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CHAMPAGNOLOGY

“Champagne? No, thanks” – said no one ever

Did you know that a single Champagne bottle contained 49 million bubbles? So that means that there’s three times more gas in Champagne than in beer.

Champagne comes from the Champagne region located in Northeast France. It’s actually illegal for any other country to name their production of sparkling wine the same way, though careless ex Soviet Union countries still sell what they call “Soviet Champagne” or шампанское (shampanskoe, Russian for “Champagne”).

The unfortunate village of Champagne in Switzerland produces wine since 1657 and was asked by the EU in 2004 to stop using that label. Since then, sales have dropped from 100,000 bottles to 32,000. Clearly, consumers just dig their champagne.

Like a lot of great things, Champagne was invented by accident. Bottling wine before its fermentation finishes is what creates the bubbles. Its high-pressure led it to be called “the devil’s wine” (le vin du diable), as bottles exploded and corks popped (its record was 64km/hour). The muselet was consequently invented in 1844 to prevent the cork from bursting. It looked a lot more complicated to remove than our current labeled ones. #ThankGodForEvolution

Another great marketing technique used by Champagne makers since the 19th century was to promote the drink as being royal and aristocratic. According to Laurent Perrier’s 1890 advert, Leopold II of Belgium, George I of Greece, Margaret Cambridge all chose Champagne as their beverage of choice.

 

Legend has it that the actual Champagne coupe was modelled after Marie Antoinette’s breast.

Marie-Gif_final.0Gif by Eater.com

Champagne has kept its glamour over the years. According to Marilyn Monroe’s biography, she took a bath in 350 bottles of Champagne (which means that over 17 billion bubbles tickled her naked body).

Nowadays, we can’t think of celebrating without it. Each year an average of 28,000 bottles are served at The Championships in Wimbledon. Tony Blair even held a Champagne reception after wining the right to host the Olympics in 2012.

Partying isn’t about the end, as there are currently 1 billion bottles of the happy juice in storage, just waiting to be sipped –or gulped.

“I only drink champagne when I’m happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I’m not in a hurry and drink it when I am, otherwise I never touch the stuff unless I am thirsty” – Lily Bollinger



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