It is believed that the French monk Dom Perignon was to have invented champagne in the 17th century, but 30 years prior it was believed that an English scientist Christopher Merrett has documented on how to put the bubbles into sparkling wine. This has caused a debate over the years, with the French telling you it was their invention discovered by Dom Perignon, and the English telling of the wine being made in a quaint little village called Winchcombe in England. It was the first time anyone had used the word sparkling and how they had been adding sugar to the recipes. So, it was believed that the English with their sparkling wine has the longer history, and the French have the name Champagne.
Champagne became a luxury that was always offered at engagements, weddings and fancy affairs, so when you hear open the bubbly or pop the champagne, it usually means there is something to celebrate! When you do pop the cork from a champagne bottle, one has to be very careful, apparently the cork can reach up to 60 km an hour and it is said that there is more pressure in the champagne bottle than there is in a car tire.
The French are the ones that drink the most champagne, followed by the Brits and Americans who seem to consume lots of the sparling wines also. The Corinth grapes otherwise known as champagne grapes are small, black and very sweet without seeds. When they dry out and become wrinkled, it means that they are passed their prime and become currants. Champagne has millions of bubbles and I have read that the size of the bubbles is an important factor, because the smaller the bubbles, the better the quality of the wine.
Once at a festival in Italy, there was the tallest champagne glass on display, it was seven feet tall and filled to the top, it took 22 bottles of champagne to fill it. Italians have their own sparkling wine called Prosecco and since the late 1800s have enjoyed this drink at dinners, wedding, and all celebrations that are celebrated with champagne. Recently, an Italian company have developed a blue sparkling prosecco called Blumond, it is a much fruitier drink with peaches added to the ingredients and has become very popular all over the world.
Marilyn Monroe’s favorite drink was champagne, and it is known that she had a bath filled with champagne, that required about 200-300 bottles used to fill it. James Bond was known for his martini’s that must be shaken not stirred, but in fact in all the bond movies a lot of champagne was consumed.
Champagne today has different choices and prices. Depending on your budget you can get a prosecco or sparkling wine, plenty of champagnes to choose from or you can still buy a Dom Perignon depending on the vintage- the sky is the limit.
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Photo by Sandra Grünewald