The 23rd of October marks International Champagne Day, and we could think of no better way to celebrate this day than to dig up some great facts about our favourite bubbled beverage. We have put together a list of interesting facts that you might not have known about champagne and we can guarantee that once you have finished the list, you will certainly be craving a glass.
Champagne’s existence came about through sheer fluke. It is named after a region in France called Champagne, which is a very northerly area and experiences very cold weather in winter. This cold weather would interrupt the fermentation process and when spring came around, the fermentation process would start again. Winemakers would try and halt this secondary fermentation process to no avail and thus, champagne came into being.
In the early days of champagne, due to it being created by accident, the same bottles were used as normal wine. These bottles were not designed to withstand the pressure of the wine from the second fermentation and they kept exploding. It is estimated that at least 90% of the bottles burst. This is why champagne bottles have a deeper indentation in the bottom than other wine bottles. The pressure in the bottle is around three times the amount of pressure in an average car tyre and is around 90 pounds per square inch.
A typical bottle of champagne has around 49 million bubbles with 30 additional bubbles being created each second. These bubble trains, called collarets, are the strings of bubbled beads trailing up the glass once you have poured it.
A popping champagne cork is more dangerous than you think! You are more likely to be killed by a champagne cork than a poisonous spider as it reaches up to 64kms/hour. The longest distance travelled by a cork is 54 meters, which makes you think twice about popping the next bottle around a group of people.
Have you ever heard the story that champagne glasses were modeled after Marie Antoinette’s bosoms? Well, if you had, this is pure gossip and not true at all. The glasses in question (which are the round champagne glasses and not the flutes), were designed in England in 1663, well before she was even born, thus putting the myth solidly to bed.
Did you know that the various champagne bottle sizes actually have names? Interestingly enough, their names are derived from biblical sources. The largest bottle is called Melchizedek and is 40 times the size of a normal bottle. The name originates from the Book of Genesis and is the king who blessed Abraham. Directly translated it means “My king is righteous”. Half of a Melchizedek is called a Nebuchadnezzar and a fifth is a Methuselah.
We are all familiar with the fact that sparkling wine may not be legally labeled as ‘champagne’ unless it is actually produced in the region. But have you ever wondered why so many brands did label them as such until 2006? Due to a loophole in the Treaty of Versailles, the US government allowed the labels to be branded as Champagne until 2006 with no new brands being allowed to advertise it as ‘Champagne’ going forward.
The oldest bottle of champagne was found in 2010 in the Baltic Sea. It was among a horde of 167 bottles of bubbles that had aged almost to perfection. Among them was a 170 year old bottle of Veuve Clicquot which was untouched by the ocean around it. This bottle was sold at an auction for 30,000 Euros, which set a new world record!
Dom Perignon has been famed for being the original creator of champagne, but in fact, he was trying to do quite the opposite. When this Benedictine Monk realized that the wine was going through its second fermentation, he tried his utmost to stop and reverse the process. His actions however led him to creating this great bubbled drink.
We are sure you are now in the mood to pop open a bottle of bubbles and savour the dry flavours. Make sure you visit Cybercellar.com today and use your e-Bucks to buy some of the great MCC’s and Champagnes in our range!