Champagne is not just for the rich these days, but it sure gives you that glitz and glamorous feel.
1. The real stuff comes only from the Champagne region of northeastern France.
The champenois were so successful at marketing their product that “Champagne” became synonymous with bubbles. They also unfortunately marketed and priced themselves into a niche as a luxury item for celebrations, not for dinner.
2. Champagne has three times more gas than beer.
Champagne is special because the second fermentation – which produces the bubbles – is done in the bottle. This produces the fine “bead” of bubbles characteristic of Champagne and helps develop more flavour than the tank fermentation method used on less expensive bubblies. Many sparkling wines around the world follow the Champagne method, so much of this discussion applies to those wines, too.
3. The most expensive bottle of champagne costs $2.07 million dollars
This bottle literally has a diamond ingrained in the design on the outside.
4. Most Champagnes are made from three grapes: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.
The latter two are red, but since the juice is separated immediately from the skins (where the colour is), the wines are white. A blanc de noirs is a white wine made from red grapes, often just pinot noir, while a blanc de blancs is entirely chardonnay (and almost always exquisite).
5. In a 750ml bottle of Champagne there are 49 million bubbles… approximately.
Each second Champagne emits 30 bubbles.
6. The vast majority of champagne is made by “houses”, which buy grapes from smaller farmers.
These are the familiar labels such as Veuve Clicquot, Mumm, Ruinart, Bollinger, Moet & Chandon. There’s nothing wrong with these wines, and many are fantastic. But the trend in the past 10 or 15 years has been for “grower” Champagnes – wines made by the farmers who grew the grapes.
7. “Sabrage” is a term for opening a champagne bottle with an actual sword.
It’s only done in certain ceremonial occasions and the wielder uses the blunt side of the sword. It was made famous by Napoleon and his army when they celebrated victories in battle.
8. Marilyn Monroe took a bath in champagne .
350 bottles were used to fill up her bath tub.
9. Champagne was created because of an accident.
Because the French region of Champagne is the most northerly of the wine-making regions in France, sometimes the cold winter weather would interrupt the fermentation process. So when spring came the yeast would start fermenting again, creating a secondary fermentation, which for a long time the winemakers tried to prevent. This is how Champagne came into being.
10. It can help prevent memory loss.
According to new research, one to three glasses of champagne each week could counteract memory loss associated with aging – so cheers!