Once again, the year is drawing to a close and 2020 is fast approaching, New Year is a time to celebrate, have some fun, hang out with friends and family and open a bottle of bubbly!
Associated with luxury, love and happiness, whatever the special occasion, a new year, a birthday or wedding, an anniversary, a new job, or the birth of a baby, the happy event calls for a toast with a glass of sparkly Champagne. There’s just something about the pop of the cork, the fizz as the liquid pours, and the bubbles tickling your nose and making you giggle that makes you feel happy and festive, and even a little glamorous.
The most expensive bottle costs an astounding 2.07 million dollars! The 2013 Taste of Diamonds is a blend of Grand Cru Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, its logo is handcrafted from 18-carat gold and highlighted by a 19-carat white diamond. But don’t worry, not all champagnes have such a hefty price tag, there are lots of more affordable gems around.
Did you know that Champagne is not just the name of a type of sparkling wine? It’s the name of the region, in the northeast of France, that produces it. Other regions can make sparkling wines, but legally they can’t call it Champagne because it’s not grown in that region, thus we have Cava and Prosecco.
A Sparkling Story
The story is that the production of champagne came about by pure chance, when the winegrowers from this region, (today’s famous Champagne Houses), attempted to emulate the success of the Burgundy wines. Unfortunately, they failed due to the cold winters in the region that caused the fermentation of the wine to stop. As the spring approached and the weather became warmer, the yeast cells started fermenting again, causing the release of carbon dioxide gas, which was coming from the wine in the bottle, and so Champagne was born.
The King of France, Hugh Capet, began serving the sparkling wine at the Royal Palace official dinners, and in the early 1700s, the Duke of Orléans presented the sparkling version of the Champagne wine to the rich and famous.
Royalty and the rich loved the novelty of the sparkling wine, it was claimed to enhance the beauty of women and make men more entertaining and wittier, so of course, everyone wanted to drink it! Napoleon would pass through the region to visit his good friend, Jean-Rémy Moët, picking up a supply of his favourite drink whilst he was there, he loved it so much that he once said, “Champagne! In victory you deserve it, in defeat you need it.”