Champagne, or sparkling wine produced within the Champagne region in France, seems to have always been the drink of celebration and excess. But this particular beverage goes back to long before New Year’s Eve fireworks.
The grapes that produce champagne were first planted by Romans in 300 B.C., but it didn’t become the status symbol we know it as until the mid-17th century, when it was served at King Louis XIV’s accession to the throne of France. And the bubbles that make it so fun to drink were actually the result of a complicated fermenting process gone awry — the French spent years trying to get rid of the bubbles, and just think if they had succeeded! It took an almost magical balance between sugar and carbon dioxide to make the drink sparkle without exploding the wooden barrels it was stored in.
Now, producing 295 million bottles a year across 320 houses, the region of Champagne serves a crucial economic purpose in France. And it’s also probably the reason you had such a headache the morning after your sister’s wedding!