Mr. Wannabe Wino returns with a second installment!
Champagne has long been a favorite party drink, no doubt partly due to the theatrical nature of opening a bottle which results in a satisfying – POP! fizzle. (Plinking an in-law with a cork from all the way across the room is only an added bonus…) Originally created accidentally in the Champagne region of France, the effervescence was a byproduct of wine being bottled after cooler weather prematurely halted an incomplete fermentation process, which would resume with the onset of warmer weather. With no place for the carbon dioxide produced as a fermentation byproduct to go, the pressure would cause bottles to explode, at times setting off a chain reaction sending glass shrapnel everywhere. Twenty to ninety percent of the bottles could explode in a single cellar. For this reason, the poor monks tending such bottles labeled the wine “le vin du diable,” or the Devil’s wine, and great efforts were undertaken to remove the offending bubbles. Today, thankfully, the explosions only take place on our pallets, but the next time you sample a glass of your favorite champagne, spare a thought to those poor monks who risked their lives to help create such a celebratory treat.
Filed under: Sparkling wine