First created in 1867 for Alexander II of Russia, Cristal is viewed by many as the first prestige cuvée. However, the champagne did not become commercially available until 1945.
As the political situation in Russia at the time of Alexanders rule was unstable, the Tsar feared assassination. He ordered that champagne bottles for his Three Emperors Dinner be made clear. He did this so that he could see the bubbles and also to prevent the hiding of a bomb within them, as could happen with a typical dark green bottle. Champagne producer Louis Roederer commissioned a Flemish glassmaker to create a clear Champagne bottle with a flat bottom, which is still used today with the addition of an anti-UV cellophane wrapper. This Champagne has since become known as "Cristal".