The Fascinating (and Somewhat Snobby) History Behind Why We Toast With Champagne
2020 has been anything but an ordinary year, but there’s still an excellent chance that you’ll celebrate the incoming year in some sort of traditional way, whether with a special meal or noisemakers, or a glass of champagne.
Have you ever wondered why the majority of the world toasts with champagne at midnight? According to historians, the history of champagne toasts goes back to the 16th century. Europeans who came from wealth popped bottles at all of their most opulent parties and drinking champagne was something only the elite and wealthy did because it was so expensive which is why it should come as no surprise that the drink of choice for King Louis XIV of France was...champagne. Rumor has it the king drank champagne with each meal for just about his entire life.
As Europeans traveled across the ocean and settled in the Americas, they brought their bottle popping tradition with them. History tells us that by the year 1800, it was common for church bells to ring at might night, firearms to be fired, and people to walk from house to house fully expecting the door to be swing open and the traveler invited in for a drink.
Eventually, the price of champagne dropped thanks to winemakers such as Dom Perignon (yes, he was a real guy!) who developed needed technology to bottle carbonated wine, and over time, champagne became an affordable drink for those who weren’t just part of the upper crust of society and everyone wanted in on what was once a drink fit for royalty.