Am I A Conservative?

I work in the music business. In that rarefied atmosphere I am considered an arch conservative and an enemy of the people. I’m not certain the arty types are a genuine sample of popular opinion.

Am I a conservative?

As far as I can tell conservatives come in different stripes, but most hark back to a lost golden age, a time when our society had values and standards and generally got things right. I can see the appeal of that way of thinking, fantasy is a beautiful thing.

I look at the suburban train stations of Melbourne, edifices both grand and practical, built for the comfort and transport of the working class. I see Centennial Park in Sydney, a wondrous, enormous back yard for those who didn’t own estates. I hear of fiscally responsible governments, of public institutions, some fine social traditions, I am attracted to such things. I’m certain that is not the whole picture.

In the past my society tolerated the rape of children. Not overtly, but by respecting churches and institutions more than children we fundamentally tolerated the rape and torture of children. My society tolerated, even laughed at, domestic violence. Beating and ostracising homosexuals wasn’t frowned upon. For much of the history of my society racism was official policy. The golden age was not so golden, we didn’t get everything right.

I’m not a conservative. I often oppose change that is just for the sake of change and the disrespect shown to some of the great aspects of our past, but I don’t want to go backwards.Humanity cannot go backwards, the machinery does not have a reverse gear.

My theory is that most conservatives are afraid of change. Change makes them nervous, out of control. Many simply want to retain the benefits of privilege, to return to a time when their privilege was assumed. Privilege is essentially corruption, polite corruption.

The lefty, arty types I work and hang out with are often portrayed as dreamers, seekers of a fool’s paradise. That criticism can be equally applied to conservatives and their golden age. I’m not a conservative.

Parkstreet

kentparkstreet@me.com

 

Balancing your Plate: Healthy Trends for 2017

Healthy Lunch
Typical lunch in six-pack diet

It’s a growing problem. You want to stay healthy and treat your body well, but every time you Google a recipe, you seem to have another health kick or super food to catch up on. Whether it’s kale or quinoa, smoothies or spiralising (sliced veggies), keeping to a balanced diet seems more complicated than ever before.

Most of us think of a balanced plate as containing protein, carbohydrates and vegetables. While this is true, there are some other elements to consider before you can dig in. We’ve beaten the jargon and the fads to narrow down what really needs to be on your plate to find a healthy balance in 2017.

Alternative Protein Sources

Australia is one of the largest consumers of red meat in the world. New research shows that we should be trying to keep our red meat consumption under 700g per week, the equivalent of about 3 medium porterhouse steaks or 3 and a half cups of mincemeat. As well as fish or poultry, why not try a full vegetarian meal once or twice a week with legumes, lentils or tofu?

The Right Fibre

Ensuring you have the right kinds of fibre is essential. Prebiotic fibre can strengthen your intestines, improve mineral absorption and maintain regular bowel movements. This kind of fibre is found in wholegrains, onions and garlic, bananas, and Jerusalem artichokes.

Start the Day Strong

While many of us have perfected the art of healthy balanced lunch and dinner plates, breakfast is one area where people tend to lose creativity. If you’re starting every day with a bowl of cereal or toast and spreads, you’re loading up on carbs and sugar and are likely to need a large mid-morning snack to beat that energy slump. Try including protein such as eggs or yoghurt, or even lean meats like turkey sausage, or ham.

Portion and Serve Sizes

You might pat yourself on the back that your plate contains all the food groups, but are you serving them in the right quantities? The MyPlate initiative recommends that your meal is half vegetables, a quarter protein and a quarter grains. Many experts also suggest that you never eat to ‘full’ but rather to about half full, or just satisfied. One rule of thumb which won’t steer you wrong is aiming for the Australian ‘Go for 2+5’ for vegetable and fruit intake. Having two vegetable portions at both lunch and dinner is one great way of making this goal simpler to achieve, especially for children, or adults who are not natural snackers throughout the day.

Snack on Those Healthy Fats

Talking about snacks, while some people choose to limit their food to three daily meals, snacking throughout the day has its benefits too. As well as helping to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, it can stop you feeling deprived by managing hunger, optimise your energy levels and give you the opportunity to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables, as well as healthy fats.

