Champagne. The drink that brings us bubbles and signifies celebrations. We ring in the new year with a glass of bubbles, toast a bride, christen a ship. The bubbles are for a celebration.
Curious about this drink ( my favorite not just at new years but through the year.) – I did a little research and learned that champagne, really sparkling wine, existed before Dom Pierre Peirgnon "discovered it" in the 1600's. Actually he was hired by monks to improve the quality of their fizzy “mad” wine. Their bubbly wine wasn’t planned - it was a surprise, not really a happy one. It did exist in England in the 1500 when glass bottles weren't as strong. The result of the bubbles - bottles that tended to explode. ( http://gildedfork.com/champagne-a-cause-for-celebration)
But in 1688 Dom Peirgnon and Frere Jean Oidart, both worked to stabilize and improve this bubbling wine. Once the wine had evolved to the point where Dom Peirgnon felt it was successful “I think I tasted the stars” he is quoted as saying he moved ahead to marketing -- introducing it to the French court. Louis XIV made champagne the king's drink of choice there by elevating its status in the world.
The popularity of champagne spread leading to its worldwide production. Today the name champagne is reserved for wines made in the Champagne region of France but a similar beverage, sparkling wine is made around the world. California, Australia, South Africa, Spain, Portugal, Brazil and Hawaii all produce this wine.
If you welcome the new year with a glass of "bubbly" you'll be enjoying a beverage created over five centuries ago - may we continue to celebrate the beginning of new years again and again - with or without glasses filled with bubbles.
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