Global Champagne Day is celebrated every year on the fourth Friday in October and this year, it falls on October 28. The beverage is a sparkling wine that originated and is produced in the Champagne wine region of France. Most champagne is produced with Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier, and Chardonnay grapes; although smaller amounts of Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris (called Fromenteau in Champagne), Arbane, and Petit Meslier are also used. Traditionally, it is served in a champagne flute, whose characteristics include a long stem with a tall, narrow bowl, thin sides, and an etched bottom. It’s usually reserved for celebrations, especially New Year’s Day, right as the year begins, and the winners of racing competitions tend to spray champagne at each other and the crowd.
History of Global Champagne Day
The oldest recorded sparkling wine is Blanquette de Limoux, which was supposedly invented in 1531 by Benedictine monks in the Abbey of Saint-Hilaire, near Carcassonne. The process was achieved by bottling the wine before the initial fermentation had ended. A hundred years later, an English scientist named Christopher Merret documented the addition of sugar to a finished wine to create a second fermentation. He detailed to the Royal Society what is now called ‘méthode traditionnelle,’ in 1662, but it would not be used for champagne until the 19th century, about 200 years later.
In France, the creation of the first sparkling champagne was accidental. It was called the “Devil’s Wine” because bottles exploded or corks popped as a result of the pressure in the bottle. At the time, the bubbles were considered a fault. The invention of the muselet by Adolphe Jaquesson in 1844 helped prevent the corks from blowing out. Even when it began to be deliberately produced as a sparkling wine, for a very long time champagne was made using the ‘méthode rurale,’ in which the wine was bottled before the initial fermentation had finished.
The production of champagne saw massive growth in the 19th century, from a more regional production of 300,000 bottles a year in 1800 to 20 million bottles by 1850. In that century, champagne was noticeably sweeter than the ones from today. A taste for drier champagnes began when Perrier-Jouët decided not to sweeten his 1846 vintage before exporting it to London. Thus, in 1876, the designation of ‘brut’ champagne was created for the British, to identify the driest champagne, made with less than 0.4 ounces of added sugar per liter.
Global Champagne Day timeline
The Blanquette de Limoux is seemingly invented by Benedictine monks in the Abbey of Saint-Hilaire, near Carcassonne.
It is the creation of a second fermentation by adding sugar.
The poet Samuel Butler refers to a “brisk champagne.”
About 200 years after it was first documented, sweet champagne becomes the norm for this century.
Adolphe Jaquesson creates it, and it helps prevent corks from blowing out because of the pressure in champagne bottles.
Global Champagne Day FAQs
What does champagne symbolize?
It is perceived by many as the wine of happiness and celebration of excellence, which presides over all moments of celebration and success. This is why we always drink it to celebrate important things.
Is champagne stronger than beer?
In most cases, yes. A bottle of beer usually has around 4.5% alcohol whereas a bottle of champagne has around 12 to 20% alcohol.
Is champagne the healthiest alcohol?
It contains antioxidants that prevent damage to your blood vessels, reduce bad cholesterol and prevent blood clots; proteins that are beneficial for your short-term memory; fewer calories than both red and white wine, and can lower your risk of contracting diabetes by 13%.
Global Champagne Day Activities
Pop open a bottle
This one is self-explanatory. Gather some friends or family and drink your favorite champagne.
Learn how to open a bottle with a champagne saber
If you’re a big enough enthusiast of champagne, you’ve probably heard of this unusual act. There are specific sabers you can buy that are made for cutting the top of champagne bottles. You need to follow some special instructions, so make sure you know what you’re doing before you try it in front of others.
Visit the Champagne region
The ultimate way to celebrate. You can learn first-hand how champagne is made, visit a palace and a cathedral, and fly over the vineyards on a hot-air balloon.
5 Mind-Blowing Facts About Champagne
Right to the name
It is illegal in most countries to use the word ‘champagne’ to refer to any sparkling wine that doesn’t come from the Champagne region in France.
It was called ‘shampanskoe’ in Russia
This translates to "that, which is of Champagne," only in 2021 did Russia ban the name for imported sparkling wine, but it’s still used today for some brands produced in former Soviet republics.
When popped, a champagne cork can reach a velocity of 24.8 miles per hour.
177 feet and nine inches
That is the longest recorded cork flight.
That is what the most expensive bottle of champagne costs, designed by Alexander Amosu and Swarovski, handcrafted from 18-carat solid gold, and with a deep-cut 19-carat white diamond at its center.
Why We Love Global Champagne Day
It’s a day to share our favorite champagne with others
Usually, people only drink champagne at celebrations, but if you’re a big enthusiast, this day is a good excuse to drink with friends and family. If you own several bottles, you can make a show out of it and have them try different types.
It’s a chance to learn more about champagne
The history and process of making champagne is quite lengthy. There are many books and internet articles, and videos documenting everything very well.
It makes us feel like James Bond
While it’s often said that the Vodka Martini is the secret agent’s favorite drink, he has drunk champagne more often in the films. It shows up over 35 times, and his favorite brand seems to be Bollinger, which is seen in 14 movies.
Global Champagne Day dates