Most people know the story of Dom Perignon, the French monk who, by chance, invented champagne and after taking his first sip shouted “ Come quickly, I am tasting the stars!” While this is a lovely story, it turns out it may be more of a clever marketing plan than fact…
In the 16th century the Romans were actually the first to discover that the grapes of Champagne produced an excellent quality red wine. However, because of the precise climate of the Champagne region, the wine would ferment, causing carbon dioxide bubbles to form. This was considered to be a flaw of the wine and sealed bottles frequently exploded.
It was not until the second half of the 17th century that wine makers such as Dom Perignon, saw the value of the fizzy wine and refined it to a drink that is revered by royalty and has been the cause of much scandal throughout aristocratic history!
Today, champagne is a term that can only refer to sparkling wine made from the grapes of the Champagne region of France. Sparkling wine that is produced in this region is thought to be of a higher quality than that made anywhere else in the world.
Here in South Africa, we have what is considered to be world-class sparkling wine and what better way to indulge this Christmas (and not necessarily break the bank!) and treat yourself to some South African sparkling wine? After all, Christmas Day is probably the only day when it is considered acceptable to have a glass of bubbly at 9am!
Try this delicious champagne jelly recipe to make a festive dessert on Christmas day. You can use any pink sparkling wine.