A glass of champagne is often synonymous with toasting some of life’s biggest moments, but did you know it’s invention was a result of careless wine-making.
According to a report by Jack Sullivan on the History Channel, when Benedictine monk Dom Perignon was making wine, he could not rid it of the bubbles that had formed thanks to the fermentation.
He then decided to taste this accidental creation and exclaimed: “Come quickly! I am drinking the stars!”, and that is how champagne was invented in 1693.
Sullivan explains that at the age of 19, Perignon entered the Benedictine order at the Abbey of Hautvillers near the town of Epernay, within Champagne, France where he served as cellar master, responsible for overseeing the abbey’s extensive wine production, aging, and storage.
He said Perignon was tasked with ridding the abbey’s sparkling wine of bubbles, a common problem winemakers of the time experienced due to refermentation.
Perignon’s failure to de-bubble the wine became the toast of celebrants’ throughout history.
He also reported that Perignon made a significant contribution to the development of champagne when he discovered the technique that allows vintners to produce a successful white wine from red grapes. This was a major step toward the development of modern champagne.
The beverage is now one of the most popular in the world and there are now many brands from the Champagne region in France where it is produced.
Other countries also have their version, produced using a similar method. However, since they are not produced in Champagne using grapes from the region, they are prohibited from using the term ‘champagne’ to describe their beverage.
That doesn’t mean the other bubblies are bad – some of them are the best in the world, including South Africa’s Methode Cap Classique.