While I do enjoy a glass or two of bubbly, several months ago I was quite taken with the story of Nicole-Barbe Ponsardin (1777-1866), who later became Madame Clicquot (upon her marriage to François Clicquot, son of a prominent French businessman). Upon the death of her husband she took over his company and focused all her attention on improving their production of champagne. Prior to her influence, the beverage was often cloudy and not so highly regarded as it is today. The brand Veuve (french for widow) Clicquot is often associated with royalty.
So, as you celebrate this holiday season, raise your glass of bubbly in honor of Nicole-Barbe Ponsardin, aka Madame Clicquot for the sparkling goodness she gave to the world during a time when most women had little direct influence on the affairs of the world.