Hugo, Aperol Spritz, Bellini… sparkling wines and sparkling wine cocktails have become more and more chic every day. But champagne is still the queen of the liquors, except Formula 1 tries to give its crown to sparkling wine.
Formula 1 offers a new nectar to the winners
Champagne is not the champion’s drink anymore, sparkling wine just replaced the good old classic on the winner’s podium. But why did they break this 60 year tradition? Is the champagne not good enough anymore? For the answer we have to go back and see how it all started.
The beverage of the rich and famous
Champagne is what we drink to celebrate the big milestones of our lives and to win a Grand Prix is ‘probably’ a very important moment. People started to celebrate with champagne at the end of the 1700’s in the royal courts of Europe. At the time this sparkling drink was so expensive that it became the symbol of wealth and status. Later on it became more popular and more available to everyday people, but remained the beverage of celebration.
While it’s quite logical to see the Grand Prix winners spraying champagne on the crowd as a celebratory move, interestingly, it wasn’t always a thing on the podium according to GQ Magazine.
The famous bubbly accident
The whole tradition started in 1950 when the first-ever French Grand Prix was held in Reims with a silly accident. This region is famous for its beautiful vineyards so it is quite obvious that the winner was presented with a bottle of champagne on his win. But the spraying wasn’t part of the tradition until a small misfortune happened in 1966. The winner of the race called ’24 Hours of Le Mans’ Jo Siffert accidentally sprayed the crowd with the celebratory champagne which was sitting in the sun for hours before. There was pressure in the bottle so when he opened it, the drink just exploded out. The next year Dan Gurney – a Californian racer – copied the gesture and the tradition was born.
Spraying the “liquid gold”
Since then, all the winners do the same. Between the ‘60s and ‘90s they used the champagne of Moet&Chandon one of the most prominent champagne houses of the world established in 1743. In 2000, Formula 1 switched its supplier and Mumm became the official champagne house of the races.
The king who killed the queen
Until this year Formula 1 used GH Mumm Gordon Rouge in a Jeroboam bottle (3 litres of volume) but in 2016 Chandon took it over (or let’s say back, as Domain Chandon is part of the Moet&Chandon empire), and replaced the champagne with their signature sparkling wine ‘Chandon Brut’. The breakup was Mumm’s decision. According to reports Mumm is leaving the sport because the $5.5m it paid per year was deemed “insufficient” by Bernie Ecclestone, the owner of Formula 1.
Finally Nico Rosberg – the winner of the Australian Grand Prix – was the first champion ever who sprayed sparkling wine instead of champagne in March of 2016.
If you want to taste the drink of champions, you can come to our club (https://www.4playlounge.com/prices/drinks/) where you can enjoy the nectars of Moet & Chandon, Mummand others with our beautiful girls.
And of course, don’t forget to check out our special offers during Formula 1 weekend!