10 Things You Didn’t Know About Champagne
New Year’s Eve is just around the corner…and with it, a whole lot of bubbly. But what good is drinking all that Champagne if you can’t also interrupt party conversations to drop some fun facts about the iconic New Year’s Eve tipple? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Champagne really does get you tipsy faster.
You’ve probably heard (or felt) that Champagne goes straight to your head—and science agrees. One experiment found that alcohol levels in participants drinking Champagne were higher after 20 minutes than in those drinking flat sparkling wine, suggesting the bubbles are to blame (or thank) for the effect.
Champagne may be good for your brain.
Got leftovers after the ball drops? Bring on the mimosas—in a 2013 study, University of Reading researchers found that compounds in two grapes used to make bubbly can have a positive effect on spatial memory and learning. One to three glasses a week could counteract memory loss associated with aging.
There are vegan options.
Many Champagnes go through a process that uses fining agents like gelatin and casein to clarify the end product, but if you’re looking for a vegan option, they’re out there—including Moët & Chandon, Korbel Natural Champagne, Dom Perignon and others.
Not all sparklers are created equal.
Real Champagne—as opposed to sparkling wines like Prosecco—must be made from a combination of three specific grapes grown in the Champagne region of France.
It has some of the same health benefits as red wine.
Red wine isn’t hogging all the polyphenols for itself. Champagne’s got the antioxidants too, possibly helping your body to undo some damage from free radicals, lowering blood pressure and preventing heart problems. “We have found that a couple of glasses a day has a beneficial effect on the walls of blood vessels – which suggests champagne has the potential to reduce strokes and heart disease,” researcher Dr. Jeremy Spencer of Reading University told The Guardian.
It’s a calorie-saver.
Four ounces of Champagne comes in at about 90 calories, compared to the 100 calories in the same amount of red wine. Hey, every calorie counts when you’re eating finger sandwiches and chocolate-covered strawberries well into 3AM.
It’s good for your face.
Champagne contains tartaric acid, which can eliminate discoloration and brighten your complexion. And if you’ve got oily or breakout-prone skin, its antibacterial properties can help keep your face stay smooth and acne-free. Dab some of the leftovers from your New Year’s Eve festivities on a cotton ball and smooth over your face after cleansing to use it as a toner.
In fact, it’ll keep skin happy from head to toe.
Love to fantasize about winning the lottery and bathing in Champagne every night? So does your skin. The Epsom Salt Council recommends pouring half a cup of Epsom salt with a cup of Champagne into running bathwater—the Epsom salt will relax sore, tight muscles while the Champagne gets to work detoxing skin and tightening pores.
Use the leftovers in place of white wine in recipes.
If you wake up on New Year’s Day to a bunch of half-empty bottles of bubbly in your kitchen, don’t pour it down the sink. Flat Champagne makes for a great substitute in recipes that call for white wine (like this one).
Watch out for the cork!
Not to sound like your mother, but when it comes to opening a bottle of bubbly, it really is all fun and games until someone loses an eye. In the name of eye health, always point the bottle away from you (and others) at a 45-degree angle, and resist the urge to go for a festive pop—corks can shoot out at 50 miles per hour, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. And nearly half of Champagne cork accidents cause blindness in the injured eye.