Champagne has been associated with luxury, special occasions, and rites of passage since the days of French royalty when kings were anointed with bubbly.

Where did this festive libation get its name?

Champagne is a sparkling wine made from three types of grapes: Pinot noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier, and it is created exclusively in the Champagne region of France. Although sparkling wines are produced throughout the world, most countries restrict the use of the word “Champagne” to wines that are made in the Champagne region.

Wine has been made in this region since before medieval times. Today there are more than a hundred Champagne houses, in addition to almost 20,000 smaller vignerons, or vine-growing producers.

Supposedly, the first Champagne in France was a happy accident. The pressure that was created in the bottle from the fermentation caused the bottle to explode. This led to the nickname “le vin du diable,” or “the devil’s wine.” (Not to be confused with devil’s food or devil’s milk.)

If you’re looking to truly impress guests this New Year’s Eve, get out your sword. At ceremonial occasions, a technique called “sabrage” is used to open a Champagne bottle. It involves sliding a saber along the neck of the bottle and breaking the glass.


Albany Times Union (Albany, NY) September 28, 2003 Byline: BILL FLEISCHMAN Knight Ridder Newspapers PHILADELPHIA — Mention “Al Michaels” and people think success. He’s the voice of “Monday Night Football.” Among the marquee assignments for the man acclaimed by many observers as the best play-by-play announcer in the business are major league baseball, the Olympics and the Stanley Cup finals.

Last week, Michaels was named lead play-by-play announcer for ABC’s NBA telecasts.

With good things continually happening for Michaels, he was asked on a conference call this week whether there ever was a time in his career when he wasn’t certain where he was headed.

“As a kid, I dreamed big,” Michaels said. “As I look back, there was a certain naivete, which is probably good. (When you’re young) you say, `I’m going to work like crazy and do these things.’ Then they actually happen and you (think), `How did that happen?’ You realize you had to be in the right place at the right time a lot.” The right place for Michaels was Hawaii, of all places. A little more than a year out of Arizona State, he was hired to broadcast the Hawaii Islanders minor league baseball games in 1968. see here michaels printable coupon

Jack Quinn, son of former Phillies general manager John Quinn, hired the Brooklyn, N.Y.-born Michaels.

“If Jack Quinn doesn’t give me that chance, what happens?” Michaels said. “Am I a lawyer? You need that one springboard. I tell kids dream big, work hard and then, with a little luck, you never know what’s going to happen.” ABC wanted Michaels as its top NBA play by player because he is identified with the network. He will debut on Christmas.

The next step is pairing Michaels with a game analyst or two. Mike Pearl, senior vice president and executive producer of ABC Sports, said analysts from inside and outside the ABC/ESPN family are being considered.

Bill Walton and Tom Tolbert are among the candidates. Walton was paired with Brad Nessler last season. Tolbert moved from the studio to courtside with Walton and Nessler for the Finals. go to site michaels printable coupon

Michaels sounds as if he would particularly enjoy working with Walton. Michaels broadcast UCLA games during Walton’s final two seasons as an outstanding player.

“He brings a very different and unique perspective to the games,” Michaels said. “Bill was pretty reticent when he was playing under John Wooden at UCLA. To see him evolve into this almost-larger-than-life personality has been really neat.” Michaels took some time before accepting the NBA assignment.

“The more I thought about this, the more appealing this chance became,” he said. “I wanted to make the decision predicated upon being able to do this at the very highest level.” Michaels has not done NBA games since just after he graduated from college when he worked with the legendary Chick Hearn for a few weeks on Los Angeles Lakers radio broadcasts. Michaels’ last basketball broadcast was the 1989 Pac-10 championship game.


  1. adam carolla's disciple -  January 12, 2011 - 5:04 pm

    champagne for my real friends…and real pain for my sham friends.

  2. mohawkpolo -  January 12, 2011 - 11:31 am


  3. AMY-LOU -  January 5, 2011 - 5:51 am

    Wow i love the song!!!!!!!!! you got me popin champagne im at it again caught up in the moment but not in the right way im falling in between tearinf up at the seanse and they say it dont hurt one bit…..so follow me down, yeah follow me down and take it all the way anyway u want me!

  4. john rhea -  January 3, 2011 - 11:01 am

    Lame & Stupid article, with lamer comments. All these comments related to where the jerk can buy a sword?!!!! One word jerkoff; google

  5. RPG dweeb presumably? -  January 3, 2011 - 8:55 am

    @Rick, well why don’t you just mine some runite ore and smith one yourself.

  6. Curly -  January 2, 2011 - 12:12 pm

    @David: RPG stands for Role Playing Game. Rick was calling the people who play them dweebs in an attempt to insult them.

    @Cyberquill: There’s also a Fall Out Boy song called “Champagne for my Real Friends, Real Pain for my Sham Friends.” I don’t think much of Fall Out Boy’s music, but I like that title.

  7. Lilliana -  January 2, 2011 - 11:31 am

    people should not write long blogs

  8. RPG Dweeb -  January 2, 2011 - 8:10 am

    Start with a goole search for local shops, if that fails, further searches for online shops will give lots of restyle. Keep in mind that there may be hefty shipping charges, especially if your order has to cross provincial/state/national borders.

  9. Crusader -  January 1, 2011 - 8:56 pm

    Hi Rick, you can find yourself a “badass” sword from several companies specialising in fantasy weapons, including http://www.epicweapons.com/ (where I got my Frostmourne) and http://www.trueswords.com/. For those that are keen on opening a bottle with a blade but don’t have a full length sword, find a thin but sharp knife and you can use it as a corkscrew. Stick it into the cork at an angle and twist it out by turning the knife, but not so it bends the blade. I’m looking forward to getting started on some sabrage myself!

  10. jazzieb -  January 1, 2011 - 8:32 pm

    this is pretty interesting now i want me some Champagne even thought im only 13 cant i still drink it i had some last night early this morning it was super good

  11. varika -  January 1, 2011 - 7:44 pm

    Swords.com, of course!

  12. Mike -  January 1, 2011 - 7:30 pm

    LOL at that comment, are you serious with a sword?

  13. Nick -  January 1, 2011 - 6:35 pm

    No Clue. Mexico perhaps?

  14. vini -  January 1, 2011 - 5:48 pm

    Cameron diaz has the skills for that sabrage thing

  15. a dream catcher -  January 1, 2011 - 5:35 pm

    To make out of this article along with the word sword is a concoction of various ingrediens:pressure,Dweeds,Champagne, the dark chocolate cake,the word of God.

  16. Russ -  January 1, 2011 - 3:09 pm

    You might want to talk to a LARPing fanatic before you talk to the RPG guys

  17. Joe -  January 1, 2011 - 12:57 pm

    Hm.. Dweeb? I’d be pretty embarrassed to be caught using that word.

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