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Laura Hunt

Say "Cheers" with Champagne


At weddings, birthdays, and special occasions, we love to drink and toast with champagne. This bubbly drink stands for elegance and fun, and due to its carbonation, its alcohol content goes directly into the blood. Champagne makes us energized; we become talkative and love to giggle.

While sparkling wine was already know in the Middle Ages, the monk Dom Perignon was the first one who experimented with blending different wines, stored champagne in reinforced glass bottles, and closed them with cork made of the bark of the Spanish cork oak. The name of this specialty wine came from the Champagne region, just north of Paris. During the time of Louis XV in France, and during the Victorian era in England, champagne became popular in royal circles.

After the second world war champagne conquered the world. It is served mostly in fine glass flutes where the bubbles can be seen on their long way up to the surface. Officially a sparkling wine can only be called champagne if it is produced in the Champagne region in France. However, due to the great demand, there are many places in the world where excellent sparkling wine is produced. In California's Napa Valley, Californian and French wineries produce both expensive and affordable sparkling wines.

Polina, who wrote this month's article about the wedding shower, says her favorite is Perrier Jouet. "It is the most 'romantic' champagne out there. It's the ideal champagne for bridal showers because the unique flower etching of the design on the bottle evokes feelings of romance."

Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher, wine columnists of the Wall Street Journal, believe that you always can find an occasion if you want to drink a bottle of "bubbly" -- and if you are happy, it will taste great, no matter how much it costs.

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