Some great ideas for healthy snacks include vegetable sticks with hummus, salsa, or guacamole. You can also try protein filled snacks such as roasted chickpeas or beans, and nuts and seeds such as almonds or flax and chia seeds. Avocado, olives, almonds and chickpeas are just a few examples of ways to get healthy essential fats into your weekly menu.

Super-foods and super trends are great options for increasing variety into your diet. But the foundation of your healthy eating should remain the same with or without them. Healthy snacking and a focus on three properly portioned meals per day should be the basis. Within that, an awareness of healthy fats and fibre as well as alternative proteins, are a great start to a healthy and balanced 2017.

Feature Image Source: Christos Pontikis

Paris mon Amour

PARIS MON AMOUR

Article followed by the article in French.

Ah Paris, seeing Paris again always makes me feel good, city that I’ve been desperately in love with for years. However it’s in Marseille where I grew up, second largest city in France in the South, capital of soccer, in eternal “foot-ballistic” competition with Paris, a strong rivalry that I have to admit sometimes becomes ridiculous. Parisians always envy our sun that they come to borrow in summer, grumbling about our occasional casualness and a bit about the “show-off” attitude.

 

Nonetheless, my heart is in Paris, an admission that may hurt and create a revolution for my Marseillais companions. Besides I remember living in the South and going to Paris very regularly for my business. Then, my landlord – who became a friend – said to me “Why don’t you go and live in Paris? You only live one week per month in your apartment”. He was right and he hadn’t even finished his sentence before I had made my decision. Here I am Paris! Then you may not know the whole story but I came to Melbourne to live.

 

First of all, allow me to speak about the Parisian.

The Parisian loves Paris (even if he always says he’s fed up with this city), denigrates the Provincial life (Paris is the best) even if often the Parisian is not born in Paris. Urban romantic, stressed poet, cultured elegant and sometimes snobby and impolite.

How often I have heard that the Parisian complaints all-the-time, classified as professional complainers. However it must be frankly acknowledged that since I live in Australia, I realise indeed that not only Parisians but also all French people can whinge a lot, me included in the list. What can we do, we are perhaps just misunderstood artists? Whatever…

 

My heart started beating wildly for Paris when I was just a kid during a trip with my mum to visit cousins living in Paris. I remember this sweet walk to the Place du Tertre in Montmartre (this place is called tertre (hill) as it is located on top of a small hill). All the painters were calling my Mum to say to her how much they would love to paint SUCH a pretty little girl. At this time, totally unaware of commercial subtleties, I obviously believed in my infantile beauty. I remember walking on the pavés (cobbles), it was like time had no hold on this place, Montmartre, the old Paris, I was dreaming and I was letting myself be soothed by the poetic architecture and the atmosphere.

 

The years were flying, I was continuing my life in the South because after all we have the Sun, the beach and the Pastis (anise-flavoured spirit and apéritif of Marseille) but I have to confess to you that often I was secretly thinking of Paris, cheating on Marseille, ashamed to say this to my Marseillais friends. I passed my exam (Literary Baccalaureate)  when I was just 18 years old and after the Fine Arts exam (an option that I took), the examiners advised me seriously to consider the School Art of Paris. What an honour!!! But you know at this age I was dreaming of becoming a journalist. I didn’t really think about this opportunity and I pursued my life in Marseille studying Communication and Advertising. Surely one of my biggest regrets in my life… And what if… maybe in another life, I would have been a recognised Parisian artist, respected for my work going through the centuries with my art. Well, as we say in France with an “if” you could put Paris in a bottle.

But let’s go back on my story…

I was still in Marseille, let’s skip some of the points of my life, I finally moved in Paris, living with girlfriends at the foot of Sacré Coeur, it was more than I could have hoped for.

I was experiencing the popular métro – boulot – dodo (rhyming words meaning metro-work-sleep) and I was loving it. I went out, I visited museums, soaking up all the Parisian culture, I strolled in the streets, in the Grands Magasins, in the old quarters, in the bookshops, memorising a word or a quote of a poet or a writer who had also left part of his/her soul in Paris, I observed people in the metro, I read newspapers over my neighbour’s shoulder in the carriage, and I looked at all the styles that mixed in the streets and I remembered this quote from Chanel “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening” and yes I could totally get why Paris is the fashion capital.

