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English invented champagne but it was by mistake – French wine boss | Offbeat News



It’s been a point of contention for centuries, but now the French head of the Taittinger champagne brand has rekindled the age-old debate over who invented the drink with a surprising admission.

Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger told French newspaper Le Figaro the English were first to create champagne – but he claimed they did so “by mistake”.

Taittinger said Benedictine monks were supplying England with still red and white wines from Champagne, a historical province in the northeast of France.

“The English left these inexpensive still wines on London docks and they got cold, so they started undergoing a second fermentation,” Taittinger told Le Figaro.

The process of secondary fermentation in the bottle creates carbonation that gives champagne its trademark bubbles.

“Like all great mistakes, it led to a great invention,” he said, adding that England is a big market for bubbly.

A woman drinks a glass of Dian Diallo champagne created by Franco-Guinean businessman Mamadou Dian Diallo during a tasting in Abidjan on September 20, 2018. - In a chic lounge in Abidjan, Ivoirian customers enjoy a special champagne. Laurent-Perrier? Widow Clicquot? Moet and Chandon? No: the Dian Diallo ... 'This is the first brand of champagne that bears an African name,' says its creator Dian Diallo, a 40-year-old Guinean man. 'This is by no means an African champagne' he says. The Dian Diallo

Only wines made from the grapes grown and harvested in the Champagne region and produced under a strict set of rules can bear the champagne name.

For a long time it was widely believed French monk Dom Pierre Perignon invented champagne in the 17th century. But it later turned out that Perignon was involved in stopping secondary fermentation that makes the bubbles, not enhancing it purposefully.

In 1662, English physician and scientist Christopher Merret documented in a paper how the addition of sugar to wine leads to a fermentation in the bottle and produces the distinctive fizz.

Initially perceived as a flaw, the wine’s distinctive bubbles became popular with drinkers around the world, earning the French wine-making region its distinctive reputation for great sparkling wine in the 19th century.

But Taittinger’s comments give the English the credit for being the first to appreciate the sparkle: “As the English have a little crazy side, they invented the whole thing,” he said. “They invented the consumption of champagne.”

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