Food & Beverage

May 1, 2015

Celebrate in russian style

Taste the first and last word in luxury wine. Champagne might just be a single region in Northern France, but it's been making the most renowned sparkling wines for centuries.

Popping the cork and toasting with sparkling, fizzy champagne as the clock strikes midnight on New Year's Eve is a tradition in many households around the world. Why is champagne used to mark special occasions and what's its significance?

<

The bubbly, light-colored wine has historically been associated with luxury and the parties of the royal courts and aristocracy of Europe.

Legal status

Sovetskoye Shampanskoye is a generic brand of sparkling wine produced in the Soviet Union and successor states. It was produced for many years as a state-run initiative. Typically the wine is made from a blend of Aligoté and Chardonnay grapes. After the Soviet Union dissolved, private corporations in Belarus, Russia, Moldova, and Ukraine purchased the rights to use "Soviet Champagne" as a brand name and began manufacturing once again. "Soviet Champagne" is still being produced today by those private companies, using the original generic title as a brand name.

In Latvia the Supreme Court has ruled that Latvijas Balzams, a local producer of Sovetskoye Shampanskoye, has sole right to use the trademark in Latvia. In other former Soviet republics, the use of the brand is not restricted. Several producers use the name, including wine producers from Italy and Spain.

Under European Union law, as well as treaties accepted by most nations, sparkling wines produced outside the champagne region, even wine produced in other parts of France, do not have the right to use the term "champagne". In much of the former Soviet Union, including the three Baltic States, who are now EU members, the term Sovetskoye Shampanskoye continues to be used, with the governments of those countries claiming that the rights to the use of the word "Champagne" was granted in perpetuity to the Russian Imperial Government by the French and that this cannot be rescinded.

What is indisputable is that at least post World War Two, Soviet champagne became readily available at kiosks and shops in major Russian cities. 

It was widely advertised – even on the sides of the State's Black Marias as they dashed through the cities laden with prisoners heading for the Gulags – and became an essential part of the Russian New Year tradition. If you want your secret New Year wish to come true then you need to have the bottle open on the table as the Kremlin clocks start to chime midnight so that you can down your glass before the bells come to silence again.

The Russian taste in the nineteenth century was for champagne that we would now find overpoweringly sweet – perhaps 200 grams of sugar per litre – and even today the Russian taste runs more to sweet and semi-sweet than dry. It's reckoned that semi-sweet and sweet wines still account for over 80% of the Russian market. But the Russians had had experience – and even success – with traditionally made champagne. Prince Lev Golitsyn's champagne from his Novy Sviet estate took a Gold Medal at the Paris  Exhibition of 1900, beating those French champagnes that entered. It should be noted that the major producers did not tempt fate by entering such competitions but that's not to say there was no competition. According to the Dundee Courier of 5th June 1900, one of the features of the Exhibition was the 'riotous omnipresence' of champagne such that the 'son of temperance finds himself running up against the fizz at every turn' and the Leeds Mercury's correspondent commented on 21 April that lunch at the Russian pavilion consisted of 'limited sandwiches and unlimited champagne' .

More Articles

FeaturedArticles

  • product_playfulbase_sl

    Technology

    May 1, 2017

    DO... WHATEVER!

    So, we've seen it all! We have seen all the kind of things the eyes can see and the brain can archive as knowledge... But did we, really? Is it really possible to think there is one thing in the world that can't evolve?

    ...

  • 827cef85aa6c3c07b431ec817ae90cf8

    Science & Nature

    Aug 1, 2017

    GOLDEN WHEAT

    Geologist Tshiamo Legoale, a 27-year-old South-African scientist, claims that statistics show that South Africa has circa 17,7 million tons of gold mining waste, that is, although the gold has already been dug out of that waste, "all...

  • 2-crowdfunding

    Food & Beverage

    Jun 1, 2017

    Beyond Bottles

    The Skipping Rocks Labs, from the United Kingdom, has taken upon itself the mission to eradicate the waste caused by plastic cups and bottles by creating Ooho!, the first of many products that, they assure, will revolutionize everyday...


  • transferir (1)

    Science & Nature

    May 1, 2017

    Other Side of Aquaculture

    In 2016 the global seaweed trade grossed more than the world's production of lemons and limes, for example. Seaweed gathering doubled on the last decade and nowadays we even have real underwater farms that try to invigorate and capitalize...

  • quinoa

    Helthcare & Wellness

    Apr 1, 2017

    QUINOA - INCA'S GOLD

    The Inca Empire was the largest and longest in South America pre-Hispanic era, spreading along the Pacific Ocean coast since southwestern Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina, between the years 1438 up to 1533 A.D....

  • Cerveja006

    Science & Nature

    Apr 1, 2017

    DB BREWERY - FROM SAND TO GLASS TO SAND

    DB Breweries on New Zealand, that in 2015 had already became known due to its recycling of the leftover yeasts it uses to brew its beer to create biofuel, is on the move again with an ecologic innovation aimed at saving the world's...


  • 1.-Competir-Formacao-Form-to-Grow

    Business & Industry

    Nov 1, 2017

    FORM TO GROW

    The market leader company, shows the quality that distinguishes it for 24 years. Qualified human resources and excellence in the services provided place Competir again as number 1 on the market.

  • stratasys1

    Technology

    Nov 1, 2016

    A SINGLE PRINT, NO ASSEMBLIES

    Imagine 3D-printing an object in one single print, with different materials for different parts. Although it seems just a dream, it is a reality, made true with the new printer by Stratasys, the J750.

  • zalando-tech-hub (4)

    Business & Industry

    Dec 1, 2017

    DRESS THE BEST

    In the internet age, it's possible to purchase almost everything through online channels. From food to appliances, from books to all kinds of gadgets, from cars to holidays abroad and now even clothes, shoes and fashion items.

    ...