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A Look at Uniquely Designed Champagne Buckets

A Look at Uniquely Designed Champagne Buckets

16/11/2016 05:17 AM |

We all know the standard restaurant champagne bucket - sometimes known as a cooler - from celebrations and parties. For some, a cooler will be more familiar from the ice bucket challenge. But Champagne, as well as champagne coolers, have a long history and there have been some extraordinary designs over the years.

A Short History of Champagne

Only sparkling wine from the Champagne region of eastern France can carry the name champagne. Before that it was known as 'royal wine' and brewed by monks for royal celebrations, weddings, christenings and church services. And it was a monk, Dom Perignon, who is credited with blending wines that fermented in the bottle to produce the fizzy stuff we know and love today. When he first tasted it, Perignonclaimed 'I'm drinking stars!' In addition, a brand of champagne still bears his name to this day.

Now there's a whole range of paraphernalia that goes with champagne, such as coupes - said to be modelled on the breasts of Marie Antoinette - or flutes to drink it out of, sabres to dislodge the cork in the act of 'sabrage' and, of course, the humble ice bucket.

The Design

Champagne coolers are generally larger in size than other wine coolers to accommodate the slightly larger bottle (which also has thicker glass to cope with the pressure inside) and the generous quantities of ice used to keep it at the perfect temperature. All the great champagne houses have produced their own branded buckets, but all stick to the traditional bucket-like design.

However there are unique champagne buckets that exist; such as the sleek and square modern cooler designed by Peugeot, the famous pair of silver penguin coolers that sold at Christie’s for over $150,000 and the Jeff Koons ice bucket that retails for $20,000 (despite some claiming it looks like a bread bin).

Further Unique Champagne Coolers

Novelty shapes include top hats, such as the one produced by the famous champagne house Moet etChandon; along with wine barrels and even champagne corks. Swans and urns, knights helmets and bowls have all been used to chill this most celebratory of wines.

Champagne coolers have been manufactured from different materials including crystal and acrylic as well as being decorated with delicate cloisonnéenamels or hand-painted glass. It is said that the most expensive champagne cooler in the world was created from 2.8kg of 18ct solid gold and studded with 12ct diamonds. But if you can't afford this kind of luxury, a common or garden bucket filled with ice and chilled water will do the job just as well.

Though all the great champagne houses have at one time or another created their own bespoke champagne coolers; most stick to the traditional pail shape, as it's the most effective at quickly chilling the wine. The Napoleon bucket is big enough for two bottles - perhaps because Napoleon was such a fan and is quoted as saying that champagne should be drunk at all times, whether you are celebrating a victory or consoling after a loss.