Nothing says “celebration,” quite like the popping of a champagne bottle. This classic beverage makes an appearance at toasts at weddings and college graduations and is the quintessential drink of choice at any important gathering. But why do we opt for this sparkling wine each time we celebrate? Below, we’re discussing the history of champagne and how it became an integral element of parties and gatherings across the globe.
Champagne goes back quite a few centuries. It is thought to have become popular in the 17th century, although its history may extend quite further. In fact, it is rumored that Hugh Capet, the King of France in the year 987, started the tradition of putting wines on display at celebrations.
Coincidentally, the banquets usually took place at the center of the Champagne region of France. Due to the elevation, weather, and other factors in the area, the wines that were produced there were light-bodied, and the bottles made of French glass would often explode in the cold cellars. The bottles that survived, however, had a slight effervescence – a trait that the winemakers had not initially intended.
Fast forward years later, and sparkling wine was no longer reserved for the king’s courts. Instead, it became a popular beverage among a variety of upper-class individuals due to the new level of attention given to the production of the grapes in the wine-making process. Additionally, a new bottle was invented that could withstand the pressure the wine created without exploding. This increased not only its ability to be stored but also its ability to be shipped, which led to an increase in exports to England and even greater popularity.
Over the course of several centuries, a variety of renowned Champagne houses arose, including Dom Pérignon, Veuve Clicquot, Moët & Chandon, and Krug – all of which are still well-known today. These famous champagne producers contributed to the accessibility and popularity of the beverage, and it was soon seen in advertisements, artwork, literature, music, and other forms of popular culture.
Today, champagne is enjoyed by a wide range of people across the globe. However, some variations (especially those created in the Champagne region) remain fairly expensive due to their history and value.
In the 21st century, you can expect to see champagne at a variety of events and gatherings. For example, champagne is often used to christen new ships before they leave port. It is also enjoyed at award shows, during retirement parties, and for celebrating sports victories. Most often, celebratory events will include a champagne toast, where all attendees raise a glass in honor of something or someone and take a simultaneous sip.
While champagne is no longer exclusive to royals and other members of the upper-class, it still feels indulgent and acts as the perfect treat to commemorate any momentous occasion.
Champagne is an excellent addition to any wine cellar – whether you plan to celebrate with it or not. At Cellaraiders, we can help you find the perfect bottle for your collection. Contact us today to learn more!