10 Cool Facts about Champagne You Never Knew

Champagne has always been that drink saved for special occasions worth a celebration.

You will always see athletes pop a bottle of champagne after a win or a successful season.

Champagne bottles in ice

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The bride and bridegroom will also celebrate with a bottle of Champagne to indicate a new chapter in life. You may also have enjoyed a bottle of Champagne at your workplace after hitting certain milestones.

Why not use any other type of drink for such occasions? Why does this drink seem to have a special place in the hearts of people? Let us explore some of the facts about Champagne.

You can cook with Champagne

There are hundreds of recipes that you can cook with Champagne. You can prepare your meal in an instant pot and save on time. For instance, you can prepare liver pate with Champagne to fulfil your lunch or dinner cravings.

Most of the alcohol content will burn during the cooking process. Some of the liquid will also evaporate during the cooking process. A ‘burn’ message on your instant pot can happen when you do not add enough liquid.

Such a message can be scary, but no need to worry as you can just read this guide at Corrie cooks to understand what it means and how to deal with it.

Champagne is a type of wine

Champagne is sparkling wine. However, not every sparkling wine is Champagne. I may have lost you there. 

There are different Champagne types, but the three major ingredients that must be used to make sparkling wine are Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meniere.

This sparkling wine must also be made in Champagne, a region in Paris to qualify to be Champagne. Wine brewers from different parts of the world have embraced the concept of sparkling wine.

A country like Italy calls it sparkling wines Prosecco while Austria and Germany calls theirs Sekt.

Was invented in the 17th century

Dom Perignon, a French monk, is believed to have invented Champagne at around 1697. It is believed that this monk struggled hard to fight bubbles that kept destroying the wine in the monastery cellar.

However, the bubbles kept forming despite his continued efforts. Dom decided to sample the fermented wine, and that is how Champagne was born.

The English are believed to have been producing fizzling wines for more than 30 years before this discovery.

However, the sparkling wines that they produced didn’t have the crucial ingredients to qualify them to be champagne.

The drink is high maintenance

It is one of the most labour-intensive wines when it comes to preparation. Champagne undergoes two fermentations, both in the barrel and the bottle. Bubbles appear during the second fermentation, which can take up to two weeks.

The brewers then invert and twist the bottle for almost a month to allow the sediment to settle at the cap. The Champagne is then aged for almost one year and three months before the cap and sediment are removed.

The bottle is then corked and distributed to various stores as a ready drink.

The cork is stronger than you think

It is said that early wine manufacturers labelled Champagne as the 'devil’s wine' after some corks blew out of their bottles prematurely. Some Champagne manufacturers even wore helmets to avoid injury during the production process.

The manufacturers were forced to build bottles and corks that can withstand high pressure. An average cork on a Champagne bottle can withstand six atmospheres of pressure, while a typical car tire can only hold two atmospheres.

A bottle of champagne is stored in a cellar for several months to allow the dosage (sugar and a small amount of wine added back to the wine bottle after the removal of the sediment) to settle.

Can either be alcoholic or non-alcoholic

Champagne is known as a light and bubbly drink. However, it usually contains higher alcohol content than most still wines as it goes through two fermentation processes.

The bubbles in the Champagne make the alcohol to get into your system faster than what happens with still wines. Non-alcoholic Champagne or wine goes through a similar fermentation process like regular wine.

However, the final product is distilled to do away with the alcohol content. The manufacturers put the wine in a strong vacuum, which decreases the boiling point to like 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

The approach distils the alcohol off at a low temperature, while at the same time inhibiting oxidation.

People focus on age and not beauty

Vintage Champagne is aged at least 36 months while non-vintage Champagne needs like 15 months.

You will also find some big brands that will age their non-vintage wine for more than 15 months. Just like normal wines, Champagne gets better with age.

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Champagne corks

There are 'secret' codes on Champagne bottles

Every Champagne bottle will have a code that indicates the type of manufacturer. For instance, when you find
MA (marque d’acheteur). This means that the merchandiser does not produce the Champagne but sells it as his own.

ND (merchant distributor). Such merchants buy ready wines and put their stickers and labels on the bottle.

NM (merchant producer). Purchases more than 6% of the fruits from the growers.

GC (Growers Champagne). All the grapes used in the production of the Champagne were grown in the manufacturer’s vineyard.

Sir Winston Churchill loved Champagne dearly

It is believed that he drank more than 42,000 bottles of Champagne between 1908 and 1965, making him one of the record holders. It thus means that he took at least two bottles until his demise.

There are restrictions when it comes to preparation of Champagne

Vintage Champagne from Champagne, France, has some guidelines. The growers can only pick the grapes by hand to avoid damage.

A 750 ml bottle of Champagne needs at least 1.2kg of grapes to produce. The best brands only use the first four-fifths of the juice extracted to make their Champagne.

There is more than what meets the eye when it comes to Champagne as you can see from the above facts. You can now pop that bottle for that special occasion.

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