With over twenty years in the corporate Champagne and wine gift business, we love sharing our knowledge of sparkling wine. So, we’ve compiled a list of fascinating facts about Champagne for you to share over a glass of bubbly. Cheers!
- Champagne is simply a light, sparkling wine. However, it is unique in that it is only made in the Champagne region of France following a strict process known as the Méthode Champenoise or Méthode Traditionnelle, which maintains its exceptional quality and prestige.
- Champagne is made with three main grapes. Curiously two of the grapes are black: Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier. The other is a white grape, Chardonnay.
- A good way to judge the quality of Champagne by looking at its bubbles. Generally, the smaller the bubbles, the higher quality. Tiny, very fine bubbles are the sign of a well-made Champagne.
- There are around 49 million bubbles in a standard sized bottle of Champagne.
- Marilyn Monroe once bathed in Champagne. According to her biographer, it took 350 bottles to fill up her bath tub. The ultimate bubble bath!
- Winston Churchill drank a lot of Champagne – over 40,000 bottles in his lifetime. Champagne Pommery was a favourite and the Pol Roger Champagne house made him a special pint bottle which was served every day at 11am.
- Queen Victoria was another big fan of Champagne, especially Perrier-Jouet. She loved the wine so much that she bestowed a royal warrant on the brand in 1861.
- Opening a bottle of Champagne can be deadly, as flying champagne corks kill more people every year than bites from poisonous spiders! Take extra care at weddings, as more than a third of all cork fatalities occur on those occasions. Read here how to open a bottle of Champagne safely.
- The wire cage controlling the cork is called a muselet. It was invented in 1844 by a French man named Adolphe Jacquesson to prevent leaks and avoid injury for staff working in the cellar of his Champagne house.
- Drop a raisin into a freshly poured glass of Champagne and it will sink to the bottom and rise to the top, over and over again.
- The largest Champagne bottle size is called a Melchizedek and is equal to 40 standard bottles and stands 4ft tall. It takes at least three people to carry one.
- The tradition of spraying Champagne on the Formula One podium began at the 1966 Le Mans 24 Hours race when winning driver Jo Siffert accidentally sprayed the crowd when the cork shot out of the Champagne bottle warmed by the sun. The following year, Dan Gurney copied this moment and deliberately shook the bottle when he won the same race. And the tradition was born.
If we’ve inspired you to find out more about Champagne, visit the official Champagne website here and come and browse our wonderful personalised corporate Champagne gifts and personalised Champagne labels you can order here.