For years the invention of Champagne has been attributed to Benedictine monk Dom Perignon, shown above. Now new research suggest that it was British scientist Christopher Merrett who first invented the process and bottle for making Champagne.
The Daily Mail reports that Merrett used techniques from the cider industry to control the second fermentation which adds the fizz and he also pioneered the use of stronger glass needed to prevent the bottle exploding. He gave a paper to the Royal Society in 1662 describing a process of adding sugar and molasses to make a wine taste sparkling. This was over 30 years before Dom Perignon’s work at the Abbey of Hautvillers at Epernay.
The research comes from author James Crowden, whose new book, Ciderland, looks at the history of cider in the West Country.