U.S.S. Missouri to be christened this weekend

On Saturday, the U.S. Navy will christen its newest fast attack nuclear submarine.The U.S.S. Missouri-the fifth vessel in Navy history to bear the name of the Show-Me State will be christened by the wife of the nation's secretary of defense. She TMll break a bottle of Missouri champagne across the bow, a century of history will repeat itself.Weighing 7,800 tons and longer than a football field, the new U.S.S. Missouri is the state of the art in underwater warfare. Before she is put to sea, she will be christened with a bottle of sparkling wine from Stone Hill Winery in Hermann."I was an old Navy man. I was on a little destroyer in the mid-fifties," said winery owner Jim Held.Held said he had an understanding of what it means to christen a navy ship.It's also a big deal for Stone Hill, which has already shipped the bubbly to Connecticut."They requested three bottles: one to use for breaking against the submarine, a second one as a back up in case it doesn't break, and of course we hope that doesn't happen, said Stone Hill public relations manager Lucinda Huskey. And the third was for him to actually test, and he's already done that."The Navy likes a lot of foam when the bottle breaks. That was even important in 1901, when the navy launched the first U.S.S. Missouri Battleship. At the time, the Hermann newspaper documented how Stone Hill had provided the champagne for the event. On Saturday, the Navy will use a bottle of 2001 Stone Hill Blanc en Blanc.In 2001 Held said that was when the first ship was christened. The champagne used will be the 100th anniversary champagne of the champagne that was used the first time.KRCG News will be in Groton, Conn., this weekend when a delegation from Missouri attends the christening ceremony.