The U.S. Soccer Women's National Team celebrated their World Cup victory in style with a champagne choice fit for victorious women.
Fans lined the streets to watch the World Cup championship parade in New York City on Wednesday and get a glimpse of some of their favorite players. On the floats, members of the winning team danced and waved to fans. They also popped bottles of Veuve Clicquot's La Grand Dame champagne, which was created in honor of Madame Barbe-Nicole Clicquot, a woman largely recognized as the first international businesswomen and a pioneer in her own right.
About 200 years before Rapinoe and the rest of the Women's National Team became national inspirations; Clicquot became a widow, "veuve" in French, and the head of Maison Clicquot. In 1805, when she took the reins, women were largely excluded from the business world and unmarried women couldn't even open a bank account.
Clicquot broke the mold, pursued success with vigor and expanded her business to all four corners of the world becoming one of the first international businesswomen. Along with establishing a level of success that earned her the nickname, "Grand Dame of Champagne" among her peers, Clicquot changed the way champagne was made.
In 1816, Clicquot developed the "table de remuage," or the riddling table. It forced sediment that formed as wine aged into the neck of the bottle to streamline the disgorging process and create a more refined wine. The method is still used today, although, many houses have opted for an automatic machine. She was also responsible for the first-known vintage champagne and the first-known blended rosé champagne.
Inequality in sports is an issue, too. Many female athletes have spoken out about the pay gap, including members of the women's soccer team. In March, players filed a complaint in U.S. District Court against the U.S. Soccer Federation claiming the organization violated the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
The complaint alleged that the organization denied players on the women's team equal playing, training and travel conditions as members of the men's team and didn't promote the women's games as much as the men's soccer team.
Following their World Cup victory on Sunday, fans in the stands chanted "equal pay" and captain Megan Rapinoe told CNN's Anderson Cooper that the lawsuit is about "more than money."
"Right now, I'd say we're doing pretty good, basically creating this entire business without being compensated substantially or even fairly," Rapinoe said. "How can we move this forward? How can we go to the next step to create a world that is equal and fair?"
As women who are attempting to move their industry forward through their success, it seems only fitting that the Women's National Team would celebrate their World Cup victory with champagne that's an ode to the pioneering businesswoman.
First launched in 1972, the La Grande Dame was produced as a tribute to the woman who put Maison Clicquot on the path to the international renown it knows today.
During her speech at the parade, Rapinoe praised her teammates for being resilient, tough and having a sense of humor and said she couldn't be more proud to lead the team.