Ahhh, champagne. It is synonymous to celebration, cheer, luxury, elegance, and class. It is a drink that can make moments more unforgettable, life more enjoyable. No wonder so many people love it. The next time a bottle is popped open, impress everyone with your champagne expertise by sharing these fun facts about the beloved sparkling drink.
1. There are about 49 million bubbles in 1 standard size bottle of champagne. Dare anyone who doesn’t believe you to count them.
2. The longest flight of a champagne cork that has been recorded is over 54 metres!
3. A champagne riddler (the person who turns champagne bottles to make sure the sparkling wine is free of sediments) can turn as many as 50,000 bottles a day.
4. A Melchizedek, the largest bottle size for champagne, contains 30 litres of bubbly (equal to 40 standard bottles).
5. When a champagne cork is popped out of the bottle, it reaches the velocity of 40 miles per hour and can even reach 100 miles per hour.
6. There is a bigger chance you’ll be killed by a flying champagne cork than by a poisonous spider. Better stand far away when a bottle is about to be popped.
7. The pressure in a bottle of bubbly is approximately 90 pounds per square inch, equivalent to the pressure of a double-decker bus tyre.
8. The best way to open champagne is by gently sliding out the cork instead of shaking it and letting the cork pop out. This preserves the carbonation and avoids wasting so much of that precious sparkling wine.
9. In the film adaptations, James Bond drinks champagne more than any other beverage. So his famous line should have been “Champagne, gently opened not popped”?
10. Champagne can be made using only 3 kinds of grapes—Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier.
11. Le Champagne refers to the sparkling wine, La Champagne is used to describe the region where the beloved bubbly drink originated.
12. The foil wrap on a champagne bottle was lined with lead in the old days to prevent mice from eating into the cork.
13. The first coupe was believed to have been moulded from the breast of Helen of Troy. No wonder the Greeks related drinking to a sensual experience. After many centuries, a newly shaped coupe was invented. This time, it was moulded from the breast of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France. And since she was better endowed than Helen, the glass shape changed entirely.
14. Marilyn Monroe used to bathe in champagne (about 350 bottles of it) to keep her skin smooth and youthful.
15. In the 19th century, high-society English dandies insisted that the only correct way to polish boots was with champagne.
16. If you put a raisin in a glass of bubbly it will rise to the top and sink to the bottom again and again. (Bring a packet of raisins next time to smugly demonstrate.)
17. The largest champagne bar tab was £42,608 paid to the Brown’s Club in Covent Garden, London by an anonymous German fruit exporter. He offered a birthday drink to Richard Traviss, the club owner, and ended up buying one for everyone else present.
18. It is rumoured that a bottle of the champagne served on the Titanic washed ashore several years after it sank and it still tasted great after all that time.
19. Champagne undergoes double fermentation. Once in a barrel and then in a bottle.
20. In the early years of making champagne, workers would wear iron masks when walking through Champagne cellars because 20-90% of bottles exploded due to the volatility of the wine.
These bits of trivia make champagne an even more interesting drink to enjoy.