According to the Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia, written by Tom Stevenson and published since 1988 by Dorling Kindersley, the oldest recorded sparkling wine is Blanquette de Limoux, invented by Benedictine Monks in 1531.
The monks bottled the wine before the initial fermentation had ended, and then over a century later, an English scientist and physician furnished the addition of sugar to a finished wine to create a second fermentation.
Champagne is a sparkling wine but is unique in that it’s produced from grapes grown only in the Champagne region of France. The primary grapes used in the production of Champagne are Pinot noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier.
Champagne varies in price, with some of the finest, such as a bottle of Champagne Krug, 1998 Clos d’ Ambonnay, costing as much as $2,200.
Sharing a good bottle of Champagne with friends and family is not only a great way to celebrate the holidays, but according to scientists, drinking one to three glasses of champagne a week may counteract the memory loss associated with ageing, and could help delay the onset of degenerative brain disorders.
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