Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I Didn't Know That - Champagne

It’s no secret that some of the best inventions happened by accident. Scottish scientist Alexander Fleming was working with bacteria and mold when he discovered penicillin. Before the age of microwaves ovens, American engineer Percy Spencer noticed the chocolate in his pocket melted every time he walked in front of a vacuum tube generating small electromagnetic waves. Serendipitous discoveries aren't confined to technology; they also happen in the kitchen! A tablespoon of genius mixed with a pinch of luck cooked up these accidental food creations ...


The creation of the celebratory bubbly isn't credited to any one person, but to poor winemaking practices in the 15th century. During the late 1400s, Europe experienced an extreme temperature drop that froze both the Thames River and the Venice canals. The cold also stopped the fermentation process of grapes in Champagne, France, where the monks in the Abbey of Hautvillers created red and white wines. As spring brought warmer weather, the grape juice resumed fermenting and released carbon dioxide inside the bottle, which produced a new, throat-tickling quality. 
The Catholic church called in monk Dom Pierre Pérignon to curb the fizz from the remaining fermented wine. However, Pérignon's attempts only succeeded in refining champagne blending techniques. Thanks to increased consumption from French nobility, sparkling wine increased in popularity and became a symbol of expensive taste.

Fun fact: According to trade laws, only sparkling wine made in the Champagne region is called champagne. 

Pop, fizz, and clink to that!

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