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Here's to You, from South 'n France Bon Bons

Get out your Louis Vuitton bags, put on some hip-hop music and prepare to drink stars this Saturday, August 4th. It’s International Champagne Day! What do LV handbags, rappers, widows, monks and a spoiled Russian tsar have to do with Champagne? They all play an integral part in its history: 

Veuve Clicquot (vuhv klee-koh): Let’s start with the widow since she’s our favorite. This champagne is named after the widow (veuve in French) Madame Clicquot. When her husband died, she not only took over the business, she revolutionized the production of the bubbly beverage with new inventions and created a sales force for international distribution. Take a look at her portrait below; she was clearly a formidable woman!

Moët & Chandon (moe-ay ay shawn-dohn): Thomas Jefferson and Napoleon Bonaparte were some of the early clients of this large champagne company. Moët & Chandon holds a Royal Warrant as supplier of champagne to Queen Elizabeth II. The company merged with Hennessy Cognac (1971) and then with Louis Vuitton (1987) to become LVMH-Moët Hennessy or LVMH. It’s the largest luxury group in the world, netting around 20 billion dollars per year! So yes, the money you pay for those expensive handbags and that delicious champagne goes to the same group of people.

Dom Perignon (dahm pear-eeng-yohn): The best known label owned by Moët & Chandon is Dom Perignon, named for the Benedictine monk fondly remembered as the "Father of Champagne". He was the "Cellar Master" at the monastery and legend has it that he invented champagne and then declared "Come quickly, I am drinking stars". Historians say this was all a bunch of PR hype introduced by another monk from the same abbey almost one hundred years later to garner historical importance and prestige for the church.

Cristal (criss-tall): Rappers have a love-hate relationship with this very expensive champagne ($350 or more per bottle). Early designs of the bottle were made using clear lead crystal, thus the name Cristal. It was invented to satisfy a spoiled Russian tsar who wanted his champagne served in special bottles that looked different from ordinary wine bottles. 

Here at South ‘n France almost every day includes a champagne celebration as we pour sparkling wine and Kir Royale at our Bon Bon and Champagne Parties. Come join us; this is the last month we’ll be offering all three party packages!

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