The famous Champagne region of France produced the first sparkling wines. The Champagne wine region, is a historic province within the Champagne administrative province in the northeast of France. The area is best known for the production of the sparkling white wine that bears the region’s name. EU law and the laws of most countries reserve the term “Champagne” exclusively for wines that come from this region located about 100 miles (160 km) east of Paris. The U.S. failed to sign the 1930s labeling agreement limiting use of the word “champagne” to wines from the Champagne region of France, so some American wineries feel free to call their wines champagne.
Cristal is the brand name of a champagne produced by Louis Roederer. Cristal has a flat-bottomed clear, “crystal” bottle, anti-UV cellophane wrapper, and gold label. Widespread awareness of its high price has given the wine an image of exclusivity that, in turn, has elevated demand: it is considered a Veblen good.
Cristal was first created in 1876 for Alexander II of Russia, and is viewed by many as the first prestige cuvée. As the political situation in Russia at the time of his rule was unstable, the Tsar feared assassination. He ordered that champagne bottles for his Three Emperors Dinner be made clear, so that he could see the bubbles and also to prevent hiding a bomb beneath them, as could happen with a typical dark green indented bottle. Louis Roederer commissioned a Flemish glassmaker to create a clear lead glass Champagne bottle with a flat bottom. The Champagne has since become known as “Cristal”.
Since Champaign is such a wll known and popular alcholic beverage Americans in particular tend to call all sparkling wines by the prestigious French sparkling wine from the Champaign region of France. Champaign is only from France. Other well known and excellent wines come from:
California – Sparkeling wines by the famous wine houses of:
Roderear Estate (Anderson Valley)
Schramsberg Vineyards (Napa) -German winery in California
Scharffenberger Cellars Anderson Valley – German winery in CA
Mumms Napa Valley
Domaine Carneros (Carneros)
Domaine Chandon Yountville CA
German sparkling wines are called called Sekt
Italian sparkling wines Spumante or Prosecco