Raise your glass to the undisputed king of sparkling wine! Find out why the French bubbly is so special with these 20 fun facts about champagne!
There’s something so special about popping the cork from a bottle of expensive champagne, isn’t there?
Chances are if champagne is on the menu, there is already a reason to be in a great mood, and the delicious fizz only adds to the festivities.
It’s also the only drink where we laugh with good humor when it spills over the glass or shoots foam straight out of the bottle. As long as we don’t spill too much that is!
Drinking champagne is downright celebratory and we are so here for it! So what other fun facts about champagne can we uncover? Well, you’re about to find out!
Champagne is for weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, vacations, work promotions, new arrivals, homecomings… heck, we’ll drink champagne for pretty much any occasion or celebration!
The fizz on the nose. The crisp cool taste. The way a bottle can disappear in mere minutes. It fosters togetherness, kinship and joy all in one small bottle. Now that is powerful.
But where did champagne come from anyway? And how are those irresistible bubbles created?
We’ll search the worlds of science, geography and history to discover as many fantastic champagne facts as we can find! Come along with us for the journey won’t you?
20 Fun Facts About Champagne
1. Get the most bubbles
Did you know the first glass of champagne always has the most bubbles in it? If you’re pouring the champagne, be careful with the first glass as this is the one most likely to spill over too.
Another fact for you. The more bubbles in your glass accelerates the absorption of alcohol – hence the first glass is also the strongest!
2. This wine is ruined!
Until the 17th century, sparkling wine was considered defective. Back then, bubbles were a sign that the wine was left too long to ferment and was toxic.
The spoiled wine was then disposed of. Boy, are we glad that someone finally decided to taste it!
3. One region in France
Champagne must be produced in the French region of Champagne in order to officially be called champagne.
The Champagne region is north of many of France’s other wine growing regions and is known for its chalky and porous soil that allows for the perfect champagne acidity.
4. How are the bubbles made?
Champagne bubbles form when sugar and yeast interact during the second fermentation. The active yeast feasts on the sugars causing effervescence when carbon dioxide is trapped in the bottle. Gotta love a yeast feast being among the coolest champagne facts!
5. More bubbly Mr. Bond?
You’d think a martini, shaken not stirred, would be the most preferred drink for James Bond. However, it is champagne that Bond drinks the most in the film franchise.
In fact, Bond has drunk champagne 36 times on screen. Move aside martinis and Heineken!
6. Cork facts
When you’re popping a cork make sure you face it away from your eyes and away from anyone standing nearby. A cork can reach speeds of up to 25 miles an hour and can travel close to 180 feet!
7. Name that grape
The three main grape varieties that are used in the production of champagne are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier.
And here’s one of the more fun facts about champagne that may come as a surprise: for just one 750 ml bottle of champagne to be produced it takes over three pounds of grapes!
8. France = Champagne
It probably comes as no surprise that the French drink the most champagne. In fact, the French drink over 50% of all the champagne produced. Talk about going local!
But why would you ever outsource your bubbly when you have the best of the best being produced in your own backyard?
9. Liquid gold
The most expensive bottle of champagne ever produced is the Gout de Diamants. The bottle is covered in gold and features an 18-carat diamond. The price tag? $1 million dollars.
Lucky for all of us, a less fancy bottle without the diamond will only set you back the small price of $150,000!
10. The biggest champagne drinkers
Europe is home to the heaviest champagne consumers. We mentioned France, but Belgium, Switzerland and the UK are also among the top four champagne drinkers.
In fact, UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill loved champagne so much that he drank a pint of the stuff everyday at 11 AM.
11. What is the right temp?
If champagne is served too cold you may miss out on the full body character of the wine. If champagne is served too warm it may taste too sweet and not bubble on the tongue.
To avoid this, chill champagne to 8°C-10°C (45°F-50°F) or about 4 hours in the fridge from room temperature.
12. Champagne in the tub
Leave it to blonde bombshell Marilyn Monroe to show us how it’s done! Monroe famously took a bath in champagne using 350 bottles to fill the tub.
Now, we’d rather drink it than bathe in it, but this is still one of the more intriguing champagne facts, don’t you think?
13. Don’t waste the champagne!
Times have changed over the years. An old wives tale was that you should put a silver spoon into the top of the bottle to keep champagne fizzy.
These days, you can buy special champagne stoppers that will protect the fizz for up to 3 days. This does mean you don’t have to neck a whole bottle of champagne the moment you open a bottle (if you don’t want to of course).
14. The father of champagne
Dom Perignon was a Benedictine monk who is often thought to be the inventor of champagne. While not being the first to ferment the bubbly, Perignon was a cellar master known for modernizing and popularizing champagne and its methods.
And of course, one of the most popular champagnes on the market today bears his name.
15. Sword play
Sabrage is the act of opening a champagne bottle with a sword. This dangerous and often bloopered method was invented by Napoleon’s cavalry.
The reason behind it? Following the French Revolution they believed the traditional hand-opening of champagne was not grandiose or visually stunning enough.
16. Under pressure
The pressure inside a champagne bottle is higher than the pressure in a car tire. It is under 3 times more pressure actually. No wonder the early makers of champagne wore iron helmets to protect themselves from bottle explosions!
17. Bottle explosions, you say?
To be a cellar master in the 17th and 18th centuries was actually extremely dangerous. The bottles for champagne were too thin to withstand the pressure of the multiplying carbon dioxide that the aforementioned iron helmets were worn alongside metal vests and codpieces.
18. How drunk will I get?
The alcohol content in champagne usually ranges from 12% to 13% which is comparable to other white wines. However, alcohol combined with carbonation can make you feel drunk quicker. There’s a faster spike to the bloodstream when carbonated beverages are involved.
19. The best month for grapes
The grape harvest in the Champagne region of France usually happens in late September depending on the temperatures. The grapes in champagne are always harvested by hand, never machine, and the amount harvested is strictly regulated by the French government. No wonder it’s so expensive!
20. Riddle me this
Riddling is a process where champagne bottles are turned, flipped and agitated during fermentation. Riddling happens every two days to distribute the sediment evenly through the bottle to create carbonation. All this jostling is one of the reasons why a champagne bottle is made of thicker glass.
Are you feeling a little tipsy from all these amazing champagne facts? Or are there more facts about champagne we forgot to mention? Leave a comment below and let us know!