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Dom Pérignon Vintage champagne produced by the champagne house Moët & Chandon.
  • Happy new year champagne celebration.
  • Dom Pérignon Vintage champagne produced by the champagne house Moët & Chandon.
  • Limited Edition Moët & Chandon Jeroboam Champagne Bottle: US$1,050.
  • Damascus steel and sterling silver champagne sabre by Henry Tuke: £20,000.
  • Cristal is the brand name of a Champagne produced by Louis Roederer.
  • Goût de Diamants - the world’s most expensive champagne.
  • Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin champagne bottles.
  • Perrier-Jouët champagnes.
  • Moët & Chandon promotional bar.
  • The most expensive champagne brands in the world.

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"Champagne is the wine of civilization and the oil of government." - Winston Churchill.

"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more Champagne." - John Meynard Keynes.

"Too much of anything is bad, but too much Champagne is just right." - F. Scott Fitzgerald.

"I drink Champagne when I win, to celebrate . . . and I drink Champagne when I lose, to console myself." - Napoleon Bonaparte.

"I only drink champagne when I'm happy and when I'm sad. Sometimes I drink it when I'm alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I'm not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it - unless I'm thirsty." - Madame Lilly Bolinger.

CHAMPAGNE is a sparkling wine produced by inducing the in-bottle secondary fermentation of the wine to effect carbonation. It is produced exclusively within the Champagne region of France, from which it takes its name.

Champagne first gained world renown because of its association with the anointment of French kings. Royalty from throughout Europe spread the message of the unique sparkling wine from Champagne and its association with luxury and power. The leading manufacturers devoted considerable energy to creating a history and identity for their wine, associating it and themselves with nobility and royalty. Through advertising and packaging they sought to associate Champagne with high luxury, festivities and rites of passage. Their efforts coincided with an emerging middle class that was looking for ways to spend its money on symbols of upward mobility.

The Romans were the first to plant vineyards in this area of northeast France with the region being cultivated by at least the 5th century, possibly earlier. Wines from the Champagne region were known before medieval times. Churches owned vineyards and monks produced wine for use in the sacrament of Eucharist. French kings were traditionally anointed in Reims and Champagne wine was served as part of coronation festivities. The Champenois were envious of the reputation of the wines made by their Burgundian neighbours to the south and sought to produce wines of equal acclaim. However, the northerly climate of the region gave the Champenois a unique set of challenges in making red wine. At the far extremes of sustainable viticulture, the grapes would struggle to ripen fully and often would have bracing levels of acidity and low sugar levels. The wines would be lighter bodied and thinner than the Burgundy wines they were seeking to outdo.

Contrary to legend and popular belief, Dom Perignon did not invent sparkling wine. The oldest recorded sparkling wine is Blanquette de Limoux, which was apparently invented by Benedictine Monks in the Abbey of Saint Hilaire near Carcassonne in 1531. Over a century later, the English scientist and physician Christopher Merret documented the addition of sugar to a finished wine to create a second fermentation six years before Dom Perignon set foot in the Abbey of Hautvillers and almost 40 years before it was claimed that the famed Benedictine monk invented Champagne. Merret presented the Royal Society with a paper in which he detailed what is now called méthode champenoise in 1662.

Although Dom Pérignon did not invent Champagne, he did develop many advances in production of the drink, including holding the cork in place with a wire collar (muselet) to withstand the fermentation pressure. In France, the first sparkling Champagne was created accidentally; its pressure led it to be called "the devil's wine" (le vin du diable) as bottles exploded or the cork jolted away. Even when it was deliberately produced as a sparkling wine, Champagne was for a very long time made by the méthode rurale, where the wine was bottled before the only fermentation had finished. Champagne did not utilize the méthode champenoise until the 19th century, approximately 200 years after Christopher Merret documented the process. The nineteenth century saw an explosive growth in Champagne production going from a regional production of 300,000 bottles a year in 1800 to 20 million bottles in 1850.

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