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November 20, 1986|LINK MATHEWSON

The Red Ribbon 100, the women's advisory council to the Orange County Chapter of the American Red Cross, brought out 400 guests to Tuesday night's "Showboat Champagne Fest '86," an evening of "sipping and savoring Southern style."

Co-chairs of the event, Olivia Johnson and Wanda Cobb, welcomed the unexpected sales of tickets at the door of the Reuben E. Lee.

"It must have been the brands that were featured," said Johnson.

More than 40 top wineries donated sparkling wines, cognacs and ports in support of the fund-raiser. Among them were Dom Perignon, Laurent Perrier, Louis Roederer, Moet & Chandon, Taittinger, Mumms and Perrier Jouet.

A special tasting of Louis XIII cognac and Piper Heidsieck's Piper Rare, accompanied by caviar, was held in the Wheelhouse of the restaurant. Because of the limited space of the room, guests made reservations for the tasting, conducted by Charles DePoix, executive vice-president of Piper Heidsieck.

Earlier in the evening, DePoix awed guests dockside with a demonstration of a champagne sabering.

Using a saber similar to the ones used in Napoleon's army, he removed the cork from the bottle with a deft "whack," causing a gush of bubbles.

Indoors, guests roamed throughout the various rooms and levels of the boat to sample the drinks and the elaborate Southern-style buffet.

Ticket drawings from seven champagne buckets offered weekend trips to the wine country, champagne gift baskets, facials and other prizes.

George Chitty, executive director of the Santa Ana-based chapter, credited the 100 for "the incredibly good job of spreading the word about our service to the community."

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