 

Each moment spent in Paris is unique in discovery, magic and emotion.

And it was the case again when I went back a few weeks ago. Visiting family, friends, taking the opportunity for a few professional meetings, I was playing the tourist. After having lived in Paris, worked in Paris and having been to Paris scores of times, I am always under the spell of this city. It’s certainly one of the rare cities in the world where you can always see something new or different, be amazed to not know a place: a little street that you follow by random that allows you to find a building with gorgeous architecture, a museum that you never thought to go to, a passage that projects you two centuries back in time, a new designer shop, a new bar, a new deli that takes your senses to all regions of France at once, a new concept store, a few words or poetry here and there on your way to inspire your day… And everything changes of course according to the seasons, the forecast, your mood, your age, your aspirations, your open-mind.

Paris is a city that inspires, develops my senses and imagination, it’s my breath of fresh air (even though I risk making Parisians who escape the polluted air the weekend laugh, the Parisian loves practising weekending), a strong blast of culture, a sigh of poetry, a philosophical breath which has always allowed me to analyse and question myself, move on and make the most important decisions in my life.

(Little anecdote: It’s the movie Amélie that gave me the courage to open my first business in 2004)

Months without seeing Paris and emotions were at their greatest. Here I am at Gare de Lyon, en route to a cosy studio in Buttes Chaumont. I feel Parisian again in just few weeks and I understand how much I missed insignificant details of the capital. 

 

Then I hear some of you thinking “why did you leave Paris to come to Australia?”. Well simply because perhaps I understood that I will always bring a piece of Paris with me wherever I go, that I am French and I am Paris too (as we sadly remember this). That reassures me and even if I’m far away, Paris will always be my refuge where I can go back anytime.

 

I’m living a love affair with Paris, oui you know this kind of affair that you deeply know it’s forever. A caring soulmate who is always happy to see me back and for me always ecstatic to feel. I can understand all these artists: singers (Edith Piaf, Léo Ferré, Joe Dassin, Frank Sinatra…), writers (Ernest Hemingway, Jacques Prévert, Victor Hugo, Oscar Wilde…), filmmakers (Woody Allen, Quentin Tarentino, Ron Howard…) were all captured by the Parisian spirit. As Hemingway titled his book Paris est une fête (a moveable feast) and Paris satisfies hearts, my heart. I love walking in the streets for hours, letting Paris guide me and speak to me, carried by a frenzied rhythm all the while filling me in with its sensuality.

Lastly, on this trip I returned with my Australian husband who was laughing at seeing me running to catch the metro when we were not in the rush at all, just in a tourist mode. The Parisian rhythm regained control over me. To show him this city, to visit the city of lights with a French woman was magical for him. It was a revelation, a revelation about my culture but also a revelation about my person. From now on, he could have a better understanding of what has shaped me, my love for art, books, the art of words, this desire to exchange with the world and change the world, this need for intellectual stimulation, the attention to detail, the eagerness to be surrounded by beauty, the need for the natural, anonymity, café terraces, the tremendous importance of friendship, and obviously my gastronomic demands and my taste for style, le Chic à la Parisienne (the Parisian chic) and this “less is more” motto that follows me everywhere. 

And he also understood that he will always have to share me with my other lover Paris, a subtle ménage à trois.

So much to share with you, my lovers of France, my Parisian darlings and because like a lover, we know that every reunion is unique and precious, it’s important to leave a part of mystery, to leave you here with, I hope, this craving to discover more of Paris. For sure, I will give you another rendez-vous soon about Paris with a new article.

As for you my Dear Paris, my Paname, you are so far away today but so warm in my heart and I can’t thank you enough for bringing so much poetry and inspiration to my life. 

A bientôt mon Amour. (See you soon my Love)

Paris je t’aime.

Thank you to Nicola Thayil from NHM Translation

PARIS MON AMOUR

Ah Paris, revoir Paris me fait toujours le plus grand bien, ville dont je suis éperdument éprise depuis des années. C’est pourtant à Marseille que j’ai grandi, deuxième ville de France, ville du Sud, capitale du foot, en éternelle compétition footballistique avec Paris, une rivalité bien ancrée qui j’avoue tourne parfois au ridicule. Les Parisiens envient toujours notre soleil qui viennent emprunter en été, ronchonnant sur notre occasionnelle désinvolture, et un peu de « m’as-tu-vu » au passage.

