I drink Champagne when I’m happy, and when I’m sad. Sometimes I drink it when I’m alone. When I have company, I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I am not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it ~ unless I’m thirsty
Lily Bollinger, of the Bollinger Champagne House (1899-1977)
Champagne, the most luxurious of drinks, began life as a still red wine – and a mediocre one at that. But in overcoming the challenges it presented, winemakers have created one of the world’s best-loved tipples
Any event worth celebrating will sparkle that much more with a glass of bubbly. Drinking Champagne means we’re attaching importance to the occasion – whether it’s a life-changing wedding, the annual Christmas celebrations, or simply an evening relaxing with friends to mark the end of a hard week at work.
Champagne is the classiest of drinks (what else could launch a luxury liner?) – and has an illustrious history. Wine has been made in the Champagne area, some 145 kilometres east of Paris, since the early centuries AD. When the majestic Reims cathedral was built in the early 13th century, in the heart of Champagne, Reims became the major religious centre, with Catholic monks attending the vineyards and providing wine for religious occasions. Over the centuries, some two dozen kings were crowned in the cathedral and the local wine became known as ‘royal wine’.
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