How "Soviet Champagne" appeared

Pineapples and hazel grouses, according to the poet Vladimir Mayakovsky, were considered bourgeois food. Perhaps champagne can also be attributed here, because it has always been considered a drink of the aristocracy. It may seem strange, but the Soviet government not only did not ban it, but also gave instructions to develop a recipe for "Soviet champagne", which would be available to all segments of the population. True, the production technology was significantly different from the French.

Back in the twenties, after the abolition of the "dry law", Soviet winemakers pondered the question: how to make cheap and "fast" sparkling wine? Anton Mikhailovich Frolov-Bagreev, who had extensive experience in the royal vineyards of Abrau-Dyurso, was appointed as the head of this project. It was Frolov-Bagreev who developed the technology of "accelerated champagne", according to which the time of wine production was significantly reduced, and the quality remained at a fairly high level.

The invention of the old winemaker did not go unnoticed by the authorities, he received the Order of Lenin, three Orders of the Red Banner of Labor and the Stalin Prize for his labors. But, the scientist entered the CPSU only in 1942 at the age of 65.

Mass production of "Soviet Champagne" begins in 1937. The wine producer, Donskoy Factory of Sparkling Wines, was equipped with the latest equipment from Chaussepier (France). The champagne tasting was personally conducted by Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin. People's Commissar for the Food Industry Anastas Mikoyan recalled that the leader of the peoples did not particularly like brut and dry champagne. But he praised the semi-sweet and sweet. Since that time, "Soviet Champagne" has become a real folk drink, without which it was impossible to imagine any holiday.

Despite the fact that only wine produced in the Champagne region can be called "champagne", this fact did not stop the Soviet winemakers. There was even a version that the right to use this name was granted by France to the tsarist government, which means that there is no "plagiarism". A convincing example is the fact that in 1975 even the French firm Moet acquired the right to make wine according to the Soviet recipe.

In 1997, French winemakers once again tried to challenge the validity of the name. It was decided that the name "Soviet Champagne" should be written only in Russian on wines for the domestic market. And for international trade the name "Soviet Sparkling TM" is used.

How much did champagne cost in the Soviet Union? After the monetary reform of 1961 - 5 rubles 50 kopecks. Not too cheap, of course, but on holidays the Soviet people could afford it.