Cependant, mon cœur est à Paris, révélation qui risque de créer une révolution chez mes amis Marseillais. Je me souviens d’ailleurs vivre dans le Sud et monter très régulièrement à Paris pour mon agence. C’est alors que mon propriétaire – qui était devenu un ami – me dit « Mais pourquoi ne vas-tu pas vivre à Paris ? Tu passes seulement une semaine par mois dans ton appartement ». Realrque assez pertinente, il n’avait alors pas encore fini sa phrase que ma décision était prise. A moi Paname !

Mais avant tout permettez-moi de parler du Parisien. Le Parisien aime Paris (même s’il te dit qu’il en a marre de cette ville), dénigre le Provincial même si parfois lui-même n’est pas né à Paris. Romantique urbain, poète stressé, élégant cultivé et parfois snob et impoli. Et au combien de fois j’ai entendu que le parisien râlait tout le temps, classé dans la case des râleurs professionnels. Cependant il faut tout de même avouer que depuis que je vis en Australie, je réalise en effet que non seulement le Parisien râle mais aussi tous les Français, m’incluant sur la liste. Que voulez-vous, nous sommes peut-être des artistes incompris ? Bref…

Mon cœur a commencé à battre la chamade pour Paris quand j’étais enfant en visite à la capitale pour aller voir des cousins. Je me rappelle cette douce ballade sur la Place du Tertre avec tous ces peintres qui interpellaient ma mère pour lui dire ô combien ils aimeraient peindre leur SI jolie petite fille. A cette époque, encore vierge des subtilités commerciales, je croyais bien évidemment en ma beauté enfantine. Je me souviens marcher sur les pavés, c’était comme si le temps n’avait aucune emprise sur cet endroit, Montmartre, le vieux Paris, je rêvais et je me laissais bercer par la poésie architecturale et l’atmosphère.

Les années passèrent, je continuais ma vie dans le Sud car après tout nous avons le soleil, la plage et le Pastis mais je dois avouer que très souvent secrètement je rêvais de Paris, honteuse d’avouer cela à mes amis Marseillais. Je passais donc mon bac littéraire lorsque durant l’épreuve d’Arts Plastiques, les examinateurs me conseillèrent vivement d’aller faire l’école des Beaux-Arts à Paris. Rêvant d’être une journaliste, je ne prenais guère cette suggestion au sérieux et continuais ma vie dans le Sud. Certainement un des plus grands regrets de ma vie… Et si… peut-être dans autre vie j’aurais été une artiste Parisienne reconnue et respectée pour mon travail traversant les siècles avec mon art. Bref comme on dit en France, avec un “si” on pourrait mettre Paris en bouteille.

Revenons à mon histoire…

J’étais donc toujours à Marseille, sautant certains passages de ma vie, je déménagea finalement à Paris. Vivant avec des amies au pied du Sacré Coeur, je ne pouvais espérer plus.

J’expérimentais enfin le “métro-boulot-dodo” et j’adorais ça. Je sortais, je visitais les musées, buvais toute la culture possible de la ville, je flânais dans les librairies, dérobant une phrase ou une citation d’un auteur ou poète qui aurait lui ou elle aussi laissé une part de son âme à Paris ; j’observais les gens dans le métro, je lisais le journal au-dessus de l’épaule de mon voisin, et je regardais tous les styles qui se mêlaient dans les rues. Ah Paris…

Chaque moment passé à Paris est unique en découverte, magie et émotion. Et ce fut à nouveau le cas la dernière fois que je suis retournée. En visite chez la famille, les amis, profitant de quelques rendez-vous professionnels, je jouais la touriste… Et après avoir vécu à Paris, travaillé à Paris, être venue à Paris des dizaines et dizaines de fois, je suis toujours sous le charme. C’est certainement une des rares villes au monde où tu peux toujours voir quelque chose de nouveau, de différent: une petite rue que tu empreintes par hasard et qui te permet de découvrir un bâtiment magnifique, un musée que tu n’avais jamais pensé visiter, un passage qui te projette deux siècles en arrière, une nouvelle petite boutique de créateur, un nouveau bar à découvrir, une épicerie qui te transporte dans toutes les régions de France en même temps, un nouveau concept store, des mots, de la poésie par ci par là que tu trouves sur ton chemin pour inspirer ta journée… Et tout cela change bien sûr en fonction des saisons, de la météo, de ton humeur, de ton âge, de tes aspirations, de ton ouverture d’esprit. 

