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Wines and Drinks

The history of wine and champagne

Hello and welcome to my Lifestyle section “we open our taste buds”.

In this section, I’m going to discover wine and champagne, prestigious symbols of our beautiful France.

If like me you love sipping a little glass of fresh champagne or enjoying a delicious glass of wine, you should know that this practice dates back to antiquity.

And if you are not yet a fan of these drinks, I hope to make you want to try them in moderation, of course.

First, let’s start at the beginning, with a retrospective of our favorite effervescent liquid, Champagne. Then I will dissect the history of wine from its genesis to its current place in our society.

Origin of Champagne

The Romans planted the first vines.

But it is in the middle of the XVIIth century that the Champenois are noticed by the court of the Sun King with their white wine made from black grapes called then “the grey wine”.

At the end of the 17th century, Don Pérignon, a monk in charge of the vineyards, refined the quality by sorting the grapes according to the climate.

The effervescence, will arrive only later towards the beginning of the XVIIIth century when the Champenois discovered that the wines became sparkling when they were bottled at the beginning of spring rather than at the end of the summer. This was the beginning of Champagne.

Types of Champagne

Champagne is a blend of three grape varieties: Pinot Noir, Meunier and Chardonnay.

Different types of Champagne have been created over the decades and according to taste.

For example, it is at the request of the English who wished to drink Champagne at any time of the meal and not only with the dessert that the Champagne houses conceive less sweetened vintages like the Champagne brut which will remain the favorite of the French.

There are also vintage, semi-dry, rosé, blanc de noir and blanc de blanc Champagnes, each of which has a different taste: sweet, fruity, fresh or powerful. Just for you, I offer you an exclusive visit of the Ruinart cellars in Reims.

Appellation d’origine contrôlée

The AOC delimits the geographical area of production and subjects it to strict rules of elaboration that determine the identity of the product.

Measures are regularly taken to improve the quality of Champagnes, but the first decree dates from June 29, 1936.

The genesis of wine

The history of wine and humanity has in common their longevity. The first traces of vines date back to prehistoric times.

In Armenia, 6100 B.C., archaeological excavations have uncovered a wine press and a clay fermentation vat which proves that wine making has existed for several millennia.

It is in the Near East that the vines were the most present before migrating towards the East to finally arrive in France 600 years before J.C.

Different types of wines

There are more than 200 grape varieties in France divided into three colors (white, red, rosé) but the nuances are infinite depending on the maturity of the wine and its consistency.

Contrary to popular belief, the red grape does not only produce red wine, it can produce all three colors, just like the white grape which only produces white wine.

It is the soil, the climate and the assembly of one or more grape varieties that will determine the character of the wine, its sweet, dry or acidic taste. As for Champagne, there is an AOC for wine.

Wine in the 21st century, a science called oenology

Wine has always been associated with conviviality and good food. But nowadays, it is associated with a science: oenology, which is the art of knowing how to observe, taste and recognize the terroir. Finally, I will tell you all about the secrets of a wine bottle label and wine tasting !

Now that you know everything, cheers!

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