kelly magyarics

washington, d.c.-based wine, spirits, travel & lifestyle writer / wine educator


History of Champagne

I'm reading this book right now, and it gives fascinating insight into the history of Champagne. It also makes me extremely thirsty for bubbly every time I open it...

Some interesting pieces of trivia:

* The Champagne house of Veuve Clicquot invented the process of remuage ("riddling"), the process of placing bottles of champagne on a rack that gets progressively more vertical each day, and twisting the bottles once or several times each day, to move the sediment to the neck of the bottle. Then, the necks are frozen, and the frozen sediment pops out. The bottles are topped up, and recorked.

* Madame Pommery, at the champagne house of Pommery, was the first to make dry champagne. Before that, all champagne had been sweet (and the first wines made in Champagne were dry, still reds!) Making Champagne sweet often covered up faults in wine, especially unripe grapes. But Madame Pommery was convinced that the market was ready for a drier style. She was right, and sales of drier Champagne sky-rocketed.