Paris est une ville qui inspire, qui développe mes sens et mon imagination, c’est ma bouffée d’oxygène (au risque de faire rire les Parisiens qui fuient le week-end la pollution), une bouffée de culture, une bouffée de poésie, une bouffée philosophique qui m’a toujours permis de me remettre en question, d’avancer et de prendre les plus importantes décisions de ma vie.

Des mois sans voir Paris et l’émotion était à son comble. Me voilà arrivée à la Gare de Lyon, direction le petit appartement cosy aux Buttes Chaumont. Me sentir à nouveau dans la peau d’une Parisienne juste quelques semaines et comprendre à quel point certains petits détails de la vie à la capitale m’ont manqué.

Alors j’entends déjà certains d’entre vous me dirent “mais pourquoi avoir quitté Paris pour venir en Australie?” Et bien tout simplement parce que j’ai peut-être compris que j’emmenais un peu de Paris avec moi, que je suis Française où que j’aille et que je suis Paris (comme nous l’avons été tristement rappelé durant les attentas), cela me rassure et que même si je suis loin, Paris reste toujours mon refuge où je peux y retourner à tout moment.

Je vis une histoire d’amour, tu sais ce genre d’histoire dont tu sais que c’est pour la vie. Une âme soeur bienveillante qui est toujours heureuse de me retrouver et que je suis toujours heureuse de ressentir. Je comprends tous ces artistes : chanteurs, écrivains, cinéastes capturés par l’esprit Parisien. Comme titrait Ernest Hemingway dans son livre oui “Paris est une fête” et Paris embaume les coeurs… mon coeur. J’aime errer dans les rue des heures, me laisser porter par un rythme endiablé tout en me remplissant de sa sensualité.

Dernièrement je suis allée avec mon mari Australien qui riait en me voyant courir pour prendre le métro alors que nous étions de simples touristes. Le rythme parisien avait repris le pas sur moi. Lui faire découvrir cette ville, visiter la ville des lumières avec une Française à ses côtés a été pour lui un moment magique. Ce fut pour lui une révélation, une révélation sur ma culture mais aussi une révélation sur ma personne. Il comprenait désormais mieux ce qui m’avait façonné, mon amour pour l’art, la lecture, l’art de la parole et l’amour de la conversation, cette envie de changer le monde, ce besoin de stimulation intellectuelle, le souci du détail, le désir d’être entourée de beauté, le besoin de naturel, l’anonymat, les terrasses de café, l’importance que je voue à l’amitié, et bien entendu mon exigence gastronomique et mon goût pour le style, le chic à la parisienne et cette philosophie qui ne me quitte plus “less is more”. Et il comprenait également qu’il devra toujours accepter de me partager avec Paris, vivant ce subtil ménage à trois.

Tant à partager avec vous les amoureux de la France, mes amoureux de Paris et parce que comme tout amoureux, nous savons que chaque retrouvaille est unique et magique et qu’il est important de laisser planer une part de mystère, je vous laisse ici avec, je l’espère, ce désir qui vous dévore de découvrir plus Paris. Mais bien sûr je vous donne un rendez-vous amoureux bientôt au sujet de Paris.

Quant à toi mon Cher Paris, mon Paname, tu es loin aujourd’hui mais si chaud dans mon coeur et je ne te remercierais jamais assez pour apporter tant de poésie et d’inspiration dans ma vie. 

A bientôt mon amour.

Paris je t’aime.

IMG 5705


 

Entre Floriane Eznack et moi…

Bienvenue Floriane Eznack en Australie. It’s an honour to welcome you. Let me tell you that I’m very impressed to see a woman oenologist, wine maker, chef de cave. I have read that you love communication and sharing your passion about the Champagne Jacquart. I think we are going to have a lot of fun.

