Why We Drink Champagne on New Year's Eve

RENO, NV - More than anything else, people drink the bubbly on New Year's Eve. But why?

There is nothing quite as celebratory as popping open a fresh bottle and pouring a crisp glass of champagne.

"It's the one time of year that everyone drinks bubbly to celebrate the new year," said Brain Lalor of Whispering Vine Wines.

The tradition of toasting champagne dates back to the the 17th century when monk Dom Perignon perfected the wine-bottling process. At that time, bubbly wine caused bottles to explode. Perignon made the bottles thicker and added a cage that to this day keeps the cork from popping. it was an expensive process, so champagne was saved for special occasions.

"It's also a great way to start a new year, so you just want to end it on a good note and begin it on a good note," said George Karsten, a wine lover.

Champagne is the traditional drink of New Year's Eve but most people will drink sparkling wine. That's because of a very important distinction.

"It cannot be called Champagne unless it is from Champagne, France," said Lalor.

The difference in name has nothing to do with quality. From sparking wine to champagne or cava to prosecco, drinking any bubbly on New Year's Eve will be all right.

"When I tasted it, I did not like it and I thought aww i'm never gonna like wine," said Michael Donohue who didn't like Champagne 20 years back. These days, New Year's Eve is just not the same without a champagne.

"You've got to have champagne on New Year's, you've got to have that toast at midnight," said Donohue.

So even if you don't remember your first sip from several years past, the key to feeling good tomorrow: remember your last.


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