Pop the cork…today we celebrate the invention of champagne! The man responsible was a Benedictine monk by the name of Dom Perignon. As director of the abbey wine cellar, Perignon was charged with the task of ridding the abbey’s homemade sparkling wine of its pesky bubbles. Perignon failed to do so, but as legend has it, he tasted his failed vintage and exclaimed, “Come quickly! I am drinking the stars!” And so champagne was born…
Apparently in those days, bubbles in wine were a common problem. A secondary fermentation process created the bubbles which, trapped within the bottle, would eventually exert such pressure as to break free of their confines. Roughly twenty percent of a cellar’s stock was lost to exploding bottles. These early champagnes were termed “the devil’s wine” on account of their unexpected and violent eruptions.
The process of making champagne is far more controlled nowadays and we don’t worry about our bottles exploding, but the ceremony of opening a bottle of champagne still has a thrill all its own.
May the waning summer days bring many moments of revelry and perhaps a refreshing glass or two of champagne!