Could you please introduce the Jacquart brand to our readers?

Champagne Jacquart was created by wine growers in the streets of Jacquart in 1964. 30 wine growers went together to Reims and decided to create their own wines from their own vineyards. It was a way to say that they didn’t want to sell everything to trade and keep their independence.

 

It’s a human brand, without people, the brand doesn’t exist.

Today, a Champagne cooperative owns Jacquart. There are around 1800 wine growers attached to 3 caves. They bought the brand Jacquart in 1998. The wine growers own the vineyards from generations ago. They own the grapes and the sell to brands such as Jacquart. Nowadays, 70% of wine growers are part of cooperatives to balance the trade.

In Champagne, the vineyards are not very big. It’s divided up by heritage but it’s also very expensive today to maintain a vineyard.

And what is your role at Jacquart?

Actually I have two roles: chef de cave (winemaker), from creation to promotion of Champagne. Today, the image of Jacquart goes through me. I represent the maison. I help the distributors and I train our prescriber.

Thank you Floriane for this introduction to the world of Champagne. Could you tell me how you found yourself in this world? Did someone in your family influence you?

Not at all. No-one in my family owns vineyards. My parents were diplomats. My sisters are in totally different industries. I was always interested in wines because my father was an amateur and he sparked an interest in me and my sisters to learn to savour wine. 

With her smile and sparkling eyes, I can see Floriane plunging deep into her memories. 

Wine is very French. In France, we speak about cuisine, about bouffe (another word for food) and wine. 

As my parents were diplomats, they often had visitors at home and of course one of the favourite topics of conversation was wine. So I was listening, interested, finding the conversation great but in fact, I wanted to be veterinarian or fighter pilot.

When I met Floriane, I could immediately sense that she was a strong and determined woman who could achieve everything she wanted. And when she confided in me that she wanted to be a fighter pilot, my only response was a kind of admiration and a desire to know everything about her and her amazing journey.

Fighter pilot? Both or…? (giggles)

No it was one of them.

 

My first dream was to live in Australia but at the same time to be a fighter pilot.

How funny! So you also wanted to live in Australia, why Australia?

Because it is so far away that I didn’t know anything about it. So for me it was the country of the unknown where you could do so much, develop a lot of things. And it’s a beautiful country – the Great Barrier Reef, the koalas… all that makes you dream when you are a child and even when you are a teenager. But most of all, it’s far, far from parents, far from everything.

What about your dream of fight pilot?

Well I tried to be a fighter pilot. I missed out unfortunately. I was refused for the fighter pilot training (even after passing all the health examinations) but they offered me to be a transport pilot in the army (my father reminded me of this recently). But at the time, when you are 20 years old, it’s everything or nothing so I said no. If it’s not a fighter pilot, then it will be nothing. So I started to think about another job and I thought about being an oenologist. C’est sympa! (very French expression to say it’s cool).

I wanted to be oenologist not a wine waiter, thats’s another job, you have to work in restaurants, with the clientele and define what wine goes with the menu, and that didn’t really interest me. I was interested in creation, the creation of wine. When I made up my mind, I chose L’Ecole de Reims (Reims School) for two reasons: firstly because it was very practical, close to Paris because at the time I was studying biochemistry in Paris and I had my mates in Paris and the second reason was that I thought Champagne is also a product with international renown. Everyone envies us for Champagne and even in Australia, they call it “French Champagne”. 

Actually, I wanted to ask you about it. Since I live in Australia, I can’t avoid correcting Australians when they say French Champagne because it’s a pleonasm. Champagne par définition (by meaning) can only be French right!

Whatever the sparkling, we want to call it Champagne. It’s a worldwide reference and everyone loves Champagne. It’s a luxury product that makes us dream.

01A Jacquart Gamma

What was your first experience in Champagne?

I had no idea at all about Champagne. I grew up in Bordeaux, in Charente, a region more focussed on red wine than Champagne. I couldn’t tell the difference between different Champagnes, but I learnt to love Champagne. I realised that it was a very diversified world. 

I studied, I spent two seasons in the South-West of France in the Ducs of Gascogne (Gers region) to learn vinification. It was totally different. 

