Cristal Champagne has become linked with luxury, from its beautiful packaging to its ubiquity in pop culture. It’s mentioned in songs by everyone from A$AP Rocky to Drake to Lana Del Rey, and some bottles of the expensive bubbly may even cost about $26,000. If you’re wondering whether the prestige of this Champagne is justified, keep reading for ten things you should know about Cristal.


  • Cristal was made for a Russian Tsar: In 1876, Louis Roederer invented Cristal for Alexander II. As Russia became more unstable and Alexander feared murder, he ordered that his Champagne be bottled transparent and with a flat bottom to guarantee that no bombs were hidden beneath the bottles. After the tsars’ dominion ended with the Russian Revolution in 1917, Roederer continued to produce Champagne, and In 1945, it finally made it to the commercial market for “commoners.” (Although Cristal is not a common beverage.)
  • It’s a family affair: Cristal is still owned by the Roederer family. Frédéric Rouzaud, the family’s sixth generation, currently manages the estate. This makes Louis Roeder the world’s largest independent and family-owned Champagne house.
  • Quality over quantity: Cristal produces between 300,000 and 400,000 bottles each year. This is a small number, while high-end brands, such as Dom Pérignon, generate roughly five million bottles yearly.
  • Cristal is always vintage: it is cellar-aged for six years before being stored for a further eight months following disgorgement (the procedure for eliminating sediment from Champagne). Cristal’s grapes are grown on vines aged a minimum of 25 years old, but some are as ancient as 60. The older a vine becomes, the less prolific it becomes, contributing to Cristal’s scarcity.
  • Louis Roederer began farming biodynamically in 2000 in an effort to reconnect to tradition and make the Champagne-making operation as organic as possible. Not only did the company stop using pesticides in their vineyards, but it also started tilling the ground using horses.
  • Cristal’s similarities to crystals extend beyond its sparkling appearance: Cristal’s bottles were once constructed of leaded crystal. The French word for “crystal” is “cristal.”
  • Cristal’s gold wrapping isn’t just for show: In the nineteenth century, a color-coding system was employed to indicate the grade of Champagne. Unsurprisingly, gold was employed to represent the highest level of prestige. But there is also a scientific rationale for this wrapping. The gleaming cellophane is actually anti-UV, shielding the clear-bottled wine from harmful sun rays that may swiftly cook wine.
  • It’s so good that it defies economic logic: Cristal received a perfect 100-point score from Wine & Spirits Magazine in 2002, a nearly unthinkable feat for even the most distinguished of wines. It doesn’t end there. Cristal is classified as a Veblen Good, which is an economic phrase for a product having a demand commensurate to its high price, therefore defying the law of demand. Because of their exorbitant pricing, such items are considered status symbols and indicators of luxury. To put it another way, the thirst is real.
  • Tupac gave Cristal his blessing: “Even Tupac loved the thing.” The notorious rapper devised the “Thug Passion,” a cocktail that blends Cristal with Alizé Gold Passion liqueur.
  • Cristal was boycotted by the rap and hip-hop communities: Jay-Z, like many other celebrities, was a big fan of Cristal. However, in 2006, Frédéric Rouzaud issued a statement denouncing the brand’s favorable reception in the hip-hop culture. “But what can we do?” he queried after the statement. We can’t stop people from purchasing it.” Many celebrities, including Jay-Z, condemned the remarks as racist and swore never to drink, serve, or promote the substance at any of his clubs again. In revenge, Jay-Z founded his own luxury Champagne brand, Armand de Brignac (also known as Ace of Spades).

Now when you know the ten essential information about Cristal wines, you are for sure wondering how to get your hand on them. Online wine auctions are all you need!


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