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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I'll Have What She's Having...

I thought we could celebrate Wednesday with a drop of Champagne.
  • Champagne is a sparkling white wine from the region of the same name in northeastern France. It was developed by Dom Perignon at the Abbey d'Hautvilliers about 1700.
  • Other sparkling wines are not truly "champagnes." Instead, they are referred to as having been made using the "m├ęthode champenoise". It is made by a second fermentation in the bottle.
  • There are eight different sizes of champagne bottles. Note the Biblical names, which no one seems to be able to explain.
Bottle=0.75 liters
Magnum=2 bottles
Jeroboam=4 bottles
Rehoboam=6 bottles
Methuselah=8 bottles
Salmanazar=12 bottles
Balthazar=16 bottles
Nebuchadnezzar=20 bottles (Can you imagine trying to lift this? This is a
container holding 15 liters of bubbly!)
  • Arnold Bennett's play The Title contains this great line: "A cause may be inconvenient, but it's magnificent. It's like Champagne or high heels, and one must be prepared to suffer for it."
  • In the movie An Affair to Remember, Deborah Kerr and Cary Grant share a love for Pink Champagne Cocktails.
  • Anton Chekhov's last words were "It's been so long since I've had Champagne." He then drank a glass and died.
Please do not follow his example!
Do you have a favorite piece of Champagne trivia? Let us know!
A Dictionary of Food and Nutrition. David A. Bender. Oxford University Press, 2005.
The New York Public Library Desk Reference
The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Quotations. Ed. Susan Ratcliffe. Oxford University Press, 2006.


  1. I love useless trivia. Actually this isn't so useless. The next time I go to Wine & Spirits in the Quarter, I'm going to tell them I need a Jeroboam because I have company coming (for me not for them of course) and see what they say.

  2. Of course I have some useless trivia for you! Alex James (bassist of Blur...I know, I can probably relate almost everything to them) claims in his autobiography that he spent a million pounds on champagne (and other rock and roll type paraphernalia) in the nineties.

  3. I've read that the English, back in the day, liked wine okay, but found the Secs and Demi-Secs being produced far too sweet for their stiff-upper lips.

    The French, eager to export more of the stuff, created dry champagne.

    The English reply was, "This is better, but it's still too sweet."

    The French sighed at the folly of English pallets, but complied with Extra Dry. This, they figured, would satisfy the English, though by their estimation it should hardly even be called champagne.

    They were wrong. "Less sweet!" cried the English.

    The French then crafted a champagne that was so dry it finally satisfied the English. The French called this new concoction Brut Champagne.

    Brut translates from French as "Gross."

  4. I am really impressed with the concept of champagne sabering. I realize immediately that here is an activity I should never, ever attempt. Klutz + Sabering= No Champagne + No Fingers


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