Monday, December 28, 2020


Let's do some armchair travel to the region of Champagne in France. Champagne is the agricultural area where Champagne grapes grow. If a wine doesn't come from this designated production area, it should not be called "Champagne," it's another kind of sparkling wine. At this point, I would love to visit anywhere in France, wouldn't you?

 Champagne in bottles, stored in the cellar of the winery Cattier, Chigny Les Roses, France
"This family-owned Champagne house was founded in 1763, and its historic caves (built across three levels) embody three distinct architectural styles: Gothic, Renaissance, and Romanesque. The chamber pictured here holds the iconic Champagne Armand de Brignac, which is produced by the Cattier property. In 2014 musician Jay-Z bought the Armand de Brignac brand, after previously featuring its iconic gold bottles in a music video." --

Touring the cellars of various champagne shippers sounds like it would be fun, but I'd even more like to drive around in the vineyards and see the growing grapes. 

Champagne, France: A Vineyard (Wikipedia)

A few intriguing facts about champagne -- First, did Dom Pérignon invent the production methods for bubbly wine?
"Although the legend of Benedictine monk Dom Pérignon creating sparkling wine in the late 1600’s and declaring 'come quickly, I am tasting the stars!' is a lovely, romantic story it also unfortunately is not true. The reality is that intentionally creating sparkling wine was a trial and error process over hundreds of years. If anything, bubbles in wine were more commonly viewed as a flaw and it was quite some time before we would come to view Champagne with the reverence and awe of today." --

How does carbon dioxide get into champagne so it can pop the cork and then form bubbles in your glass? 

"To generate enough carbon dioxide to make bubbles, winemakers actually need to ferment champagne twice. That’s because the grapes in champagne aren’t very sweet, so there isn’t a lot of sugar for the yeast to eat. After the first round of fermentation, the wine is only about nine percent alcohol, which is pretty low — your average glass of champagne is usually closer to 12 percent. And the carbon dioxide is allowed to escape, so no bubbles form. 
"In the second round of fermentation, winemakers add a little bit of extra sugar — either cane or beet — and, more yeast. Then, they cap the bottle, sealing everything inside. The yeast ferment the sugars and produce more carbon dioxide and alcohol. They also die, and digest themselves, producing the molecules responsible for the more toasty, yeasty flavors in aged champagne." --  

Finally, what makes the bubbles form when you fill your glass with champagne? 

"Scientists at the University of Reims, France have discovered that tiny gas pockets and fibers stuck on the inside of a glass—from dust or a towel used for drying—influence the timing of the bubble trains. 
"'Fibers entrap a tiny air pocket when Champagne is poured,' said physicist Gerard Liger-Belair. 'Then, this tiny air pocket literally sucks the [dissolved] carbon dioxide.'" --


Champagne is definitely the wine for this New Year's week, but I like non-bubbly wine better -- maybe I'm like the singer of Cole Porter's song: "I get no kick from champagne." However, it's perfect for the weekly drinking party at Elizabeth's blog!  

I have assembled this collection of quotes for this post on my food blog (mae food dot blog spot dot com) and if you are reading it elsewhere, it's been stolen! 

Have a great New Year's Eve, and let's hope for a better year in 2021.


Anne in the kitchen said...

Once again I have learned by reading your post. I always find them interesting! Happy New Year to you also.

kathyinozarks said...

Enjoyed your post Happy T and Happy New Year Kathy

My name is Erika. said...

That is fascinating about how champagne gets it bubbles. And I am with you, I'd go anywhere right now. Have wonderful T day and Happy New year too.

Tandy | Lavender and Lime ( said...

We visited this region a few years ago, but sadly did not go to any of the cellars. We will have bubbles on new years eve. May 2021 allow for travel!

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I always look forward to seeing what you have conjured up for us each week, and this is no different. Although I have only had champagne once (and didn't care for it), I enjoyed reading about it, especially where the bubbles come from. Thanks so very much for another entertaining and enjoyable drink related post with us at T this Tuesday, dear Mae.

Iris Flavia said...

Oh. "... tasting the stars" sounds so much better than reality!
Especially the dying part, oh, help, can I ever enjoy that again, LOL.
Well, I only had champagne once, "usually"/if it´s the cheap sparkling wine, but there is the same procedure of dying, huh?
I go for beer then. Oh. Also bubbling... a bit!

Valerie-Jael said...

I visited a champagne vineyard some years back, thanks for the nice memories! Valerie

Let's Art Journal said...

Fabulous post and I love Champagne 😀. We had a bottle of Moët & Chandon on Christmas day - delicious! I hope you had a lovely Christmas. Happy T Day and all the best for 2021! Hugs, Jo x

Lisca said...

Thank you for your informative post today, and champagne is on most people's mind these days. We have visited the Champgne region of France and stayed in Reims.
I also knew about the second fermentation because i make kombucha, and I need a second fermentation to get the fizz. I actually add some fruit (raspberries is my favorite) to start a second fermentation.
We will probably have a bottle of Cava on new Year's eve as Champagne is very expensive.
Happy T-Day and a happy and healthy New Year,

Divers and Sundry said...

At this point, I would love to visit _anywhere_ lol!

The "champagne" I've picked up for New Year's Eve and the inauguration isn't real champagne, but it'll hafta do ;) Any kind of wine goes bad before I can finish a bottle, so I bought one of those little 6-packs of individual serving-size bottles. That'll be about as far from real champagne as you can get, I'm sure, but my heart's in the right place :)

Happy T Tuesday!

pearshapedcrafting said...

I'm not a great fan of Champagne but we did enjoy a few days in Troyes a few years ago! It is a lovely area of France! Happy T day and Happy New Year, Chrisx

Eileen Bergen said...

Very interesting post, Mae. I used to love Champagne; but now only have it once in a while - maybe once a year. I prefer dry white wines.

Happy T-day and a Happy New Improved Year! Hugs, Eileen

DVArtist said...

Mae, this is a lovely post. I truly do love reading about the history and the making of Champagne. I haven't had a glass in many years but remember I did like it. Have a very nice day and many wishes for 2021.

CJ Kennedy said...

Fun facts. I still like the Dom Pérignon story and quote. Perfect description of drinking champagne. Happy T Day! Happy New Year!

IzaBzh said...

I live 10mns away from Champagne by car, aren't I lucky ? Each time we go visiting Troyes, we see plenty of champagne caves on the way. If you're widely interested, there is also the Pays d'Othe, with apple juices and ciders and very good homemade ones there are :)