No big birthday party is complete without the sound of chinking champagne glasses and with personalised champagne you can make the experience even more exciting. It's actually possible to get personalsied champagne
bottles now easily and commercially with labels which say anything you like and they make excellent gifts, but it should probably also be mentioned that personalised champagne is not exactly a new idea.
Champagne houses have made personalised champagne for whole nations over the years and have pandered to various different political groups. For example a special design was once printed on bottle labels to commemorate the French Revolution of 1789 and other labels featured people such as Marie-Antoinette who was seen as something of a martyr by many of France's citizens.
There are also records of personalised champagne labels which were produced in the early days of the First World War and almost all of the labels had images of soldiers on them but they were customised in dress for different countries (to which the wine would be exported!) They even had different national flags printed on them!
The French Invasion
Champagne is a drink with an interesting history; intriguingly most historians believe it was actually an English man who first invented champagne. The problem with the champagne region was that it had a slightly different climate to the surrounding areas. In other areas beautiful red wines were being made and the people of champagne wanted to compete but their weather (and soil quality) was not good and their grapes could not fully ripen. This led to the wines they produced being unpleasantly acidic and having very low levels of sugar in them. The wine made was also a lot thinner than the wines made by neighbouring regions.
An English man (named Christopher Merrett) had moved to France. He was a Doctor and scientist. He noted the problems of wine making in the region and he found that by adding sugar to the finished wine and then fermenting it again he could make a delicious sparkling drink. He wrote a paper on this discovery and he presented that paper to the Royal Society in 1662, however, like so many unappreciated geniuses he didn't get much acclaim for his discovery. In fact, it wasn't until 200 years later that the exact same method which Merrett had documented became common and this was what is now called: 'méthode champenoise.'
Until historians found the records of Merrett's discovery many people had though that it was actually a man named Dom Perignon who was a French monk who first invented champagne. And obviously he didn't invent it, but he did spend some time improving the ways in which champagne was created.
For example, it was this cheery French monk who first decided to hold a champagne cork in place using wire so that it would not jump out (due to pressure) whilst the drink was still fermenting. Because champagne had a habit of exploding, due to the pressure which built up in bottles (and because the first time it was made it was an accident.) Champagne became known by the nickname of 'the devil's wine' amongst the French people!
Making Champagne More Personal
So, what about personalised champagne
today? It's available in bottles online for under £40 each with beautifully printed personalised labels which can be designed specially to say any message a person likes. That makes personalised champagne great for birthdays where you can skip a card and a gift and combine the two in a great big bottle of yummy bubbly!
A lot of people don't realise it but by law, if it says champagne on the bottle it has to have been made in the very specific champagne region of France. There's also a difference between vintage and non-vintage champagne. Vintage champagne was made in a single year (it has to be at least 90 grapes from one specific year) so you could perhaps have a bottle of vintage champagne from 1976.
Meanwhile, non-vintage champagne is a blend of several different vintages (or years) to make a 'custom' product and it is the more common of the two types. Extra special champagne known as 'Prestige Cuvee' meanwhile is the most prized champagne there is and this is made from a single outstanding vintage or a blend of a few different excellent vintages.
Louis Roederer's Cristal is one example of a Prestige Cuvee and Moet and Chandon's Dom Perignon is another example.
If you know anyone who loves the indulgent and luxurious taste of champagne, then a personalised champagne
bottle is practically guaranteed to put a smile on their face and it has a lot of interesting history behind it too!
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