19 facts you may not know about Champagne

 

The idea of Champagne conjures up feelings of good living, elegance, sociability, and somehow that only the best in life is good enough. It’s funny when you think about it, Champagne is probably the only alcoholic beverage that you can drink in the morning and not be considered a raving alcoholic! Here are 19 fun facts that you may not know about Champagne.

Champagne flutes

1. Marilyn Monroe, at least once, took a bath in Champagne. According to her biographer, 350 bottles of Champers were used to fill up her bath tub.

2. On average 28,000 bottles of Champagne are served at Wimbledon each year.

3. In 19th century England, high society dandies thought that the best way to polish their boots was with Champagne.

3. Rumour has it that Champagne was created because of an accident. Because the French region of Champagne is the most northerly of the wine-making regions in France, sometimes the cold winter weather would interrupt the fermentation process. So when spring came the yeast would start fermenting again, creating a secondary fermentation, which for a long time the winemakers tried to prevent. This is how Champagne came into being.

4. James Bond is a notable Champagne drinker, who has been spotted drinking Champagne more than 35 times in his films. At least he drinks it more than any other beverage.

5. In a 750ml bottle of Champagne there are 49 million bubbles… approximately.

6. Each second Champagne emits 30 bubbles.

7. Champagne has three times more gas than beer.

Lady with Champagne

8. Actually in the early days of Champagne being produced by accident, the winemakers were seriously worried about these dangerous bottles. The bottles had not been designed to take the pressure from a secondary fermentation, and this meant that one bottle could explode, then causing 90% of the wine bottles to burst.

9. The pressure in a Champagne bottle is around 90 pounds per square inch. Even though this may not mean a lot to you, it translates into three times the amount of pressure that is in an average car tyre.

10. Move over James Bond. Enter Winston Churchill. Winston Churchill gave Bond a serious run for his money, when it came to Champagne consumption. The Pol Roger Champagne house made a special pint bottle of Champagne for Churchill, that was to be served to him each day at 11 AM.

11. If you’re drinking good Champagne you should see what’s called “collerette” – these are bubble trains on the sides of the glass.

12. This leads us on to what type of glass should you drink your Champagne from? Is it best to opt for a flute or a coupe? Depending on your preferences, when you hear what the coupe is modelled on, you may feel this is the obvious choice. Legend tells us that the form of the Champagne coupe glass was modelled on the shape of Marie Antoinette’s breast, which was adapted from a wax mould. However even though that’s an interesting idea, it may not actually be true. Although the coupe is so elegant and interesting, the reality is that your bubbly will stay more bubbly in a flute.

13. You know what they say about wine – sip your wine. This is even more true when it comes to Champagne, because if you drink it too quickly, the bubbles make the alcohol enter your bloodstream so fast that it can can even result in a headache. Of course you will look more elegant if you’re not lashing it back.

14. It’s not only how fast you drink your Champagne that can cause issues, but also the speed of the flight of a Champagne cork that can be problematic. Of course it’s part of the fun and the glamour of drinking Champagne, but given that the cork can reach a speed of around 40 mph (64 kph), you do need to be careful about where the bottle is pointing.

15. Of course with this type of velocity you can imagine that a Champagne cork can travel some distance. To date the longest recorded flight is more than 177 feet (54 metres).

Champagne cooling

16. Champagne and death – anyhow the comforting fact is that you are more likely to be killed by a flying Champagne cork than to be killed by a poisonous spider.

17. If you want to do something to impress your friends, or someone you’ve just met who you think may be impressed by something odd like this, then you can drop a raisin into a fresh glass of Champagne, and watches it as it goes from the top to the bottom of the glass, and back up and back down, continually.

18. A somewhat surprising fact perhaps, but marketing surveys have shown that concert-goers of hip-hop concerts, rap and R & B gigs, are 94% more likely to drink Champagne than the average person.

