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.
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.
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).
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.