The history of champagne is as intriguing and captivating as the drink itself. Much like the history of red wine, the history white wine, and the history of rose, the history of champagne covers a lot of ground. From the early days, to unique champagne cocktails, to the Champagne region in France, there’s a lot to talk about.
On this BinWise blog, we’ll walk you through different aspects of the history of champagne. If you’re learning how to collect wine, how to build a wine cellar, or you want to learn more about types of wine glasses for champagne, this background knowledge will help you. If you’re a bar business owner serving up champagne, this information is helpful for you and your wait staff.
History of the Champagne Glass
The history of the champagne glass is delightfully related to how we enjoy champagne and sparkling wine. The champagne flute many of us see today is a common option. It was developed in the early 18th century. There are also options such as the coupe glass, and the tulip glass.
The history of the champagne glass shows how folks have changed from enjoying wine in an aesthetically pleasing glass, to a glass that highlights the beverage. More modern champagne glasses are built to enhance the flavor of champagne, and allow the bubbles and sparkling nature to bubble through the glass.
History of Champagne Cocktail
There are plenty of champagne cocktails in existence and lining bar displays today. There are newer inventions, like Tom Hanks’ champagne and soda mix. Then there are drinks that have been around for a while, like the Death in the Afternoon, the absinthe cocktail Ernest Heminway invented, which includes absinthe and champagne (see also: what is absinthe).
There’s also an older champagne cocktail, dated from the mid-1800s. It’s simply called Champagne Cocktail. It consists of a sugar cube with some aromatic bitters sprinkled on it, then dropped into a glass. From there, you pour over a small amount of cognac and top the glass off with champagne.
History of Champagne Region
The history of champagne started out long ago. While the history of the drink may have come about more recently, the region of Champagne, France, has been used for winemaking for centuries. As far back as the 1st century, the Romans were growing wine grapes in the region that is now known as the Champagne region.
By the time the 9th century rolled around, the wine coming out of the Champagne region was renowned for its high quality. It was used in the coronation of French kings, and became popular across France. These days, the Champagne region is known as the one place you need to search through if you’re looking for true champagne.
History of Sabering Champagne
We can’t talk about the history of champagne without also talking about the history of how we enjoy champagne. From the glassware to the occasions of celebration champagne is used for, it’s a drink we have loved for centuries. One particularly beloved tradition with champagne is the act of sabering to open a champagne bottle.
The history of sabering champagne started out in the late 1700s. It was started by the Cavalry Officers of Napoleon's army. The saber was the weapon favored by Napoleon's cavalry. Their victories across Europe gave them a reason to celebrate. These days, you can use a large knife or sword, or a traditional saber to truly enjoy the experience of opening a bottle of champagne.
The History of Champagne: The Sparkles of Champagne
The history of champagne started out in 1662, officially. Of course, wines were being made in the champagne region, and sparkling wines were being experimented with, before that date. In 1662, however, it’s noted that an English scientist successfully crafted the first champagne wine.
From there, the craft was passed along to the French. Dom Perignon, a Benedictine monk, is particularly well known for his contributions to champagne. These days, champagne from the Champagne region is still recognized as the true champagne. You can find it in bottles in the grocery store, old wine barrels, and even in canned wine options.
"Key Takeaway: From the glassware to the occasions of celebration champagne is used for, it’s a drink we have loved for centuries."
Frequently Asked Questions About Champagne History
Our answers to these frequently asked questions about the history of champagne provide further information. If you’re looking to enjoy champagne for the history as much as the taste, read on!
Who First Invented Champagne?
Most sources agree that English scientist Christopher Merrett invented the first sparkling wine with champagne-like bubbles in 1662. When you do a Google search for the invention of champagne, many sources also mention Dom Perignon, the Benedictine monk who helped shape champagne.
There are, in fact, sources that still claim Dom Perignon as the inventor of champagne. Sources and facts have been shown to discount that claim, but it holds a certain air of delight in the world of wine lovers.
How Did Champagne Get Its Name?
Champagne gets its name from the Champagne region in France. Champagne is in the northeast corner of France, near Paris. Legally, the only bottles that can have the name Champagne on them must have been grown, produced, and bottled within 100 miles of the Champagne region.
Did Dom Perignon Invent Champagne?
No, Dom Perignon didn’t invent champagne. Dom Perignon was a famous Benedictine monk from the Abbey of Hautvillers. He was a key figure in the early development of champagne, but he didn’t invent the bubbly drink.
He did, however, help work out some of the best ways to make champagne. His invention of champagne might be false, but his contributions to the world of wine are completely true.
What Is Champagne Slang?
Some slang about and surrounding champagne includes:
- Champers: champers is british slang for champagne, originating from around the mid-20th century
- Corked chaos
- Flapper’s flute filler
- F. Scott Spritzgerald
- Giggle glug
- Jazz juice
- Tuxedo water
Of course, when it comes to slang for champagne, you can use any bubbly, delightful word that fits the bill. The words you’ll find in online dictionaries are only a starting point.
Why Do You Tilt the Glass to Pour Champagne?
When you pour champagne, you tilt the glass to help minimize the bubbles foaming up. This means you can pour faster, which is especially helpful if you’re working in the hospitality industry or in a wine bar, winery, or brunch cafe.
Tilting the glass allows the bubbles to hit a larger surface area of the glass. This contact helps to disperse the bubbles, giving you less foam to deal with during the pouring process.
The History of Champagne: Time to Pop Some Bottles!
Whether you’re working in country clubs, customer experience in a bar, at an enterprise hotel, in the hotel industry, or you’re hosting brunch, learning the history of champagne is helpful. It gives you background knowledge on a drink everyone loves. That helps you connect with customers and improve customer service.
If you’re working with champagne and serving it up, reach out to BinWise, BlueCart, and Revolution. The BinWise Pro platform, paired with the BinScan mobile app, gives you peace of mind with beverage inventory. BlueCart’s order management system eases your use of order management software. Revolution is designed to help with restaurant tech for all your needs.