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10 Things You Didn't Know About Champagne

Champagne Yi Wang

At weddings, New Years Eve parties and other celebratory events, champagne is the traditional toast. But, how much do you know about the bubbly? Check out our ten bits of trivia about champagne below:

1. The only sparkling wine that can authentically be called “champagne” is that made in the Champagne region of France. In many US states, such as Oregon, it is illegal to label any wine not from that region as Champagne.

2. Champagne gets its bubbles from carbon dioxide that forms during its second fermentation, which is done in the bottle.

3. The first recorded sparkling wine, called Blanquette de Limoux, was produced by Benedictine monks in 1531.

4. Dom Perignon was a Benedictine monk who lived in the 17th century. The myth that he invented champagne dates back to an Abbe who, in 1821 spread stories to increase the church’s prestige.

5. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier are the grapes most commonly used when making champagne.

6. A magnum bottle of champagne holds 1.5 liters. Magnums are twice the size of a standard champagne bottle. Bottles go up in size all the way to the Nebuchadnezzar, which holds 20 standard bottles-worth of champagne.

7. Most champagne is non-vintage; that is, made with wines from several years. Making a non-vintage champagne means that wine-makers are able create a product that comes out the same every time.

8. The oldest known intact and probably drinkable bottles of champagne are two bottles of Perrier-Jouët Champagne from 1825.

9. Legend has it that the wide and shallow coupe champagne glass is based on a mold of Marie Antoinette’s breast as a gift to King Louis XVI. This glass is not an ideal glass for champagne, as it allows the wine to oxidize more quickly. Slim flutes provide a better drinking experience.

10. Champagne corks get their distinctive flared stems from the pressure inside a champagne bottle. When the corks are first inserted, the part that goes into the bottle is a straight cylinder.

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