Most people associate different kinds of alcoholic drinks with particular occasions, moods or attitudes and even social etiquette. Maybe one of the most popular types of beverages is champagne, a special sparkly wine that has been associated for centuries with wealth, celebration and special occasions as a whole.
In spite of its popularity, not many of people are aware of how this drink became consumed on such a large scale, or even if the beverage we purchase is indeed “champagne”. Even though this term is generically used when regarding any type of sparkling wine, the truth is that real champagne is produced only in the French province with the same name and is usually produced within (and under the rules of) the appellation. Champagne was firstly known due its part in the anointment of kings in the 17th Century. In the following centuries, in a social context based on the emergence of the working class, good champagne brands and their products became directly associated with luxury, festivities and rites of passage.
The traditional way to make champagne is called “Methode Champenoise” and it implies two fermentation processes and the addition of yeast and sugar. At lest one and a half years are needed so as the drink can achieve its maximum potential , but the best French champagne needs to mature for a minimum of three years. There are different recipes for individual kinds of champagne, the best known being: Prestige cuvee, Blanc de noirs, Blanc de blancs and Rose Champagne. The amount of sugar added is also a defining variable of the drink’s taste, the most frequently used recipe containing less than 12 grams per liter.
But do not consider that this alcoholic beverage is just a symbol of luxury; it has been proven that good quality champagne offers a lot of health benefits. Regular consumption of the best French champagne normally has a positive effect on persons who suffer from Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and even some forms of traumas or strokes. It is also widely believed that these health benefits are due to the large concentrations of magnesium, potassium, zinc and lithium. Even though it’s safe to assume that people do no consume this drink due to its positive effects, it is good to be aware that there are not many medical drawbacks from consuming good quality natural wine.
Regardless of these aspects, good champagne brands have become a symbol of wealth, luxury and proper conduit and shall most likely continue to amaze our tastes and expectations.