Champagne Trivia, Anecdotes, Quotes & In the Movies
Champagne Trivia, Anecdotes, Quotes & In the Movies
It is rumored that Marilyn Monroe once took a bath in 350 bottles of Champagne. Her biographer George Barris said that she drank Champagne "as if it were oxygen."
When the early version of Champagne was being made, the producers, including Dom Perignon were upset with bubbles. They believed that if the wine foamed, there was something wrong with it. They called it "vin du diable." Translation... "Wine of the devil"
There are 49 million bubbles in a bottle of Champagne, according to scientist Bill Lembeck.
Fine Champagne has the tiniest of bubbles. In fact, the French consider big bubbles so ugly that they call them the "oeil de crapaud" (toad's eyes).
Champagne represents 20% of French wine and spirit production, 33% of exports of Appellation Controlee wines and 20% of wines and spirits by region and category, just ahead of cognac and well ahead of Bordeaux and Burgundy.
"Comet vintages" are the years when notable wines coincides with the appearance of a comet. 1630 was a "comet year"; so, apparently, was 1858. But the most celebrated is 1811, the year of the Great Comet. It is fascinating to speculate what the vinous result might have been had Halley's appearance in 1986 been as spectacular a forecast.
The history of the Champagne region is bound with the history of France, from the defeat of Attila to the moment when Joan of Arc was summoned to crown the King of France in Reims cathedral.
Illustrious Champagne Lovers: Great historical figures such as Thomas Jefferson, the Tsars of Russia and Winston Churchill, to esteemed artists such as Marcel Proust, Marlene Dietrich and Colette, the list is as long as it is impressive.
Christopher Soames (later Lord Soames), was sent on the delicate mission to Rhodesia (as it then was called) to secure its peaceful transition to independence, he took with him a quantity of Pol Roger (he was also Churchill's son-in-law from whom, no doubt, he acquired this particular taste). In the midst of proceedings, he surprised a reporter by affirming: "Rhodesia will be at peace in exactly 30 days." "Why?", asked his slightly puzzled questioner. "I only have 20 bottles of Pol Roger left," was the calm reply.
The "Champagne widows" are a phenomenon in the region. The most famous was undoubtedly La Veuve (The Widow) Clicquot, but in our time it was Madame Lily Bollinger. Less well known were Madame Veuve Pommery, Madem Laurent-Perrier and Madame Olry Roederer. When their husbands died, these women not only assumed responsibility for their firms but often expanded their holdings and sales.
"The two best vintages of the 'nineties were those of 1892 and 1899 as regards quality, but the most remarkable vintage of the decade was 1893. The heat of the summer was so great and lasted so long that many wells dried up and there was a great shortage of water, so much so that, at the time of the vintage, at Cramant, anybody with a horse, a cart and an empty cask, who would go to the Marne and deliver at the pressoir a cask of Marne water to wash and cool the presses, could go home with his cask full of new wine in exchange, no money passing: water was as valuable as wine." (The History of Champagne, Andre Simon, 1962)
Tina Turner, Elle Magazine,August, 1996
In its August issue, Elle magazine featured an article about Tina Turner. In it, Tina Turner is described after the photo shoot, relaxing in jeans, T-shirt and a glass of Champagne. The Champagne had to be brought from her personal stash at the hotel as she did not want to drink the cheap bubbly that was going to be served after the shoot, explains the magazine.
"Whenever I drink Champagne, I either laugh or cry ... I get so emotional!" TinaTurner says, "I love Champagne. I love it so much that I collect glasses." According to the magazine, Tina Turner needs a special glass, i.e. a fresh flute for every refill.
"When a glass looks like that," says the artist of a smudged empty flute, "I'm ready for another one. I have more glasses in my house than I have pots and pans!"...
My Perfect Day: Off Camera, MTV's Daisy Fuentes
When Glamour magazine asked MTV's host Daisy Fuentes about her perfect day alone, here is what she said:
"I'd love to be in a beach house all by myself so I could walk on the sand and go for a swim (and skip the gym). In the evening, I'd put on my grubbiest clothes and open a bottle of Champagne. I did this for myself once before: I found a bottle of [a well-known special cuvee Champagne] in my fridge and realized I didn't know what I had been saving it for. So I spent the evening on my couch, wearing my oldest, comfiest sweats, eating a frozen dinner and drinking the Champagne very slowly. There's something very relaxing about drinking Champagne --- while you're not wearing a cocktail dress."
Bon Appetit Magazine, February, 1997 "Kiss and Tell"
Here's what top romance novelist, Jackie Collins, would do for her dream Valentine's Day dinner...
"It would be in private bungalow in Kona, Hawaii. We'd sit on the terrace, overlooking a lagoon stocked with exotic tropical fish, and drink Champagne and eat peaches, lobster and garlic mashed potatoes, and strawberries and cream."
Upon tasting Champagne for the first time, Dom Perignon called out to his fellow monks, "Come quickly, I'm drinking stars!"
The dying words of Lord Keynes: "I wish I'd drunk more Champagne."
Madame Bollinger, on of the grandes dames of Champagne: "I drink Champagne when I'm happy and when I'm sad. Sometimes I drink it when I'm alone. When I have company, I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it if I'm not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it - unless I'm thirsty."
Napoleon is rumored to have said of Champagne: "In victory you deserve it, in defeat you need it."
Madame de Pompadour is reputed to have said: "Champagne is the only wine that leaves a woman beautiful after drinking it."
Noel Coward is reported to have said, " Why do I drink Champagne for breakfast? Doesn't everyone?"
Rudyard Kipling observed, " If the aunt of the vicar has never touched liquor, watch out when she finds the Champagne."
Byron: "Champagne with its foaming whirls/ As white as Cleopatra's pearls" (don Juan)
Victor Lanson, of Champagne Lanson, said, "I make wine for myself. What I can't drink, I sell!"
"Champagne is the one thing that gives me zest when I feel tired," said Brigitte Bardot in a 1984 New York times interview, six months after her 60th birthday.
Churchill used to say: "I am easily satisfied with the best." He was attached to Pol Roger.
Here is a paraphrase of a saying by King Edward VII:
Not only does one drink Champagne, but one inhales it, one looks at it, one swallows it...And one drinks it.
William Shakespeare, "Come, thou monarch of the vine, Plumpy Bacchus with pink eye!"
Voltaire, "The effervescence of this fresh wine reveals the true brilliance of the French people."
"The priest has just baptized you a Christian with water, and I baptize you a Frenchman, darling child, with a dewdrop of Champagne on your lips," Paul Claudel.
"There are only two occasions when I drink Champagne, and these are: when I have game for dinner and when I haven't," S.D. Churchill
Bollinger Champagne appeared in these James Bond movies: Live and Let Die, Moonraker, Octopussy, A View to a Kill, The Living Daylights, Licence to Kill, Goldeneye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World Is Not Enough, Die Another Day, Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.
In Dr. No, Goldfinger, Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Man with the Golden Gun and The Spy Who Loved Me: Dom Perignon was used.
In the film, Babette's Feast, a French woman cooks a feast and serves Champagne for an austere community in Denmark.
In the movie, Wayne's World, Benjamin retorts to Cassandra "Actually, all Champagne is French, it's named after a region. Otherwise, it's sparkling white wine."
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