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Champagne – In Success You Deserve It and In Defeat, You need it! – Sir Winston Churchill

You Deserve It?

The words ‘You Deserve it’ can be relative; it all depends on what you have really done to earn the pop. It’s easy to imagine that ‘bubbly’ or ‘sparkling’ has always been associated with festive occasions, and especially with wealth and ostentation, but the history of champagne reveals otherwise.

In order to understand why Sir Winston Churchill attested to this popular statement, it is best to first understand what a winemaker goes through in order to prepare and make proper champagne.

The ‘bubbly’ accident– It all dates back to the early 17th century, in France at a time when winemakers from Champagne (the actual name of a region in the country where the drink derives its prestigious name) attempted to rival others from counterpart regions such as Burgundy.

The resulting wines from vintners were relatively pink-hued, pale, still wines. Coupled with other issues such as Champagne’s geographic positioning which as locals discovered impacted the quality of the grapes, the wines turned out to be thinner, weaker and more acidic than wines produced in Burgundy.

But something interesting happened here.

You see, the harsh bleak winters had the pesky tendency to interrupt the fermentation process, leaving undigested sugars and dead yeasts cells (also called Lees) in wine bottles to form carbon dioxide – the fizz we describe as sparkling. In a typical wine-making process, when the container with the fermenting grape juice (must) is opened, the gas escapes and the alcohol remains. In the cold weather, it later came to be discovered that the yeast in the barrels stopped working and resumed acting on the wine juice after it warmed up, starting a secondary fermentation which further diluted the gas in to the wine.

Puzzled locals at the time thought there was a flaw in the wine but the pop soon caught on. Sparkling wines from Champagne soon began making their way to countries in Europe, USA and England. Today, to make champagne, you have to understand its complexity – it is surely the most difficult wine to make with its two fermentations and it is often a blend of 30 to 50 different wines; far from an easy task. We shall cover this entire process in a future article.

You Need It?

As for Winston Churchill, history identifies his favourite Champagne- Pol Roger and some figures state that between 1908 and 1945 Churchill had 42,000 bottles of Champagne opened for him. His daily routine is said to have consisted of a large breakfast at 7.30am, whisky and soda at 11am and Champagne with his lunch.

For you…How bad do you need it?

Picture a loss or defeat you recently faced. Would you rather sulk in the heat of it or just dust yourself up, dress up and sparkle the moment with a noble consolation. Pop a bottle of champagne as you remind yourself of what you learned from that daunting experience – celebrate it a little, at least that’s how the former English Prime Minister saw it!

After all, no one invented champagne, nature did.

If You liked this article, you may really like this one: Something Special about Private Wine Tastings or Dinners

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