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Move over Dom Perignon

So you think a Benedictine monk invented champagne ...

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Move over Dom Perignon. The English got there first.

The first literary mention of champagne was in an English Restoration comedy 31 years before the French claim the Benedictine monk invented it.

The drink appears in The Man of Mode, or, Sir Fopling Flutter, a 1676 play by George Etherege. The characters engage in a drinking song with the lyrics:

“At the Plays we are constantly making our Court

And when they are ended we follow the sport.

To the Mall and the ParkWhere we love till ‘tis dark;

Then sparkling Champaigne

Puts an end to their reign.”

So… Move over Dom Perignon.

An historical note

Wikipedia records the English scientist and physician Christopher Merret documented the addition of sugar to a finished wine to create a second fermentation, six years before Dom Pérignon set foot in the Abbey of Hautvillers. Merret presented a paper at the Royal Society in 1662 which detailed what is now called méthode traditionnelle. Merret’s discoveries coincided with English glass-makers producing bottles that withstod the required internal pressures during secondary fermentation. French glass-makers at this time did not produce bottles of the required quality or strength. 

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