The History of Champagne

Hailing from the northeast of France, Champagne is a sparkling white wine produced in a region carrying the same name. The region of Champagne has been recognised for its fine wines since medieval times, with the sparkling wine believed to have originated in the 16th century. Today, champagne is savoured across the world for its rich taste, with many drinking the wine at celebratory events such as weddings and holiday gatherings.

Origins of Champagne

The first Champagnes were produced by placing the liquid in the bottle before the fermentation process had finished. Champagne was an accidental product initially, and was dubbed “le vin du diable” or “the devil’s wine.” This moniker was given because of how volatile the final wine was, often causing the cork to fly off the bottle when the liquid inside the bottle was jostled in some manner. Today, only sparkling wines produced within the designated areas in France are allowed to be sold as true Champagne. Nevertheless, many sparkling white wines are referred to by the name “champagne” in common vernacular.

Since the creation of the first Champagnes, several Champagne producers have emerged as some of the most well-recognised winemakers in the world. Champagne has undergone several different metamorphoses, thanks to the influence of many different groups and figures. Perhaps one of the most prolific individuals involved with the production of Champagne is Dom Pérignon, a French monk who helped improved the production process and quality of the sparkling wine.

English Champagne Influence

While France is recognized as the official producer of Champagne, many steps of the production process used today were actually developed in England. One notable English contribution was the creation of stronger bottles that were capable of containing the volatile sparkling wine. English winemakers also were among the first to begin using corks, reviving the tradition first started by the Romans. The fermentation process that creates the bubbles was first explored in depth by English scientists, when still Champagne wine shipped from France began a second fermentation on British shores.

Production Methods

The Méacute;thode Champenoise is by far the most common form of Champagne production. After the wine has gone through an initial fermentation process, a second fermentation takes place inside the bottle itself. This method has been honed by winemakers for many years, with each artisan producer adding different amounts of yeast and sugar to the bottle to achieve a unique taste. The wine must mature for at least 1.5 years in order for the fermentation process to be complete, though higher-quality champagnes often take much longer to mature fully.

Uses of Champagne

Champagne has always been associated with a luxurious lifestyle, thanks to the marketing efforts of the first producers of the product. This is one of the main reasons that Champagne is often served at high-profile events and parties. In addition to serving as a delicious drink, Champagne can also be used in recipes and in the production of other high-quality foods, such as Champagne truffles and chocolates. The flavour of the wine lends a particular flavour to these gourmet desserts, leading many of the worlds’ top chefs to use Champagne in their cooking.

Attached Images:

James Chocolates produce delicious Champagne chocolates.

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