Champagne simply the most dahling By Oona Woods If you can happily part with $350 for a quality night out you're probably already going to the Bear Foot Bistro's Dom Perignon champagne winemakers dinner on April 5. Manager Andre St. Jacques' mission is to bring premier goods and the latest in high quality food and wine to the welcoming arms of Whistler. Dom Perignon have provided the seven different vintage champagnes for the charity event and will send a case per vintage as well as a crate of Hennesey cognac. The Bistro fully expects to go through 700 German crystal champagne flutes that night. St. Jacques is already well renown for his spearheading stance on cigar smoking. He took it out of the private den and made it public practice locally with the smoking lounge at the Bistro. With St. Jacques' ability for divining the latest trend among the rich and quality oriented his prediction that champagne is about to bubble over into every day enjoyment is probably a sure bet. "There's been a huge effort over the last 10 years to push and promote champagne in general," says St. Jacques. "Now that we're coming closer to the millennium you'll see more and more of it. People are realizing that champagne doesn't just have to be for New Year's. It goes very well with all different foods, steak, salmon or chocolate." In order to facilitate this burgeoning champagne culture, the Bistro is selling it by the glass. "Think how many times in your life you've had champagne. You probably haven't tried more than a few kinds. Selling by the glass allows people to try more kinds. We rotate the brands regularly. There are 50 different kinds on our wine list." The winemakers dinner in April will be raising money for the Vancouver Playhouse. St. Jacques defends the decision to fund a Vancouver cause as opposed to a local one. "They (the Playhouse) approached me to join them for the closing event of their 20th anniversary wine festival. It's a very high profile event. It's of mutual benefit to us and it will be putting Whistler on the map. People that may not come up here to ski because they are more focused toward food and drink will be coming up for the event. There will be people from Seattle as well as international reporters and gourmets. There are at least a dozen great culinary restaurants in Whistler and this is a way of drawing people up to them. When they are here they will notice the high standards and hopefully they'll come back." St. Jacques says that if the event wasn't being sponsored by Dom Perignon he would have to charge close to $2,500 per person to obtain the same quality of champagne. "We're not here to make a profit, we're here to make an impression." Some facts about the bubbly: o Marilyn Monroe's favourite brand of bubbly was 1943 Dom. o Champagne is fermented twice, causing it to carbonate naturally. o Dom Perignon is named after the seminary monk who discovered champagne when he inadvertently fermented his wine twice. o You can put champagne in a Tom Collins instead of soda if you want to get loaded even quicker. o The correct way to pour champagne is to do it in two dashes. The first one will cause the bubbles to rise to the top of the glass. The second won't rise as fast. o The larger the bottle the better the ageing capabilities. o In a proper champagne the bubbles rising upwards should be thin and smooth, not big and shocking. o St. Jacques predicts a shortage of champagne in the next few years. o A double magnum of Millennium Dom Perignon will set you back about $36,000 Canadian. o True champagne comes from the Champagne region. If it is not from there it can't be called champagne. o James Bond's favourite Dom Perignon year is 1966. o The process of fermenting twice is called Method champagnoise. o Sparkling wine is not fermented twice. It is injected with CO2. o The Bear Foot Bistro is commissioning a special 20 litre bottle of bubbly for their 1999 New Year's party. o A vintage champagne is one where all the grapes used are from the same year o A non-vintage champagne is when different wines from different years have been blended to maintain consistency of taste.