Champagne is a wine produced in the Champagne region of northeastern France. It is generally made of a blend of three grapes: Chardonay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier. These three grapes make up 98% of all Champagnes produced.
One of the most famous champagnes is Dom Pérignon, named after a French Benedictine monk of the 17th Century who contributed to the production and quality of champagne. Contrary to myth, he did not invent champagne; that honor goes to the English scientist and physician Christopher Merret. (Merret also produced the first list of British birds, but nobody seems to care about that much.)
How did the story about Dom Pérignon inventing champagne get started? An ad in the late 19th century had him saying, “Come quickly, I am drinking the stars” and the legend grew. Supposedly, one of his successors at the Abbey of Hautvillers spread the story in order to garner historical importance and prestige for the church. It’s a lovely myth, in any case. And Dom Pérignon did, apparently, make actual contributions to the production and quality of champagne.
If you want to sample the stars yourself, you can expand your efforts to check out entire galaxies! You can get REALLY BIG bottles of champagne. Here are the names for the most common large sizes:
Magnum – 2 standard bottles
Jeroboam – 4 standard bottles
Rehoboam – 6 standard bottles
Methuselah – 8 standard bottles
Salmanazar – 12 standard bottles
Balthazar – 16 standard bottles
Nebuchadnezzar – 20 standard bottles
So, biblical names for the sizes because he was a monk? And I liked the tidbit about the inventor and the list of British birds!
We’ll be drinking beer tonight. 😉 Happy New Year!!
I’m sure we will be partaking of many yummy beverages tonight, including champagne. Clever that they named the 20 bottle quantity something that I’ll never remember or pronounce! Ha! Happy New Year my friend!
I love that whole “I’m drinking the stars” bit!
Wow — I was only familiar with the magnum size!
Very informative post. I really wanted some bubbly on New Year’s Eve but didn’t have any in the house and didn’t feel like driving to get some! So, I was bubble-less.
Super cool post! We had champagne and lots of wine.
I loved the history behind champagne!! Happy New Year!!!
Hah! Leave it to you to find out the names of ginormous bottles of champagne. Happy New Year!
Happy New Year! I hope 2013 is off to a good start!
Hahahahaha, enormous bottles of champagne, of course that’s the necessary New Year’s post. Wooooooo.
Too bad a Nebuchadnezzar wouldn’t fit into my stocking!! I hope that your 2013 is going well so far…are you settled??