I really wanted to work in Champagne so I applied to very international maisons (houses). I found an oenologist job at Veuve Clicquot and worked there for 4 years from 2006 to 2010. I was in a big team. Clicquot is a wonderful school to learn from but on the other hand it was very strict and boring, everything was codified and we had to follow historical rules. Later, I had the opportunity to start in the role of oenologist in 2011 at Jacquart that was at the time a young brand, not very well-known. I started at Jacquart without any knowledge of the house, I only knew the general manager who had also been at Clicquot before. There was everything to develop.

So it was a new challenge for you to express your creativity?

Oui because in fact it was young house turned toward the future, a concept different from Clicquot that was turned toward its history.

 

I had carte blanche to create all the prestigious cuvées. It’s a chance that you don’t often get in Champagne because once again it’s usually highly codified, it has a very traditional spirit, we have to pay tribute to a vineyard or a person so we follow rules.

Then my boss asked me to introduce him a project and realise it.

How was the beginning at Jacquart?

The first year, I got to know my team because of course I was not alone. We have 3 cellars and each cellar has its chef de cave (winemaker). I coordinate these 3 winemakers to create a homogeneous wine which is our brut Mosaique, the standard bearer of the brand. My mission was also to improve it, to enrich it.

I got to know my 3 colleagues well and vice versa, so that we could speak the same language during the tasting.

So the first year it’s more about listening, observation, and soaking up the style because I went from a very Pinot Noir house to a very Chardonnay house, an opposition of style. I needed time to adapt.

The second year, I introduced projects and it worked. I totally trust my hierarchy. My colleagues and I have 4 different personalities, but we appreciate each other, we get along very well.

Are you the only woman?

I am the only woman, the youngest person of the team. I never had a sexist remark. We all love each other. Behind the closed door of the tasting room, we talk, we change the world, and we speak about different topics. Each end of session of assemblage (collection) – usually March, April, May, it depends on the year – I’m pleased because we finished with the cuvée de prestige (prestigious cuvee) to realise that we are doing better every year and it’s a good feeling.

That’s interesting that you say you never had a sexist remark because I imagine the Champagne industry a world of men. Right?

The Champagne industry is more and more open to women but that’s true it’s still very dominated by men.

Did you ever feel difficulties because you were a woman?

Overall yes. I was in the Gers, you may think it’s a region that’s a bit tougher or ruder but at the end of the day, it was easier over there than in Champagne. In Champagne it’s a closed industry even if it’s starting to slowly become more open. Even though women had more the tendency to drink Champagne, until now the oenologist women were more in analysis laboratories, marketing and communication but not really in assemblage. There are only a few women winemakers in Champagne.

However, there are more and more women wine growers who are taking over family exploitations which is good however as winemakers of a house making more than 1 million of bottles, there are not many. Today we are only 4 or 5 women.

In the future, there will be more because today 80% of students in oenology are women.

Why is there this fad for Champagne for women?

There was always a fad for Champagne for women. There always was a strong connection between women and Champagne. The development of the Champagne we know today happened thanks to women. 250 years ago, it was reserved for an elite, from the European nobility to Russian tsars. But it was the women, the mistresses who were consuming it. With the explosive cork and its bubbles, it was a fun and festive wine, it was not very serious not as serious as non-sparkling wines that men were drinking. The women loved it and for example Don Juan or Casanova loved to buy it to seduce women.

Also there were a lot of wars. Unfortunately the region of Champagne was very close to the wars with Germany during the First and Second Wars so women needed to continue to make wine. At this time, there was sadly a lot of veuves (widows). After once the wars finished, the men came back. 

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What are the main qualities of a good Champagne for you?

We have to get frank wines. After that it depends on the style of the house. At Jacquart, the idea is to highlight the Chardonnay by using black cépage (grapes) which are the Pinot Noir and le Meunier (a very Champennoy grapes) to bring elegance, finesse.

I want the Champagne to be very straight up, clean, this evokes the freshness and also recalls the Chardonnay that is very clean in the mouth. We have to imagine 3 dimensions in our mouth: the height, the length and the width, the volume. The Chardonnay is going to take two dimensions: the length and the height, the aerial side of wine that is going to stick a bit longer on the palate due to the mineral style. Other important points are the finesse of aromas and the finesse of bubbles so it’s a finesse of texture. 

