Roberto Zenit, a physicist at Mexico's National Autonomous University of Mexico, and Javier Rodriguez-Rodriguez of the Carlos III University of Madrid in Spain, posit in the November issue of Physics Today that carbonation triggers the same pain receptors in our deep brains that are activated when we eat spicy food.
The classic brand Dom Perignon gets its name from a 17th century monk who had the job of getting rid of the bubbles that developed in his abbey's bottled Wine, lest the pressure build up so much they exploded.
And it really is true that champagne is best drunk from a flute, rather than the wider "coupe" glass supposedly modeled on the breast of the 18th century French queen Marie Antoinette.
But there would be serious digestive issues should an astronaut actually drink it on board, since in microgravity the bubbles grow to enormous sizes, resulting in a frothy beverage with a substantially larger gas-to-volume ratio than the earthbound counterpart.
"Unable to escape the liquid in the digestive system, the gas would produce painful bloating of the astronauts' stomach and intestines," the authors write.
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