I can't remember when I had my first glass of Champagne—it's safe to assume it was at a New Year’s celebration, circa 1995, when a grown-up was otherwise occupied—but I can clearly remember the first moment I knew I wanted to try it. It only took about 20 seconds of watching Leslie Caron sing about it for me to decide that I had to try the drink making this woman so happy (the same logic followed for word pronunciation in My Fair Lady, which may explain why I studied English). Since then, my fascination with the sparkling wine—and my reputation as someone who loves to saber it—has only grown: How can anyone not love a drink invented for celebration?

So when the opportunity arose for me to attend a Champagne tasting as part of Champagne Week, I leapt at it—and even managed to learn a thing or two from Moët specialist, Alyse Mizia, as my glass was filled—and refilled. Here are 10 surprising facts about the mysterious, bubbly drink produced in France’s most varied, yet incredibly small wine region, Champagne.

Words by Leslie Stephens at Food52

[Photo via @dulceida]