Pierre-Emmanuel Taittinger, head of family-owned producer, Taittinger Champagne, said the English had accidentally left imported wine in London docks, causing them to become carbonated due to the cold. The wine kept in cellars became fizzy – and this was the first time Champagne was made.
Speaking to French newspaper Le Figaro, Mr Taittinger said: “I love England, it’s a big market for bubbles. They love Champagne.
“They created Champagne because of a mistake. Benedictine monks were supplying them with still wines from Champagne, red and white wines.
“The English left these inexpensive still white wines on the London docks and the wines got cold so they started undergoing a second fermentation causing them to become carbonated.
“Like all great mistakes, it led to a great invention.”
Mr Taittinger added: “As the English have a little ‘crazy’ side, they invented the whole thing, the playful side.
“They invented the consumption of champagne, as well as clarets from Bordeaux, Burgundy, cognac, in short, everything that’s made the reputation of France in the world.”
According to popular belief, Champagne was first created in the 17th century by a monk named Dom Pierre Pérignon.
English physician Christopher Merret was the first to describe the second fermentation process in wine to create fizz.
Mr Merret noted the process of adding sugar to a wine to carbonate it and create bubbles – known as Champagne.
One of the byproducts of fermentation is the release of carbon dioxide gas, which is trapped inside the wine, causing intense pressure to build up.
In the 17th century, pressure inside the weak early French wine bottles often caused them to explode.
Champenois were horrified to find their win containing bubbles, and considered it a fault.
Drinkers started becoming accustomed to bubbly, and soon Champagne gained its popularity worldwide.
The “muselet”, a wire cage fitted over the mouth of a Champagne bottle, was created in the 19th century to prevent the cork from popping out due to pressure from bubbles.
Now, Champagne is seen a luxury wine used for celebrations – and the spraying of Champagne has also become a tradition for winners or trophy earners.