THINKING about champagne for the holidays? Get smart before you pay out. This evening, Laurent Rigaud takes the podium in honour of champagne. At Champagne Rendez-vous, a lecture and tasting of 20 champagnes, the president of the Hong Kong Maitres d'Hotel Association will explain how champagne is made, how to serve it, what glassware to use, how to store it and match it with Western and Chinese food. The talk cum tasting is open to the public. Entrance fee is $100 per guest. Sponsored by French Promotion Board for Food and Beverages (SOPEXA), the event will be held in the function room ''Home Straight'', 4/F Member's Stand I, Happy Valley Racecourse,Happy Valley. It starts at 5.30, and the lecture is at 6 pm. For more information, contact Monique Pauly, Sopexa. Tel: 866-7163. IF plans for restaurants, bars and cafes are to be believed, and why not, Quarry Bay is slated to become a gourmet ghetto by next spring. In the past four months, three gourmet-style sandwich shops have planted roots in two blocks. And only last week, the neighbourhood's first specialty coffee shop opened. Pacific Coffee Company in Devon House is just a short hop away (or escalator ride) from Quarry Bay MTR Station. Neatly situated on the first floor, this shop is a scaled-down, chair-less version of the original store in Bank of America Tower, Central. Pacific Coffee offers three daily special brews (ask for a sample) as well as a variety of flavoured coffees, including hazelnut, almond and creme de banane. Sippers can swill at the counter or sip en route to the office. There are condiments, such as chocolate sprinkles and cinnamon, ready-to-go sandwiches, cookies and muffins. (Beware: the hefty raisin bran muffin is a meal in itself). The Pacific Coffee Co, 1/F, Devon House, 979 King's Road, Quarry Bay. WANT to improve your diet? Here are some tips from the American Dietetic Association. Come to grips. Your age, body type, gender, metabolism, activity level, family background and other factors play a significant role in what, and how much, you can safely eat. Don't look to just one factor. Quit dieting. Going on a you-know-what can create innumerable problems, ranging from the yo-yo effect of loss and gain to unrealistic expectations and severe behavioural problems. Find alternatives to live with. Buy products that cut calories, fat, sodium and so on. Strive for balance.