Ever wondered why do we celebrate with Champagne? Here are some sparkling fizzy facts about the world’s favourite celebratory drink!
How Champagne go its pizzaz!
Champagne is irrevocably associated with glamour, luxury and festive occasions. Is it the bubbles? There’s an estimated 49 million of them in each bottle. Or perhaps it’s the pop of the cork. It shoots out due to the staggering 90 pounds per square inch of pressure in a single bottle (a car tyre has about 30 pounds per square inch!). There are people who obsess about the ‘recorded flight of a cork’ and the record is a whopping 177 feet (54 metres). And corks are fast! They fly out at a speed of up to around 30 mph (much more if you shake the bottle)!
For me, it’s the taste and the feeling you get when you sip a glass of Champagne. Some 300 million bottles are produced each year in Champagne. They’re left to mature for at least 15 months. And they ferment twice (that’s what gives it the bubbles) in hundreds of miles of underground cellars. It’s exported to around 190 countries. After the French, Americans are the biggest consumers of Champagne. They’re followed by the British – with Winston Churchill setting an example by drinking an estimated 42,000 bottles in his lifetime. He liked to be served champagne at 11am precisely – Pol Roger was his favourite.
He wasn’t the only famous person to enjoy champagne. Napoleon Bonaparte declared ‘“I cannot live without Champagne. If I win, I deserve it; If I lose, I need it.” And F Scott Fitzgerald claimed “Too much of anything is bad. Except Champagne – too much is just right.”
Made famous by the rich and famous
In fact, the reason it’s so popular probably originates from the tradition or royals and aristocrats drinking it to mark celebrations in the 18th century. Expensive even then – though largely this was due to its habit of the bottles blowing up – it became a status symbol. Plus it was said to have ‘positive effects on a woman’s beauty and a man’s wit’. And who are we to disagree?!
Oh, and one more reason to enjoy the bubbles. According to some scientists, a couple of glasses of Champagne is thought to help counteract the process of memory loss as you age. I’ll raise a glass to that!
48 hours in Reims, Champagne