Champagne – A History Of Celebration & Headaches

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Perhaps the oldest of New Year's traditions, champagne has a history that rivals an episode of Desperate Housewives. Beloved by millions for centuries, champagne is also known to trigger headaches in many people. Recent breakthroughs in herbal research now point to a natural remedy that prevents and stops champagne headaches altogether -- just in time for 2005.

This Saturday marks yet another New Year’s Eve celebration, and whether you’re a champagne drinker or not, midnight kicks off perhaps one of the oldest New Year’s traditions ever – the champagne toast.

Champagne has always been associated with celebration. Whether it’s launching a ship, or toasting a new marriage, champagne has always been there. Of course beyond its’ celebratory uses, this bubbly fermentation has long served as a symbol of the rich and privileged since it was first created around three hundred years ago, and it continues to retain that reputation today.

During the past few years, champagne has even made its’ way into the Hip Hop culture as the preferred drink of those who’ve achieved the spot of “Top Dog”. Young people today covet the brand name “Moet” as the champagne most associated with success thanks to popular MTV driven rap videos.

Certainly, all those macho rappers would be stunned to find out that the modern champagne they hold so sacred was actually created by a woman, or at least under the direction of a woman. In the early 1800s, Francois Clicquot was a successful champagne maker in France. His company was considered a major player in the art of champagne making, competing with well known giants of the time, “Moet” and “Heidsieck”. All three companies continue to be major players in the high end champagne market today, but it was the team at Clicquot that actually invented the crisp clear champagne we all recognize.

In the early 1700s, a supposedly “blind” monk by the name of "Dom Perignon," created the first bottle of bubbly. Still there are contradictory stories claiming champagne was first created as much as a century earlier in the Limoux region of France where excellent sparkling wine is still made today. There are also stories of sparkling wine being made even earlier in England and Italy.

Yet until 1806, champagne had a big problem. Although it was a somewhat successful money making beverage, the industry had barely scratched the surface of their potential market. At that time, total champagne sales for the entire industry hovered around 300,000 bottles per year while other wines were easily selling in the millions.

The problem was sediment. In those days champagne was darker in color, and known for its’ cloudy unappetizing appearance. Because of these unpopular qualities, champagne was certainly not appealing to the masses – especially those “fine” men and women in the upper crust of society. Then came the death of Francois Clicquot which left his wife, Venuve Clicquot (Venuve is French for Widow), in charge of his winery.

Both of their biggest competitors, (Moet & Heidsieck) offered large sums of cash to the widow, but Venuve Clicquot stood fast and held onto her husband’s fledgling business. Next the widowed single mother did something that changed the champagne industry forever. She asked her team to come up with a way to clean up the champagne. As a woman, she thought the cloudy drink was just too unappealing, and rumor has it she was also concerned that many women got headaches after sipping the "bubbly". The widow surmized that by straining out the goop floating inside the champagne bottles, the final product would be perfected.

Under the widow's direction, Clicquot’s wine makers devised an entirely new champagne bottle that was inverted. By inverting the bottom of the bottle, solid particles left over from fermentation would settle on the cork, instead of in the bottom of the bottle. Then they would loosen the corks allowing the pressure to blow out the sediment creating the world’s first clear sparkling wine. Her champagne was an instant hit outselling all their competitors by a (5 to 1) margin, and eventually the entire industry followed Clicquot’s lead.

And so champagne lives on in eternal celebration with a history that could rival an episode of “Desperate Housewives”. Although there have been obvious changes in the mass production of champagne, the processes used to create the truly finer brands are very much the same as they were in the widow’s day - although grape technology and filtering techniques have improved.

However, the one thing champagne makers have not been able to improve upon is the one trait Venuve Clicquot questioned some two hundred years ago, "The Champagne Headache". Most people love champagne, but a large number also end up with headaches either during or after they partake in the bubbly beverage.

A sudden headache is not uncommon with many alcoholic beverages (especially the darker ones), but champagne appears to be an above average trigger for many people. Alcohol contains certain organic compounds that can dilate blood vessels and trigger headache pain. Nonetheless, people are always looking for ways to circumvent the traditional alcohol headache while still being able to enjoy their favorite brew.

Now on the verge of 2005, there is finally an answer to the “champagne headache”. Many drinkers say the secret comes from nature’s own hot peppers, and the breakthrough is an all natural nasal spray made with (believe it or not), cayenne pepper extract.

Marketed under the name “Sinus Buster,” this hot pepper nasal spray is widely regarded as the best headache and sinus remedy ever conceived. Not only can Sinus Buster stop a headache in seconds, but it can also prevent the onset of alcohol related headaches when taken before and during the consumption of alcohol. It's an excellent "day after" hangover remedy too.

Wayne Perry, president of SiCap Industries, the company that manufactures Sinus Buster is proud to tout the headache stopping abilities of his company's hot pepper nasal spray.

“I think sinus buster actually helps the alcohol industry…. especially with wine. We literally get hundreds of emails every month from people praising sinus buster as the headache equalizer. We have several thousand customers who say they couldn’t drink their favorite wines without getting a headache of some kind, but with sinus buster they can drink again. I’m not sure how great of a selling point that is, but it seems pretty important to a lot of people,” jokes Perry.

According to all those testimonials, Sinus Buster is a sure fire way to avoid champagne headaches this New Year’s Eve, or at your next wedding, or any event where the bubbly has just got to keep flowing. So when midnight comes this Saturday, toast 2005 with a lot of bubbly and a little Sinus Buster.

To find out more about Sinus Buster hot pepper nasal spray, visit the company website at (http://www.sinusbuster.com).

Samples and media kits are available for qualified media and medical personnel upon request.

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