Champagne first became popular in the 17th century, when it was associated with the anointment of French kings, and soon became popular with royalty and aristocracy around Europe. It has always been seen as the alcoholic drink of choice for the privileged and influential members of society.
Champagne is still considered a luxury drink and manufacturers use its history and link to nobility in its marketing. For the general public, the drink is reserved for special occasions, but it is often used by the upper classes as a status symbol, to demonstrate wealth and class.
Champagne is now available at a variety of price points, to enable everyone to enjoy a taste of luxury. Some of the more affordable champagnes available include the fresh, citrus-flavoured Adnams Selection and the fizzy Alessandro Gallici Prosecco, while the fruity and full-bodied Armand de Brignac is among the most expensive.
Champagne is a sparkling wine made from grapes grown in the Champagne region of northern France, employing the Méthode Champenoise. Following the primary fermentation and boiling, yeast and rock sugar is added in order for another fermentation to take place inside the bottle. Suitable grapes for this process include Chardonnay, Pinot noir and Pinot Meunier.
Champagne takes at least a year and a half to reach its full flavour. It tastes better with age, which means older bottles are worth more money. Luxury bottles are often decorated with gold or silver and presented in impressive packaging to create the perfect gift for a wine connoisseur.
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