Interesting facts about champagne that you might not know
Winter holidays and candles go hand in hand: a sparkling glass of the best beverage conveys the atmosphere of holiday and magic. Perhaps you’ll love the sparkling wine more if will learn about some interesting facts.
Over the long history of its development, the champagne has had its UPS and downs. Why it was called the drink of the devil and kings, do I need to shoot a cork, opening a bottle of sparkling wine, and who invented the tradition to uncork champagne with a sword – read the article.
The devil’s antics
Thanks to the carbon dioxide the pressure inside bottles of champagne reaches six atmospheres is 2-3 times more than the car wheels. Of course, for the “taming” of such a drink bottles require increased strength and thickness.
To come to this conclusion from champagne winemakers turned out not once. In the 12-13 centuries on the production of sparkling wine nobody thought, in the champagne region produced the usual red wine that was slightly carbonated. The wine is stored in barrels, which sometimes explode. This occurred because of the rapid secondary fermentation of the wine, associated with the sudden onset of cold weather in champagne. However, winemakers have seen in this mystical sense, and blamed the explosions of the barrels on the work of the devil.
Contrary to popular legend, the monk Dom pérignon did not invent champagne, but without it the modern beverage would not be at all.
At leisure, monk loved to carry out various experiments, mixing new wine and past years. As a result of these experiments Perignon discovered the secret of blending, which to this day is used in the production of champagne. In addition, the monk has won the “devil”, exploding barrels of wine. Perignon invented to store wine bottles, corked with corks made of cork-tree bark, is kept inside the carbon dioxide gas and not allow the bottles to explode.
Perignon gave experiments with sparkling wine for 50 years, and no wonder – the result of his efforts was wonderful sparkling drink. However, you probably wouldn’t recognize it as a modern sparkling: the first champagne had a pinkish hue and was quite muddy.
A side effect or a highlight?
Surprisingly, the bubbles are so loved and appreciated sparkling wine, was initially considered in champagne by-product. Winemakers, including Dom pérignon, made great efforts to get rid of them. Fortunately, in other countries the bubbles appreciated. While in champagne drinking “quiet” champagne, the rest of the world sparkling wine is gaining more and more popularity, especially among the Royal families and other wealthy persons.
Love for sparkling and showed the Prince Regent of France, Philippe II of Orleans, who began to imitate all the high society of Paris. It made sparkling wine makers to revise their views: they not only ceased to fight with the bubbles, but have begun deliberately to increase their sparkling wines.
The first businesswoman – Veuve Clicquot
Josephine Clicquot, whose name is emblazoned on the legendary champagne “Veuve Clicquot”, one of the reference and the most expensive in the world, is considered the first ever woman entrepreneur. Inheriting the winery from her husband, Madame Clicquot enthusiastically undertook the improvement of the quality of champagne.
Talented and ambitious woman made a real breakthrough in champagne, inventing the riddling technology: thanks to it today we enjoy crystal clear drink, which had previously been pretty murky. To save the wine from the sediment, the bottles are placed in a special rack upside down and shake and turn regularly – thanks to this spent yeast accumulate in the neck and after removed from the bottle.
Today, the riddling process is automated, although some businesses still are real Remuera – the shaking of the wine.
Who does not risk, that…
During the Napoleonic wars there was a ban on imports of French wines. Madame Clicquot broke the Imperial decree and was smuggling a large consignment of champagne to our country. The risk paid off: by 1812, Veuve Clicquot sparkling wine became very popular in the Russian market, and when the ban was removed, Russia’s volume of orders has become the second largest consumer of champagne.
Triumph Of The Lion Of Golitsyn
In the 18th century because of the huge customs duties champagne, imported from France, cost a fortune – no wonder he was considered the drink of kings. Russian winemakers didn’t want to put up with this situation and thinking about producing their own champagne.
The first sparkling made in the Crimea, in Sudak, in the late 18th century. Trade confidently and successfully developed, but the outbreak of the Crimean war put the Russian champagne on the brink of extinction – businesses have closed, and the recipes and techniques were lost.
