This New Year’s Eve, when you toast with champagne, you’ll be part of a 300-year-old tradition. Nice huh? The bubbly has long been the centerpiece of celebration. It’s launched ships, christened babies, blessed weddings, (although some would disagree) and rained down on graduates. Champagne has come to be associated with good times and was discovered by a french monk named Dom Perignon in 1688. The effervescent wine from the Champagne region was eventually exported to America, where legends say George Washington drank one of the first supplies at a Senate dinner in 1790. After the second World War, sales of champagne went through the roof as we, Americans began buying more and more of the beverage we’d seen in the movies. They say that even Marilyn Monroe once bathed in 350 bottles of the stuff .
Not only is champagne pricier than most other kinds of wine, but it can also make you a lot loopier. ( I’ll drink to that) In a study done at the University of Surrey in England, volunteers who drank fizzy champagne performed more poorly on mental-alertness tests than those who drank decarbonated champagne. ( I want that job) Researchers say the carbon dioxide in sparkling wine speeds digestion, forcing more alcohol into the bloodstream. On an empty stomach, two glasses of champagne may have the same effect as three glasses of wine. To avoid getting pie-eyed, don’t have more than one drink per hour. And use a shallow goblet rather than a flute (the more surface area, the faster bubbles will dissipate). Bottom’s up and Happy New Year.