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Monday, 24 February 2014

Champagne

CHAMPAGNE HISTORY

English physician and cider maker Christopher Merrett devised the fermentation method of champagne. Merrett also invented in 1662 the bottles needed to hold champagne without exploding.

The first reference to champagne in English was by Samuel Butler in 1663 in his poem Hudibras.

The blind Benedictine monk Dom Pierre Pérignon was appointed the wine master of the Abbey of Hauteville in Champagne, France in 1668. After years of experimentation, he developed a sparkling wine. Using a new blend of black grapes, he used strong English glass to withstand the pressure of the sparkling beverage. On trying this new fizzy white wine he cried excitedly  "Oh, come quickly. I am drinking the stars."

Dom Pierre Pérignon

The date traditionally ascribed to Dom Perignon's invention of the beverage is August 4, 1693. The famous champagne Dom Pérignon, the prestige cuvée of Moët & Chandon, is named for him.

Pérignon used cork stoppers made of the outer bark of an oak tree, which previously had been used by Spaniards to seal their wineskins. They replaced the existing hemp-wrapped wooden stoppers.

Jean François de Troy's 1735 painting Le Déjeuner d'Huîtres (The Oyster Luncheon) is the first known depiction of Champagne in painting.

Jean François de Troy's 1735 painting Le Déjeuner d'Huîtres

Champagne took off after a magnificent banquet thrown by the Marquis of Sillery. Once his party had got going, some girls dressed as ancient Greeks celebrating Bacchus, the Greek god of wine, appeared on the floor carrying flower-wreathed bottles of the new drink. The corks were popped and the fizzy wine was poured into unusually large glasses especially made for the occasion. A good time was had by all, the word was spread and champagne was soon being drunk in many European courts.

It wasn’t until industrialization made mass production of the champagne accessible to lower classes that widespread consumption of the beverage occurred.



Queen Victoria's drink of choice was Perrier-Jouet. The monarch loved the tipple so much that she bestowed a royal warrant on the champagne brand in 1861.

Tsar Alexander II of Russia had a special crystal bottle of Roederer champagne made for the Three Emperors Dinner in 1867 so he could admire the bubbles.

The first reference to a “Champagne socialist” was in 1906.

Between 1908 and 1965, it is reputed that Winston Churchill had 42,000 bottles of his favourite champagne Pol Roget opened for him.

In 1997 divers discovered bottles of champagne on the shipwreck of the Swedish boat Jonkoping, which had been torpedoed off the coast of Finland 81 years earlier in World War I. They found the cold sea had kept the bubbly perfectly drinkable.

FUN CHAMPAGNE FACTS

The only Ian Fleming novel in which James Bond drinks Dom Pérignon is Moonraker. However, 007 drinks Dom Pérignon in at least eight films but is inconsistent about his preferred vintage.

Marilyn Monroe once took a bath filled with champagne. It is said that 350 bottles of champers were used to fill it up.

A raisin dropped in a glass of fresh champagne will bounce up and down continually from the bottom of the glass to the top. This is because the carbonation in the drink gets pockets of air stuck in the wrinkles of the raisin, which is light enough to be raised by this air. When it reaches the surface of the champagne, the bubbles pop, and the raisin sinks back to the bottom, starting the cycle over again.

Three grapes primarily go into making champagne: Pinot Noir, Meunier and Chardonnay.

The French sell just over 300 million bottles of champagne a year.

A bottle of champagne at room temperature contains about 49 million bubbles.

A bottle of champagne contains 90 pounds or pressure per square inch, which is three times the pressure found in car tires.

The most expensive bottle of champagne was designed by Alexander Amosu and cost $2.07 million. The bottle was handcrafted from 18-carat solid gold and with a deep-cut 19-carat white diamond at its center.

In a perfectly smooth glass with absolutely no dust molecules in it, champagne would be completely still.

A champagne cork pops out of a bottle at 24.8 miles per hour.

Statistically you are more likely to be killed by a champagne cork than by the bite of a poisonous spider.

By Niels Noordhoek - Wikipedia Commons

The champagne market is worth $450 million worldwide.

Here are a list of songs with champagne in the song title.

Sources News.com.auDaily Express

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