Saved the day, Prince Lev Golitsyn, a cherished dream – to create the best champagne in the world. Built in the Crimea estate “New world”, he began experiments to determine the composition of blends, and in 1890 began the industrial production of sparkling wines. In 1900 at the world exhibition of wine tasting in Paris, the Prince presented his champagne, “Paradizio”, which earned the highest award “Grand Prix”! It was the first case in history when the Russian champagne was recognized as the best even the French.
The drink of kings to the masses
1924 is considered to be the beginning of the era of Soviet champagne. Alexei Rykov, who headed the Soviet government, ordered the wine to create sparkling wine accessible to a wide range of workers. For this task came from the head of the plant “Abrau-Durso” Anton Mikhailovich Frolov-bagreyev, the “father” of Soviet champagne.
Talented winemaker has developed a device called “akratofore system Frolova-Bagreeva”: it was created by high blood pressure, which significantly speed up the long traditional process of champagne wine. Thanks to his invention Frolov-bagreyev was awarded the order of Stalin, and champagne was available not only to the elite, but to all the people.
And that’s not all: the technology of production created Frolov-Bagreeva and improved other Soviet sambanistas, was recognized as the most progressive in the world. A number of Western countries, including France (for example, “moët”), bought her license, and in Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Spain were built factories of sparkling wines on Soviet technology. So domestic Campanile again wiped his nose all over the world.
Sabrage – style to open a bottle of champagne with a saber – invented brave hussars of Napoleon. According to one version, they tried to impress Madame Clicquot, on the other – just to save time. Anyway, looks sabrage very effectively, so the tradition caught on around the world, and to this day this method of opening champagne can be seen on ceremonial events such as weddings.
Learn to sabaramati is a snap. The bottle was cooled to 5-7 degrees, remove the neck foil and bridle. Put champagne in one hand, turning to itself by the seam (it is on all bottles) and inclined at an angle of 30-40 degrees, and secondly, take the sword (or big knife). Blade flat a couple of times work from the top down the seam, an example, and then the back beat under the ring on the neck in the place where it merges with the seam. To threaten just a short mild shock, as the glass in this place is very fragile. The neck fly away to the side, leaving a smooth flat (and sharp!) slice. Voila! You can pluck the applause and enthusiastic to pour the champagne to the guests.
Fashion to rudeness
If the champagne connoisseurs prefer mostly sweet and semi-sweet varieties, today at the peak of popularity is a Brut sparkling wine with minimal or no added sugar.
The first one was “house of Perrier-Jouet”, which in 1846 produced champagne without sugar. Initially, this beverage was received very hostile and named by critics as “simple and hard” – hence the name “Brut” (France, the so-called uncouth, coarse objects). Over time, however, Brut has won more and more fans, and today, dry champagne is the most refined and aristocratic in the world. Connoisseurs say that the drink with minimal sugar levels are most completely revealed to him, as nothing interrupts the taste of champagne.
Shower for the winner
In 1967, another tradition was born, associated with the sparkling drink. Racing driver Dan Harney won the race “24 hours of Le Mans”, and at the finish the organizers gave him a bottle of champagne. Garni was so happy after the victory that the rush of feelings he uncorked the bottle and began to pour champagne all around.
This custom caught on, and now all the racers who won prizes on the podium awaits a shower of sparkling drink. Incidentally, supplier of champagne for the “watering scenes” at the Formula 1 for more than 30 years was the company “Mоеt & Chandon”, the founders of which invented the custom to present the winners of the sparkling wine at the finish.
To shoot or not?
Champagne has to effects and entertainment. The most daring master the art sabrage, others simply shake the bottle and fired the cork at the ceiling – all accompanied by a generous squirt of foam.
Looks very impressive, but the quality of the wine suffers: carbon dioxide begins to evaporate, bubbles disappear, and the taste and aroma of the drink is markedly reduced. The winemakers suggest to open champagne quietly, gently and without a shot – of course, shaking it before this should not be. Soft cotton, light smoke from the neck and no foam – here an ideal to which to strive. Of course, this will not be so spectacular, but will allow to feel the taste of the drink fully.
Champagne is served chilled to 7-10 °C. Pour the best drink in special glasses in the form of a flute (with a long stem and tall narrow bowl) or large glasses of red wine with the bubbles persist much longer, and the flavor spreading inside volatilizing