If you have to, you can splash champagne instead of drinking it. Apparently it doesn't stain. Opinions differ, however, as to who started this glorious mess.

In racing, as early as the 1930s, a «Jeroboam» or even a «Salmanazar» from the house of Moët & Chandon was often poured at victory ceremonies. Then, in 1966, the two Porsche drivers Jo Siffert and Colin Davis stepped onto the podium at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and while the victory anthems were being played, Jo's bottle popped its cork in the summer heat, creating a stately champagne shower for the bystanders. A year later, on 11 June 1967, the victorious US American Dan Gurney is said to have taken up this incident again when he pressed his thumb on the bottle and thus gave his companion A. J. Foyt, as well as Jo Siffert alongside Hans Herrmann, such a shower and became the role model for all champagne-spraying racing drivers. The Swiss naturally sprayed back in return.

The story of the Formula 1 driver Jackie Stewart, who celebrated his superior victory at the French Grand Prix in 1969 and wanted to save the contents of his double magnum of Moët & Chandon, also has to do with overheated bottles. Being a good Scot, he immediately put his finger on the bottle and sprayed Mitterand as well as Fred Chandon. The latter is said to have shouted afterwards, «Jackie, you should do that at every race!» In fact, Stewart sat on the board of Moët & Chandon in the UK for 25 years afterwards.

For a long time, and now also at award ceremonies in other sports, this has not so much been a matter of decadence and waste, but one of modern marketing and product placement. Think of the ritual of splashing champagne at ship christenings, which has been the custom already since 1902.

Champagne probably becomes most famous when it's spilled?

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