Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, October 6, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page A:8



Mountain Views-News Saturday, October 6, 2018 

TABLE FOR TWO by Peter Dills

Many of you had a favorite subject in school. Many 
studies have shown that what you like is what you’re 
good at. And I love Sparkling wine and champagne, so 
it gives me a great satisfaction to continue our month 
long look at various wines that Sparkle. A quick history 
lesson; Even though he spent most of his career trying 
to rid his champagne of bubbles, Dom Pérignon’s 
pioneering techniques were used to make white wine 
from red wine grapes. This process would eventually 
come to influence the development of all modern 
sparkling champagnes. It seems that the wine in the 
Monk’s caves often exploded. Luckily for us, Dom 
eventually embraced his method. Once he got the 
process down his famous words were, “Come quickly, I 
am drinking the stars!”

 We look this week towards the region of Sonoma to 
the Gloria Ferrer Winery. I have enjoyed their sparklers 
for years, although not as common or as assessable 
as their counterparts in Napa, it’s truly a delightful 
wine. This Brut consists of 91% pinot noir and 9 % 
chardonnay. An award winning wine, you bet it is! The 
Ferrer winery has won over 400 gold medals and 90+ 
over 30 times in the past five years. When I see Gloria 
Ferrer on a restaurant menu, especially by the glass, I 
never hesitate to order it. The Brut has a phenomenal 
taste backed up by a toasty finish. In layman’s terms: 
you experience a wonderful bubbly sensation in your 

 My recent contribution to a wine and cheese party 
where the guests were asked to bring a bottle of wine 
was the Gloria Ferrer Brut. It went over with a Splash!

Dills Score

 Each week I will give you my Dills Score. I have added 
points for value. I’m starting with a base of 50 points; I 
added 7 points for color, 7 points for aroma or “nose”, 11 
points for taste, 9 points for finish, and 9 points for my 
overall impression, which includes my value rating.

 Total Score 93, retail $
18 get over to Vons this 
weekend for their sale you might score this one for 
under $16

 Tune into Dining w/Dills Sunday at 12noon on AM 
830 KLAA

 Email Peter at



A month before the planned launch of the joint ESA-
JAXA BepiColombo mission to Mercury, two new 
studies shed light on when the innermost planet 
formed and the puzzle of its chemical composition. 
The findings are being presented by Bastien Brugger 
and Thomas Ronnet at the European Planetary 
Science Congress (EPSC) 2018 in Berlin.

 Mercury is the least-studied of the terrestrial 
planets and is something of an anomaly compared 
to Venus, Earth, and Mars. It is very small, very 
dense, has an oversized molten core, and formed 
under chemical conditions that mean it contains 
much less oxidized material than its neighboring 

 Research by a team at the University of Aix 
Marseille suggests that two factors may help explain 
why Mercury is so strange. Firstly, the planet 
may have formed very early in the solar system’s 
history from condensed vapor from planetesimals. 
Secondly, that there may be more iron within 
Mercury’s mantle than might be suggested by 
measurements of the surface.

 “We think that very early in the solar system, 
planetesimals in the innermost region of the 
solar system could have formed from reprocessed 
material that was vaporized due to the extreme 
temperature there and subsequently recondensed,” 
said Ronnet. “In addition, we are able to rule out a 
scenario where Mercury formed from a pile-up of 
planetesimals coming from further out in the solar 
system since, in this case, Mercury would contain 
more oxidized material than we actually find.”

 Early studies have suggested that Mercury is 
very rich in iron, and contains more sulfur than 
should be available in the material from which the 
bulk of the solar system formed. Since then, the 
MESSENGER mission has greatly improved our 
view of the bulk composition of Mercury.

Brugger ran computer simulations of Mercury’s 
interior investigating core and mantle compositions 
and compared the results with gravity data gathered 
by the MESSENGER mission. The results suggest 
that Mercury has a dense mantle that may contain 
substantial amounts of iron.

 “MESSENGER revealed very low abundances 
of silicate iron on the surface of Mercury, and 
this element would instead be present in metallic 
or sulfide phases. Our study suggests that iron 
abundances in the mantle could be higher than 
values measured on the surface,” said Brugger. 
“With the launch of BepiColombo, we will have 
a whole new suite of instruments to continue the 
investigation of Mercury’s unique properties, and 
try to better understand the structure and origin of 
the planet.”

 BepiColombo is Europe’s first mission to 
Mercury. It is a joint endeavor between ESA and 
the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, JAXA, 
and consists of two scientific orbiters: ESA’s 
Mercury Planetary Orbiter and JAXA’s Mercury 
Magnetospheric Orbiter. They will be carried on a 
seven-year journey to the innermost planet by the 
Mercury Transfer Module, using a combination of 
ion propulsion and gravity assist flybys at Earth, 
Venus, and Mercury. The mission will study all 
aspects of Mercury, building on the achievements 
of MESSENGER to provide the best understanding 
of the solar system’s innermost planet to date.

 You can contact Bob Eklund at: b.eklund@

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