Even after Champagne took off in France, it wasn't like the wine we know today for quite some time. For starters, it was extremely sweet—sweeter than most dessert wines you'll find today, in sharp contrast to the dry flavors we expect from the classiest modern bottles. It was also either cloudy or kind of flat: the second fermentation process that gives sparkling wine its bubbles also leaves a lot of yeast trapped in the bottle, and they form cloudy detritus as they die. The easiest way to deal with this, for decades of production, was to simply pour the wine from one bottle to another before selling it, skimming out the offending fungi. But all this agitation meant the wine would sparkle quite a bit less upon its second uncorking. The solution came from a widow named Madame Clicquot, a trailblazing entrepreneur in a time when few French women had anything to do with business. She and her colleagues came up with the idea of riddling: wine gets its second fermentation on a special rack that allows the bottles to tilt, and winemakers periodically agitate them slightly before setting them back down at a slightly-more-extreme angle. At the end of the process, the yeast has all been coaxed to sit in a single layer at the very top of the bottle. This means you can simply uncork the wine and skim the sediment, then seal it back up—instead of shaking your delicate product around as you filter it from one bottle to another. There are some wineries where this still happens by hand.