Want to know how much the world’s oldest bottle of bubbly fetched at auction?

Are you looking to pair your sparkling wine with great food?

Bank of the West share this bubbling infographic to kick-start your 2018 festive season.


For many of us, the festive season is slightly incomplete without a refreshingly crisp bottle of bubbly to complement your fridge.

Sparkling wine is as versatile as it is timeless – a fitting tipple for those special occasions.

Although, of course, as well all know, you don’t need to have a special occasion!

A widely held misconception amongst us is that ‘Champagne’ is an umbrella term for the vast majority of sparkling wine. Of course, as the fizz-lovers out there will proudly tell you, this isn’t the case.

Protected under the 1891 Madrid System, ‘Champagne’ refers to a specific variety of sparkling wine exclusively produced in the eponymous region.

This system is exhaustively regulated to protect both the integrity of the manufacturing process and the flavour. In many countries, it is illegal to abuse the labelling of ‘Champagne’ to any product unless it derives from the Champagne appellation.

The appellation represents both a region and a regulating body that protects the manufacture of Champagne.

The Champagne region in the early 20th century was marked by scrupulous winemakers who diluted the area with wine sourced from elsewhere. To protect the manufacturing process, a law was passed in 1927 demarcating a specific region of Champagne production.

It also established the first rules of quality that guaranteed reliable, quality production. Only certain vine stocks could be used: Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay, along with Petit Meslier and Arbanne.

To improve standards, a 1935 decree established further measures. These regulated age, alcohol content, and yields.

These protective measures have endured to this day, making sure every bottle of bubble is one for celebration!