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Maison Cherie French lifestyle and home decor blog

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Champagne, a brief history of and everything else you need to know about this sparking wine

Champagne, why, when, where and how - all your Champagne questions answered.

Champagne in ice bucket

Champagne, France's most popular sparkling wine

Champagne, a brief history of

Benedictine monk Perignon, a cellar master at an abbey near Epernay in the 17th and 18th centuries, produced the first sparkling wine that is the closest drink to what we call Champagne today. Perignon is considered the founder due to his influence on standardising production by firstly using thicker glass bottles that withstood the pressure of the bubbles to stop them from exploding and secondly, introducing a rope snare to keep the cork in place in the top of the bottle. Today we have replaced the rope snare with a wire cage called a muselet which translates as muzzle!

“Come, for I am drinking stars!”

Dom Pérignon, when he tasted the first Champagne!

What is a Champagne flute?

A Champagne flute is a tall, narrow glass that, because of its shape, traps and preserves the bubbles in the sparkling wine.

What types of Champagne are there?

Extra Brut: Considered one of the driest types of Champagne with sometimes no sugar added.

Brut: Arguably the most common type on the market. It’s dry with just a hint of sweetness.

Dry: Despite the name, dry isn’t the driest. It’s mid-range on the way to getting sweeter.

Demi-Sec: Considered a medium-sweet Champagne, so if you like something sweet, this is the one for you.

Doux: Doux is the sweetest of all Champagnes.

Why is Champagne so expensive?

Champagne is produced in the most northern region of France to produce grapes for wine. Growing the grapes needed for Champagne requires specific weather conditions, a balance of sunshine, rainfall and cold and warm weather. When faced with challenging weather conditions, the number of grapes to be harvested can be limited, pushing the price up as there is not enough to satisfy customer demand explaining why Champagne is so expensive and seen as a luxury treat for most.

Why is Champagne served on special occasions?

Due to its cost and novelty, Champagne has become a favourite drink for royals throughout Europe over the centuries. Madame de Pompadour, the official chief mistress of Louis XV, allegedly emptied 1,800 bottles of Champagne at just one party! Since then, the popularity of drinking Champagne at special occasions and celebrations has become widespread.


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