Course:History 344 Nasty Families/Inventions/Sparkling Wine

From UBC Wiki

Christopher Merret was an English scientist and physician who has been credited with, among other things, the creation of sparkling wine. He was the first to document and write a paper on the production of sparkling wine through a reproducible process.[1] The process included intentionally using sugar and molasses which was used to make them “brisk and sparkling”.[2] This was described in his 8 page paper presented by the Royal Society “Some observations concerning the ordering of wines.”[3] There have been disputes as to whether the French monk Dom Pierre Perignon actually should be given credit for its discovery, however, Christopher Merret described the method of fermentation and the production of Champagne in 1662.This was decades before Pierre Perignon made his advancements in the field. The process of secondary fermentation had been around for hundreds of years but it was not until Merret, who was also an expert in glass making, was able to achieve this fermentation without the bottle exploding. Thanks to Merret’s paper, those nobles and gentry folk who could afford it could now make and enjoy their own sparkling wine without fear of losing an eye to an exploding glass bottle.

  1. Jeroen van Craaikamp, “The History of ‘le’ Champagne,” accessed March 25th, 2012,
  2. Johnson, Hugh, A life Uncorked (California: University of California press, 2006) 81. Accessed March 26th 2012,
  3. Craaikamp, "The History of"le" Champagne."