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Ever wondered why we celebrate with champagne? Here, we have some of the most interesting anecdotes and historical facts that will clear all your doubts.
Whether it is your favourite sport team’s victory at a major championship or it is your best friend’s engagement party, you always like popping a bottle of champagne to celebrate. The wonderful and luscious bubby drink flows from the bottle and drowns you in a sea of happiness. But why do we celebrate with champagne? What is the history behind it and what made champagne synonymous with joyous occasions? If this question has often crossed your mind, we may have some interesting answers for you. Read on to know more.
History of champagne
The much celebrated ‘bubbles’ in the bubbly were actually an accidental addition. In fact, the early makers of the sparkling wine did not even know or understand why the wine would suddenly get laced with the fine bubbles. It remained quite a mystery and during the 17th century, wise men and monks were invited from around the world to decode the mystery! It was later found that while the drink was bottled in winter, the bubbles appeared only in spring. This was because the yeast in the drink went dormant at winter and woke up in spring to ferment it and add the bubbles. This made the wine unique and stand out from its cousins in the more posh regions of Bordeaux and Burgundy.
Once the poor cousin, now the king!
The winemakers in the lesser known champagne region now were desperate to compete with the more famous wines of its neighbouring regions. But how would they do it? Well, this was when the intelligent marketing brains came together and decided to give the wine a drastic makeover and position it in such a way that more and more people associated their good times with it. And thankfully for them, they found the perfect way to do so.
The wines of the champagne region were perhaps destined to shine and with a little bit of help from the marketeers, the task became all the more simple. In the 17th century, the monarchs of France were crowned in Rheims, in the country’s Champagne region. And since no coronation was complete without popping a few bottles of wine, the champagne makers started pushing the local wines forward at such ceremonies. Soon, a bottle of champagne became synonymous with the grand ceremony of a king’s crowning and everyone wanted to copy the same for their own little celebrations too, in hopes of adding a royal touch to their humble homes. Thus was born the tradition of celebrating with champagne.
Changes over the years
Champagne has long been associated with happiness, celebrations and merrymaking and from the ancient kings of France to the modern merrymakers around the world, everyone took and continues to take equal pride in popping a bottle of bubbly. The traditions and customs have however seen many changes over the years. For example, nowadays the tradition of shaking the bottle and then spraying the champagne open is more common. This was unheard of in the olden days when the drink was considered to almost be sacred and kingly and every drop was revered. Then, in 17th century France, champagne was served in the best of brass glasses and the presentation was as important as the drink itself. The presentation is still important but now the brass has given way to fancy stemware made of the highest quality glass and crystal.
It is almost sacrilegious to term any sparkling wine from any other part of the world, apart from the French region, as ‘champagne’. Sparkling wine which is produced and bottled in France’s Champagne region alone has the right to be called champagne. Though sparkling wine is today produced across the world and some of them come very close to the champagne, for a true lover, nothing can quite replace the original bubbly! So if you are a true fan and take pride in popping a bottle of champagne to celebrate the best moments of life, go ahead and get yourself a fine bottle of the beloved bubbly. And now that you know the royal connections, your drinking experience will surely be all the more kinglike. Drink on!