Literature and good drinks are always associated and we can all name some big names in literature who are known for their wonderful works and for their tendency to enjoy some precious liquids, which usually chosen with taste. If the green fairy, the sweet name given to absinthe, finds itself associated with poetry in the late 19th century, champagne should not be missed.
Balzac, who is known to be a good coffee lover, isn’t the last to give his characters a taste of champagne inside. The Comedy of Man. And enthusiasts of the realist novelist have seen 68 instances of the famous drink in his great work. It allows the reader to visit the largest cellars of the most famous champagne houses, such as Taittinger champagne, which offers visits to its cellars as well as tastings enhanced by the presence of a guide that immerses you in the story. specific to each cuvée.
Like other Champagne houses, the Taittinger has, in addition to the Château de la Marquetterie (owned by the writer Jacques Cazotte, a friend of Voltaire and Chénier), cellars with a century-old history, in this case is of Saint-Nicaises abbey located in Gallo-Roman chalk pit dating from the 4th century. Now, you can even take this virtual tour for free as part of an immersive experience without anyone being distracted.
Balzac wasn’t the only one tasting his characters champagne. This is a literary moment that we also see in the works of the brothers of Goucourt, of Flaubert, Alexandre Dumas, or even of Maupassant and Karl Huysmans during the 19th century. A symbol of celebration, of success, of joy, champagne delights guests in the warm atmosphere of the finest tables in Paris. Drinking iced champagne, i.e. refreshed by crushed ice, has become popular.
Champagne and poetry go hand in hand too, as we discovered with Guillaume Apollinaire who, at the beginning of the 20th century, loved to play with amazing and always surprising images. So on Calligramshe wrote: “The butler / Poured on them false champagne / That would bubble like a snail / Or like the poet’s brain / As the rose sang”. Surprisingly, the “brain of the planner” bubbles like champagne !
To deepen this relationship between champagne and literature, we can look at the work of Marc Lagrange and Philippe Lorin, Champagne writers (130 pages, € 25, Editions de Paris). Doctor Lagrange has already worked on several books that include wine as a complement such as celebration, medicine or even eroticism. And for this literary association, he selected twenty -seven authors who were mostly French. For each of them, there is a handpicked piece featuring the lines that always evoke the best champagnes. Voltaire reached out to Amélie Nothomb, but also de Gaulle and Churchill, along with, of course, the inventor of James Bond, Ian Fleming.
Champagne, which gradually established itself first in France and then also abroad, as a drink associated with celebration and success, is closely linked to literature where the real and the imaginary mix. A symbolic product par excellence, champagne, and everything that surrounds this wine, is extremely cultural.
Moreover, the invention of writers around speech bubbles is limitless, think of the Goncourt brothers who, in their LogWRITES “July 1864 – In Trouville. The women here, nervous dolls, a glass of champagne in a dress. » If we want to know all the events of champagne, of all genres of literature, we have to go back to the best. champagne anthology by Francois Bonal. Unfortunately, it is difficult to get this book because it is no longer published. But it is fully accessible on the Gallica platform.
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