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Champagne Day

“Pleasure without champagne is purely artificial.”

~ Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

August 4th commemorates the day of the invention of the champagne making process by Dom Pérignon in 1693. Legend has it that he said as he tasted the drink, “Come quickly, I am tasting the stars!” Although not the actual inventor, Pérignon was first tasked with keeping bubbles out of wine, as the effervescence was seen at this time as vulgar! But as tastes changed and the fizziness became fashionable, Pérignon’s mandate was reversed; he went on to develop many advances in Champagne production, including ways to increase carbonation! Pérignon also helped standardize production methods to avoid bottle explosions and added two safety features to the wines: thicker glass bottles that better withstood pressure and a rope snare that helped keep corks in place! Prior to this point, if one bottle in a cellar exploded and had its cork shoot out, it might start a chain reaction! Cheers! 🍾

"The night they invented champagne
It's plain as it could be, they thought of you and me
The night they invented champagne
They absolutely knew that all we'd wanna do

Is fly to the sky on champagne
And shout to everyone in sight
That since the world began, no woman and a man
Have never been as happy as we are tonight"

~ from the musical, Gigi, music & lyrics by Lerner & Loewe

August 4th commemorates the day of the invention of the champagne making process by Dom Pérignon in 1693. Legend has it that he said as he tasted the drink, “Come quickly, I am tasting the stars!” 

Historically, the leading champagne manufacturers made efforts to associate their particular champagnes with nobility and royalty through advertising and packaging in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, which led to an increasing popularity among the emerging middle class and affluent elite.

The wine came to symbolize the "good life" to which all people could aspire, but it also brought charges of decadence and indulgence.  As the American writer F. Scott Fitzgerald once commented, "Too much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just right."

During World War II, the British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, once motivated the British forces with the claim "Remember, gentlemen, it's not just France we are fighting for, it's Champagne!" 

One of the longest-lasting associations of Champagne and popular culture belongs with Ian Fleming's fictional spy character James Bond, who is portrayed as a frequent drinker of Champagne prestige cuvées. A count of over twenty-two Bond films reveals thirty-five occasions on which the character was portrayed drinking Champagne, of which seventeen were Bollinger (preferably Bollinger R.D.) and seven were Dom Pérignon.

By designer Carol A.L. Martin, this is a tartan is a representation of bubbly champagne at a party.

For a list of the world's most rare and expensive champagnes, click the vintage poster.

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