little concerned we were in champagne driving school. But the talk was short and educational, and the "test" turned out to be be a very lively Jeopardy-like game that involved a lot of shouting and laughing.