French movie star Pierre Arditi is never short of inspiration nor eloquence when it comes to describing Champagne and beyond it, his love for fine wines.
Do you remember your first glass of Champagne ?
I instead have a rather sharp memory of my first journey in Champagne country. It was in the years 1970 – quite a while ago !- I was performing in Reims with my friends Nicole Garcia and Patrick Chesnais. We took some time out to stroll about. Nicole was driving. She’s always been some kind of a public ennemy when behind a wheel, as she stares at everything…but the road. We ended up at some small producer’s house, where we were able to purchase although young and broke, some bottles of his cheap yet quite tasty crémant. This is my first note worthy memory.
Do you associate Champagne with celebration?
Champagne and party ? I find it rather odd how most people need to classify moments and things. Parties are just like aging ; it’s here or not. Most of all, it is a matter of state of mind. As Picasso would put it, it takes a long time to grow young.
Which are your favourites ? Brut, Millésimé, undosed, or rosé ?
Brut, definitely. Millésimé whenever possible. In any case, my preferences go to the white, eventhough some rosés can knock you off your feet. One must however remember that Champagne in itself does not exist. Let’s more precisely talk about the Champagnes. There are Champagnes for appetizers, Champagnes for big thirsts, Champagne to dine with, Champagnes for dessert… More or less dosed, more or less winy. « brut Zero is a breed apart, that takes special know how and rare conditions. To me, the simpler, the better…
Some people add ice to their Champagne. What do you think ?
Nothing at all. I truely believe they are wrong. Champagne ought to be drunk chilled. Lukewarm is bad. But ice cold just kills it. As to adding ice… why not add soda ?
How would you define a great Champagne ?
I heartfully remember a stunning dinner organized by my friend Jean Berchon, who used to run Moët & Chandon, serving great Dom Pérignon. I also dined marvelously at Krug’s and Taittinger’s. During the shooting of the TV Series « Le sang de la vigne » (Vineyard blood), we used Deutz, a wonderful producer, as a background. Let me add my passionate relationship with Selosse and with a lesser known Producer, Diebolt-Vallois. But again, one should also mention Bollinger, Pol Roger…. I’m fond of at least 50 other brands…
« Champagne stirs up the sens of Wonder » once wrote George Sand. Would you agree ?
I have my own saying : wine, therefore Champagne, teases the imagination. It wakes up the senses, thrills them up and desinhibits. Wine leads you to a delicious drunkeness. I of course mean a drunkeness for life, not alcolhol. »