Tradition, elegance and exclusivity remain the symbols of the luxury drink par excellence, which has spanned the centuries and retained its charm completely unchanged. Here are 10 interesting facts about Champagne celebrated today
28, Oct 2022
“In case of victory I deserve it; in case of defeat I need it”. Legend has it that Napoleon Bonaparte loved champagne so much that he even gave himself the early title of “Sabreur”(sabreur) to celebrate his victories on the battlefields. His aphorism is one of the best ways to pay homage to the “wine of kings” as today, 28 October, marks Champagne Day. Founded in 2009 thanks to Californian wine tutor and blogger Chris Oggenfuss to celebrate French bubbles, the anniversary was subsequently recognised and supported by Comité Champagne, an organisation that brings together 15,000 winegrowers and the maisons of the transalpine Champagne territory.
But what are the 10 lesser-known curiosities about champagne? Here are the ones that emerged from a survey conducted by Espresso Communication on international newspapers to celebrate #ChampagneDay:
1. DEvil’S WINE - In the early days of Champagne production, the pressure inside the bottle was so great that many corks popped. Producers, seeing numerous broken bottles, attributed the phenomenon to the devil, giving Champagne the nickname “vin du diable”.
2. PARTY LOVER - French bubbly became the symbol of celebrations in the mid-1600s thanks to Philip of Orleans, a nobleman known throughout France for his legendary parties: the uncorking of the Champagne, which took place at the hands of the girls present, signalled the start of the party.
3. THE LAUNCHING OF THE SHIP - At the end of the 19th century, Champagne was associated with the ceremony of the christening of ships: the shattering of the bottle tightly held by a ribbon and thrown towards the hull by a godmother represents the first contact between the ship and the liquid element and is a sign of good fortune.
4. TOP LUXURY - In 2012, British artist Alexander Amosu set a 19-carat white diamond inside a fine bottle with a 48-gram handmade solid gold decoration. The whole thing sold for more than EUR 1.4 million.
5. ENERGY DRINK - At the end of the 19th century in Great Britain, athletes competing in marathons were advised to drink champagne during the races: a kind of unconventional energy drink.
6. BOTTOM OF THE SEA - In 2010, a group of divers in the Baltic Sea found a wreck with 150 perfectly preserved bottles of champagne on board dating back to 1830. The route was used for expeditions to Russia: it is thought that Louis XVI had sent them as gifts to the Russian Imperial court.
7. CAVES OF CHalk - The subsoil of the Champagne region is chalky and favours the drainage and minerality of wines. Several Maisons age their bottles in their underground passages dug into the chalk, which allow them to maintain a constant temperature while also protecting them from light.
8. THE CONFRATERNITY - In 1986, French restaurateur Jean Claude Jalloux founded the “Confrérie du Sabre d’Or”, the sabre fencing club present in Italy and dozens of countries with more than 35,000 members.
9. A FASTER JACOBS CAP - The University of Reims has shown that the colder the bottle, the slower the speed of the cap. At high temperatures, carbon dioxide concentrates in the neck, increasing the pressure: if at 4 degrees it reaches 40 km/h, at 18 degrees it can reach 55 km/h!
10. PERFECT CUP - Legend has it that the cup, traditionally the ideal shape for tasting Champagne, was modelled on none other than Marie-Antoinette's breast. A trend-setting story: Claudia Schiffer and Kate Moss have created their own version modelled on their own breasts.