I’m more interested in working on the finesse of wine than the aromas.

The wine of Champagne is a bit like Whiskey or Cognac, we taste a style of product that we love and we always want to be the same because we connect with a brand, a universe or a specific style. For this we are going to use wines from young millesime (year) which are going to age longer in the cellar. We are also going to work more on the texture of bubbles, more we are going to age the wine, the more it becomes complex the more we get fine air bubbles. 

Are you telling me that you can almost guess a Champagne just by watching the bubbles?

Yes however you have to be cautious because often we judge the bubbles in the mouth. Actually, the bubbles have to be aesthetic but often the bubbles are pretty fine for a Champagne from a quite rich assemblage. We are going to use between 80 and 120 different cru at Jacquard to give some richness. According to the cru, the terroir (local product), the Champagne is also different. We speak about Champagne chalk cellars and this is what makes a sparkling wine different.

What we are looking for with the bubbles is to be aesthetic in a glass without exploding in the mouth. We want to give it just a light additional feeling of freshness or creaminess. We are especially going to judge the effervescence: velvety, silky, creamy, ample or fine, etc.

Do you remember your first glass of Champagne?

I was 5 years-old (giggles). I was thinking you would have told me 10 or 12 years-old. No no I was 5 and I finished all the glasses of Champagne when my parents had people at home for entertaining.

Champagne is what kids love, it’s sweet, and bubbly. 

Can you see a difference in the consumption of Champagne between France and Australia?

Globally we do not consume enough Champagne in France or in Australia but we do consume more in France because there is always an occasion to celebrate: when you go to visit friends, it’s easy to bring a bottle of Champagne.

It’s true that it’s very symbolic for us, it’s connected to parties, special moments.

Oui, it’s a moment that we want to be special and we have a lot of moments like this (a reunion, a good day, professional success…). It’s a positive wine with a party-atmosphere, happiness. When we don’t feel good, we drink a glass of Champagne and we feel better so it’s rare because there are not a lot of wines that have this positive aspect.

The Champagne market in Australia is huge but 20 years ago we didn’t speak about Australia, in the Champagne industry Australia didn’t exist. There was only an elite that drank Champagne. Today, Australia is the 5th market export country for Champagne. But it’s dominated by few brands. Now, Australia is open to new brands but doesn’t yet have the right Champagne education because this happened very quickly over 10 years.

I have seen Australians drink Champagne for breakfast, well we do not this in France. Not yet, but it may happen because we brunch more and more often in France.

The difference is more about the way we are going to appreciate Champagne.

What would you like to say to Australians drinking Champagne?

With Champagne you have to be curious, you can’t only focus on one brand just because it’s reassuring like Moët or Clicquot (because you have seen it everywhere) It’s a bit sad. Champagne is a wine and with a huge diversity. Otherwise it’s like you’re saying Shiraz is the same everywhere in Australia.

What do we need to know when we drink Champagne?

Often I hear Australians saying “true Champagne” or “French Champagne” and when I hear this I understand that we really have to explain everything from the beginning 

Champagne is strict rules, it’s a lot of patience. When you taste it it’s the past but at the same time the future which means when we create it, it’s in the future but the wine is 4.5 years old. Plus in Australia it’s hot and you drink it cold sometimes too cold. The best temperature is between 8 and 12 degrees.

Jacquart in one word?

Contemporary.

Actually it’s a young brand with a contemporary style of wine: very Chardonnay, more modern.

Champagne Jacquart Coffret duo St Valentin1 Champagne Duo St Valentin

Previously you told me that as a child, you dreamt about Australia, when did you first visit Australia?

In 2013.

Why did it take you so long to come?

Good question. I travelled a lot but maybe I was waiting for the right opportunity.

Merci beaucoup Floriane for sharing with my readers and me your love for Champagne. It was absolutely fascinating and interesting to hear you speak about your passion. Of course, after this interview it was time to celebrate and open a bottle of Champagne Jacquart.

Visit the website Jacquart:

www.champagne-jacquart.com

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