Dom. The man.

All over my robes!

August 4th, 1693. French monk Dom Pierre Perignon invents an amazing new sparkling wine beverage. He rushes out of his wine laboratory and exclaims "Come quickly, I am drinking the stars!!" Champagne is created. A righteous monk party ensues. Jay Z is there.

he's got 99 problems but champagne ain't one.

he's got 99 problems but champagne ain't one.

Okay. No. No. No. None of that happened. The Jay Z part is about as likely to have happened. The truth about champagne is much less dramatic than the story people often hear.

Dom Perignon certainly did not invent champagne. In fact it had been around for a while by 1693. In 1662 a Gloucester doctor named Christopher Merret actually submitted a paper to the Royal Society on the secondary fermentation of wine. The secondary fermentation results in a "brisk and sparkling" wine. So original champagne was called sparkling wine. And August 4th? I'm not really sure where that date comes from. Dom Perignon actually spent most of his time as Cellar Master trying to figure out how to stop the secondary fermentation. In the process, though, he actually created a list of rules for creating champagne. These included only using pinot noir grapes, harvesting on cool and wet mornings, and pressing grapes instead of trodding on them. It's also worth mentioning that the name Champagne comes from the region of France where the grapes were to be harvested. Many of his rules are  still used today.

 

Sparkling wine was actually very problematic as the bottles would sometimes explode while fermenting due to too much carbonation. And if one bottle would explode, it could (and generally would) start a chain reaction setting off many of the bottles around it. This could result in huge losses of stores, sometimes up to 70%.

I actually wanted a pic of a bottle of champagne ACTUALLY EXPLODING. But I'll settle for this.

I really wanted a pic of a bottle of champagne ACTUALLY EXPLODING. But I'll settle for this.

 

As for that quote, that can be traced back to no earlier than the 1880's. It was used as the catchy line for an ad, and Dom Perignon certainly didn't say it. So there's some history for you about an absolutely delicious alcoholic beverage. One that we here at KU are particularly fond of. Thank you Dom Perignon, for your amazing creation. Or whatever you did. Bring on the bubbly!!

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