As a young Benedictine monk at the Abbey of Hautvillers in the late 1600s, Dom Perignon was tasked with ridding the abbey’s wine of bubbles, a common (and dangerous) problem in wine production of the time. Try as he might, he was unable to solve the problem. Legend holds that in early August 1693, after tasting the “botched wine,” Perignon was said to have shouted to his fellow monks, “Come quickly! I am drinking the stars!”
It is now widely held that the young monk didn’t actually invent champagne, but his contributions to the advancement of sparkling wine production was immeasurable. Prior to his standardization methods, the pressure created by bubbles caused bottles to explode, often setting off catastrophic chain reactions. The menacing, bubbly brews were often referred to as le vin du diable, or “the devil’s wine.” Thanks to Perignon, “bubbly” production became much safer, with “explosions” reserved for the dramatic uncorking!