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Weekly Wine Quiz: The Secret History Of Champagne? | 1 Wine Dude

Weekly Wine Quiz: The Secret History Of Champagne?

Vinted on January 13, 2012 binned in wine appreciation, wine quiz
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There’s been a good deal of positive reaction to my new contributions to the Wine Quiz section of The Juice newsletter (thanks for that, by the way!), and so I thought it would be fun to run each week’s Juice quiz here on 1WineDude.com, so that you can complain directly to me that the answers are incorrect for one obscure reason or another we can extend the conversation around each of the quizzes.

The quizzes will appear a week behind those that run in The Juice – otherwise the folks at LocalWineEvents.com would be (quite justifiably!) upset with me.

So… here’s last week’s The Juice Quiz, with the answer hidden (click the “+” button below to reveal; those reading this through RSS are just gonna have to exercise enough restraint not to scroll down far enough to spoil the fun) [Editor’s note: see comments, we’re turning off this feature in favor of adding a bit more suspense to future quizzes – the answer will appear later in the comments section from here on out!] to help slake your thirst for wine knowledge (the theme for the first several quizzes is my personal fave bubbly action – Champagne).

Enjoy!

The Secret History Of Champagne?

Many of you were ringing in the new year with Champagne, but do you know who might have invented sparkling wine, in terms of deliberately trying to make still wines get fizzy? It almost certainly wasn’t Champagne icon Dom Perignon, who likely tried to prevent his still wines from fermenting for a second time in their bottles, thus causing the bubbly action (and exploding a not-insignificant number of those bottles!). According to award-winning wine writer Tom Stevenson, evidence suggests which country may have been the inventors of sparkling wine?

  • A. France
  • B. Spain
  • C. England
  • D. Italy
  • E. Portugal…

And the answer is…

C. England

Yeah, really.

In The Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia, Tom Stevenson makes a compelling argument for England being the home of sparkling wine invention (in terms of deliberately trying to induce bubbles in still French wines via secondary fermentation in bottle). While the French were still trying to keep their Champagne from developing bubbles in the early 1700s, English dramatists were mentioning sparkling Champagne in plays dated from the 1600s; and, according to Stevenson, the English had not only the technology to induce a secondary fermentation, they also had the means for keeping those bubbles safely contained – namely, corks (something the French wouldn’t use widely until about 130 years later).

Cheers!

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