From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
- A sparkling white wine made from a blend of grapes, especially Chardonnay and pinot, produced in Champagne by the méthode champenoise; any variety of champagne.
- A glass of champagne.
- Any sparkling white wine.
- A very pale brownish-gold colour, similar to that of champagne.
Champagne first gained world renown because of its association with the anointment of French kings. Royalty from throughout Europe spread the message of the unique sparkling wine from Champagne and its association with luxury and power in the 17th, 18th and 19th century. The leading manufacturers devoted considerable energy to creating a history and identity for their wine, associating it and themselves with nobility and royalty. Through advertising and packaging they sought to associate Champagne with high luxury, festivities, and rites of passage. Their efforts coincided with the emergence of a middle class that was looking for ways to spend its money on symbols of upward mobility.