December 1638: In this month, Dom Pierre Pérignon, O.S.B. was born. He was a Benedictine monk from France who made significant improvements to the production and quality of Champagne wine during a time when the region’s wines were primarily red. People often say that he invented sparkling Champagne, but that style didn’t become the most popular until the middle of the nineteenth century. He is honored with the moniker Dom Pérignon, the premium cuvée of Mot & Chandon Champagne. The winery now owns the monastery ruins where he spent the majority of his adult life. He died on 14 September 1715.
December 1869: In this month, Welch’s grape juice was discovered. To halt the fermentation process, an American dentist and physician called Thomas Bramwell Welch came up with a method of pasteurizing grape juice. The final product was alcohol-free to make it more suitable for religious occasions.
December 1933: On this month, Martignetti Companies was established. Martignetti Companies is the sixth-largest wine and spirits distribution company in the United States and the largest in New England. Martignetti Companies started off as a small, family-run grocery store in Boston’s North End. The Martignetti family earned the first beverage alcohol retail license given in Massachusetts after Prohibition was repealed in 1933. The retail operation featured wine and alcohol outlets all across the Boston metro region over the years. The family extended their distribution and wholesale company in the 1970s, focusing on exquisite wines. The distribution division of Martignetti Companies flourished as a result of organic growth, the addition of new suppliers to the portfolio, and well-executed acquisitions. Martignetti’s portfolio has expanded to include the widest range of quality wines and spirits available, ranging from small, artisanal producers to worldwide leaders. The Martignetti family, which now owns Martignetti Companies for the third time, is committed to building long-term relationships with customers and suppliers. They do this by continuing to invest in people, skills, and technologies that help them provide the best service and build their brand.
December 1941: This is the month in which Kermit Lynch was born. He is an American author and wine importer who lives in Berkeley, California. He wrote the books Inspiring Thirst and Adventures on the Wine Route, which won the Veuve Clicquot Wine Book of the Year award. He also owns Domaine Les Pallières in Gigondas, as well as Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, alongside the Brunier family. He is married to Gail Skoff, a photographer whose images appear in his books.
December 1956: On this day, Bon Appétit magazine was founded. This journal is all about your taste buds, as the name implies. You’ll discover all you need to know about delicious cuisine, fantastic wine, and how to mix them all here, plus much more. This popular publication also includes entertaining suggestions to guarantee that your meals never grow monotonous. In each edition, you will learn about the most recent food and wine trends. Additionally, you will be capable of reading reviews and obtaining recipes for cooking your own food at home. Bon Appétit reveals the top restaurants across the globe, as well as travel options to take into account whenever you’re on your way there so that you can enjoy the finest dining experiences outside of your home.
December 2000: On this day, Wine Cellar Fine Wine Merchants started trading in South Africa. They specialize in foreign wines from the top wine areas of the globe and source the best local wines at affordable costs.
December 2006: A Methuselah of 1990 Cristal Brut Millenium Cuveé was sold for $18,800 at Christie’s New York this month. The exceptional deluxe 2000 Millenium Cuveé of the 1990 Cristal was created to commemorate the millennium, with a one-of-a-kind mix manufactured just once and only available in methuselah format. Only 2000 methuselah bottles were created and launched by Louis Roederer in 1999 in time for the century, and these bottles are becoming increasingly difficult to come by.
December 2012: On this day, an award-winning English winery Wickham Vineyard filed for bankruptcy. Just before Christmas, Wickham, a Hampshire-based company founded in 1984, filed for bankruptcy, costing more than 20 jobs. However, it’s understood that Wickham’s affiliates The Vineyard restaurant and WineShare are still operating. According to reports in the Southern Daily Echo, Wickham’s issues with sister company Wine Shak—a retail chain that was saved from the Threshers collapse but entered voluntary insolvency in November—may have contributed to the company’s demise. However, there were also believed to have been issues with trading over the previous year in addition to a dearth of new investment.
December 2017: In this month, drugs were found submerged in wine by smugglers who were transporting them throughout Europe. A group of European drug traffickers thought that concealing their goods in food was overused, so they came up with an even more complex plan: shipping cocaine across the continent in a tanker full of wine. Italian authorities busted the network that was bringing drugs into Spain and bringing them into Italy this week after a five-year investigation. They executed dozens of property raids and made 19 arrests. A Piedmontese wine tanker that would make monthly voyages to bring back caches of hash and cocaine from Malaga in Spain was one of the suspects’ numerous decoys, but it was also a recurrent strategy. According to the Italian news outlet La Repubblica, during a bust in December 2017, police discovered almost 1,700 pounds of hash and 6.6 pounds of cocaine in the truck concealed in submerged, hermetically sealed metal containers, a system that helped mask the stench of the illegal import.
December 2021: On this day, Ridge Monte Bello Santa Cruz Mountains 2011 was recognized as one of the Favorite Wines of the Year by acclaimed wine critic Eric Azimov. Ridge Vineyards is a renowned vineyard company, however, its production in Monte Bello Ridge particularly stands out, and is considered one of the best Cabernet Sauvignon producers in the world being one of the most acclaimed in the Judgment of Paris.