Somewhere over the rainbow flag
South Australian Museum to display ‘world’s finest opal’
An Australian museum said Monday it would exhibit what it believes is the best opal stone ever found — a 6.0-centimeter multi-colored gem unearthed in the Outback named the Virgin Rainbow.
The South Australian Museum said the stone, valued at more than AU$1 million (US$730,000), would go on public display for the first time in September to mark the centenary of opal mining in the country.
“It’s of unequalled quality, it’s a fully crystal opal,” museum director Brian Oldman told AFP.
“It’s almost as if there’s a fire in there; you see all different colors. As the light changes, the opal itself changes. It’s quite an amazing trick of nature.”
Dug up in the South Australia desert town of Coober Pedy in 2003 by local miners, the Virgin Rainbow came into the museum’s possession about 18 months ago and will be part of an exhibition opening in Adelaide next month.
Some 90 percent of the world’s opals come from South Australia, once covered by an inland sea which over millions of years provided an ideal environment for the formation of the stone.
“I think this exhibition will have the finest collection of precious opals that we believe have been brought to one place in the world,” Oldman added.
Bordeaux is France’s biggest wine-growing region and most people associate it with red wine. White wines — dry and sweet — represent a mere 10 percent of current production.
But that was not always the case. Until the 1970s white wine production was about the same level as red in the region. Trends and fashion influence wine as much as anything else in society.
Bordeaux’s whites have improved markedly in recent years. One of the reasons is the work of Professor Denis Dubourdieu and his team at Bordeaux University. They have identified specific aromas that give Sauvignon Blanc its characteristic aromas and taste. This insight has led to improved winemaking techniques.
Bordeaux whites are typically blends of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle, sometimes with a touch of Sauvignon Gris. Some wines designed for early drinking are made only with Sauvignon Blanc, and these can be refreshing and charming on a summer’s day.
Sauvignon Blanc gives Bordeaux
A large rainbow flag is carried during the Vancouver Pride Parade in Vancouver, British Columbia, Sunday, Aug. 2. Organizers expected hundreds of thousands of people to take part in the parade.