two glasses of champagne or wine, couple in Paris, romantic celebration of engagement or anniversary

Global Champagne Day

We are absolutely certain that anyone can do a simple interwebs search on Champagne or Sparkling Wine and find all sorts of useful information in regards to Champagne: the history, the processes, notable houses, etc.  In fact, at a later date, we will continue to further geek-out on Champagne, but for Global Champagne Day we felt it best to tell an old, old story that may be true, may not be completely true, or may be complete hyperbole.  Most likely the second possibility, but nonetheless, pull up, get comfortable, as here goes the tale…

Image of a very old book that is open and sitting on top of a second old book

When Champagne as a region was still in its early days, the region produced a still pink wine made from Pinot Noir.  The Champenois were frustrated at the acclaim the people in Burgundy were receiving for their wines, and were troubled by their fruit not fully ripening and/or diseases the cooler climate in their region posed for them.  The wines were plagued by biting acidity and low sugar levels.

A french vineyard in winter with snow

The cold weather also halted the yeasts’ fermentation process, then when the warmer spring months came, the wine would start a second in-bottle fermentation.  In these early days, the bottles were not made to withstand that pressure.  You could imagine there were quite a few explosions and injuries, but we digress…

A bottle of Champagne or sparkling wine exploding
“More people are killed each year by flying Champagne corks than bites from poisonous spiders. Of the nearly two dozen Champagne-accident fatalities a year, more than a third occur at weddings.” – Daily Mail


The Champenois were not happy with this result and saw it as undesirable, especially considering that they were trying to compete with Burgundy.  Across the pond in England though, the bubbles had become quite the rage.


Benedictine monk statue holding an ancient wine vessel

While certain Benedictine monks embraced the outcome, it was Dom Pérignon who was vehemently against the bubbles in the wine.  He positioned himself to spearhead the removal of bubbles movement until a fated conversation occurred between himself and Dom Thierry Ruinart.  In said conversation, Dom Ruinart apparently told Dom Pérignon that if God wanted Champagne to be still, it would have been as such, but instead he gifted the Benedictines of Champagne with bubbles, and such it was.  Allegedly Dom Pérignon accepted the reasoning sound of mind and of spirit.  Dom Pérignon dropped his quest to remove the bubbles from Champagne there after and embraced the occurrence.

Champagne Ruinart Pere et fils (a french wine poster)

It is a common misconception that Dom Pérignon invented the modern Champagne, but as you can see here, it was actually quite the opposite.  Take a moment on this day to remember Dom Thierry Ruinart, his observations, and his interjection into the conversation about the removal of bubbles.  With out Ruinart, the (wine) world would truly be a different place.



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