A tradition dating back 1,500 years, a celebration ringing in the new year would be incomplete without a bottle or two of Champagne. The luxurious beverage has served many celebratory roles since the Romans began planting grapes in the Champagne region of France centuries ago.
But New Year’s Eve has become a time of excess, a final indulgence before we get serious about those resolutions. It’s in that spirit that we look at some Champagne world records. We’re getting giggly and light-headed just thinking about it.
Sabrage is a method for opening Champagne bottles that came into fashion shortly after the French Revolution. In April 2011, the head barman at Nermans Restaurant in Marbella, Spain, Julio Gonzalo Chang Romero, used a saber to open 32 bottles of champagne in one minute, gaining him a special place in the Guinness Book of World Records. Earlier this year on October 5, 277 individuals simultaneously sabered bottles of champagne, also achieving a world record. The event was organized by Centro Empresarial e Cultural de Garibaldi (Brazil) in Garibaldi, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
Largest Champagne Flute
Weighing in at 50 pounds and 12 ounces with a capacity of 56.25 liters, the world’s largest champagne flute was created by ART Glass in Balaklava, Ukraine, a region that most do not know for its excellent grape-growing conditions, particularly varieties that produce sparkling wines. The gargantuan flute holds about 75 standard-sized bottles of Champagne, dethroning the reigning champ, a Canadian flute that held 27.5 liters.
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Pop the Top
Half the fun of drinking Champagne is popping open a bottle. (Okay, maybe a quarter of the fun…) For many of us, this can be quite a challenging feat. However, in June 2011 in Cambridge, England, Sarah Greasley popped six corks in one minute, setting a world record. Another record that could make you pop your top: in October 2007, 2,778 people simultaneously popped Champagne corks, setting a world record in celebration of the Banca Mediolanum 25th anniversary.
On December 13, 2013, Armand de Brignac unveiled the largest bottle of rosé Champagne in the world at Hakkasan Las Vegas restaurant at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino. The bottle, standing four feet tall and weighing 100 pounds, holds what amounts to 40 regular 750 ml bottles. For those of you in the market, it only costs $275,000.
Photo Credit: Thinkstock
Amsterdam was home to the largest Champagne tower ever built. In 2006, 37,820 glasses were used to build a 60-story-high Champagne pyramid. Working 12 hours a day for three consecutive days, Dutch businessman Gert-Jan Stok constructed the glass behemoth to raise awareness for EMMA Hospital, a medical facility dedicated to children with serious illnesses. The previous record was a tower built from 30,865 glasses in 1999.
The Champagne Game
Ruinart has produced Champagne in the drink’s namesake region of France since 1729. It’s the oldest Champagne house in the world. Early batches were contained in barrels, limiting its consumption to locals. The first bottles of the beverage were produced early in 1730, introducing Champagne to more distant markets. Today Ruinart is owned by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA, a multinational luxury goods corporation with subsidiaries such as Sephora, Christian Dior and Bulgari (just to name a few).
Champagne and Diamonds
A girl’s best friend, right? For a mere $1.8 million, you can own a Taste of Diamonds, the world’s most expensive bottle of Champagne. Designed by luxury designer Alexander Amosu for Goût de Diamants earlier this year, the black bottle includes a real diamond on the bottle’s face and an 18-karat gold plate with your name engraved into it.
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Alli Sands is a freelance writer. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.