In the 17th Century, in the chilly northeastern French region of Champagne, little bubbles appeared in wine bottles. Unknown at the time, an accidental second fermentation caused by the cold created CO2 in the wine, turning the bottles into ticking time bombs. Corks jolted away as if possessed. Bottles exploded, causing chain reactions of shattering bottles. Monks, many of whom were winemakers, called it “le vin du diable” — the wine of the devil. One monk in particular, named Dom Pérignon, tried desperately to get rid of the bubbles that appeared in his abbey’s wine. But try as he might, he couldn’t get rid of the fizz.
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