19. And just in case you want to build a structure for a Champagne cascade, here are the best measurements:

Base level : 60 glasses
Level 1 : 30 glasses
Level 2 : 10 glasses
Level 3 : 4 glasses
Level 4 : 1 glass

If you have any more facts to add to the list, please leave a comment below – just like the bubbly, the more the merrier!

Jackie de Burca is Co-owner of Catalonia Valencia.

If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

Comments (16)

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  1. Karisa says:

    Very interesting facts! I love sipping champagne on special occasions…like Tuesday morning brunch!

  2. Mark says:

    I’ve never understood the “need” to let the cork fly. It’s nice to hear the pop but no need to break things or risk injury. Having said that, Champagne (and even better these days, some English sparkling whites) is great fun and drinkable any time! Can’t have too much.

  3. Dona1981 says:

    It is actually considered quite inappropriate to pop the cork loudly. In hospitality schools you are taught to pop it the most silently possible and just let your guests hear that little “pop” sound before pouring.
    I drink Champagne because it does not stain and I am clumsy ;)

  4. Thanks Karisa! I am so glad to hear that you have your priorities right :) and that Tuesday brunch is a special occasion.

  5. Well Mark, I do agree with you and I have a seen corks go a bit far a few times over the years. Here in Spain as well we have some good cava.

  6. Hey Dona, love your very “sensible” reasons for drinking champagne, and although I have never been to s hospitality school, what you’ve said doesn’t surprise me at all.

  7. Anna Parker says:

    I love this, I’ve read it avidly since fizz is my favourite little drink!

    A fact I learnt (from an 11 year old that was pouring drinks at his parents party) was that if you pop your little finger into the glass it will get rid of the bubbles and avoid an overflow! And it really does work!

    My favourite champagne thought is this from Lily Bollinger: “I only drink champagne when I’m happy and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I’m not in a hurry and drink it when I am, otherwise I never touch the stuff unless I am thirsty.”

  8. That’s absolutely brilliant Anna :) Good tip from the 11 year old boy – guessing he’s going to be pretty cool when he hits 18 or so …and I adore the quote from Lily Bollinger ♥

  9. Erin says:

    What a funny post. I am not a big champagne drinker, but I could do Marilyn stylez and take a bath in it. Imagine 30 bubbles a second! haha

  10. Cheers Erin! I definitely find that champagne is never out of place really …even in the bath :) Do make sure to enjoy those 30 bubbles a second.

  11. Paul Johnson says:

    54 metres? Wow, I had no idea they could fly THAT far, Jackie! Just goes to show how dangerous living the high life can be! :)

  12. terrence g says:

    Champagne was created by accident by a monk named dom perignon. Best drink around to party! And it’s got very low sugar content!

  13. Riccardo Margheri says:

    For the last time, Champagne was NOT invented by Dom Perignon. Sparkling wines were known even in Roman times, for the same reason (stop of alcoholic fermentation due to low temperatures in late fall and winter, starting once again in the bigger heat of spring, that made the yeast work again). D.P. has invented, or at least spread to wide use, the concept of cuvée, and even other technical “devices” used during winemaking process.
    Kind regards and cheers!
    Riccardo Margheri

  14. Paul Johnson says:

    From Wikipedia: “Contrary to legend and popular belief, Dom Pérignon did not invent sparkling wine, but he did make important contributions to the production and quality of Champagne wine.”

  15. Thanks Paul, for the “high life” comment and also the clarification from Wikipedia. Many thanks also to Ricardo and Terrence for your comments. In terms of clearing up doubts, I think the Wikipedia page appears to be quite thorough.

  16. Although Wikipedia is not necessarily the most reliable resource out there, I am sure there is a lot of truth behind the statement that Dom Pérignon made a lot of important contributions to the flavors and intricacies of champagne wine.

    I am rather picky over the type of champagnes that I drink, I tend not to like the dry types but there are plenty out there that certainly wet my appetite.

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