Lines to Love: Pop The Cork!

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Every since I published my character sketch, Something’s Gotta Give, about Daphne Magnolia Augusta Bohanan, I’ve been thinking about something she said:

Never order beer when champagne is on the menu.

The line is quintessentially Daphne, and that’s why I love it. But, it betrays something that I also love. Whenever I think of champagne, it’s in celebration. It’s a heavenly libation, the ambrosia of the gods.

And while Cole Porter might declaim that he gets no kick from champagne, I must confess: I do. Proseccos are all well and good, but I prefer my champagne a tad more brutish. Derived from 14th Century French, brut means raw and rough. Where champagne is concerned, it means dry and unsweetened. But, whether your champagne of choice is sweet, fruity, dry, or extra dry, I’m certain you’ll enjoy today’s post: a collection of lines about champagne that should tickle your nose and leave you wanting just a little bit more.

And since F. Scott Fitzgerald, to whom champagne is almost eponymous, said, Too much of anything is bad, but too much champagne is just right, let’s begin:

While the Benedictine monk Dom Perignon did not invent champagne, he did perfect it in numerous ways- from fine tuning the method in which white wines are derived from black grapes to formulating the first corks and thickening the bottles so they didn’t explode from the wine’s carbonation. When Dom said these words, I like to think of him sitting in a wine cellar, perhaps a little bewitched and bewildered by the luminosity he’s just poured into his glass.

Tasting the stars. Isn’t that wonderful? The description seems so right. Here’s another one, this time from science fiction author, Aldous Huxley:


There’s that crisp and sharp tingling on my tastebuds that I adore so. But when it comes to likening champagne to tastes, I like Neil Gaiman’s conclusion:

It was love, I knew, and it tasted like champagne in my mind.

Love should taste like champagne. As a matter of fact, champagne, like love, has been a great motivator of men.

Where once Menelaus had only to galvanize the men of Greece to war with Troy byway of his wayward wife’s beguiling face- you remember, the one that launched a thousand ships, Winston Churchill invoked the bubbly to rally his men to war and arms during World War II:

And while that might seem like an odd juxtaposition, let us not forget that every naval ship is christened with a sacrificial bottle to bless the bow and abate King Neptune on his watery throne.

Military leaders, it would appear, have long held on to the importance of champagne. Even General Napoleon Bonaparte leaned on it:

I drink champagne when I win, to celebrate… and I drink champagne when I lose, to console myself.

This next one by the writer Roman Payne may be why champagne was Napoleon’s drink of choice. After all, excepting that egregious misjudgment with Russia, the man was a brilliant military tactician:

Wine give one ideas, whereas champagne gives one strategies.

When it comes to waxing poetic, I don’t think you can compete with David Levithan. In his book, The Lover’s Dictionary- which is a great read, by the by- he has an evocative and nostalgic description of champagne:

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One of my personal favorites comes from Terry Pratchett:

As a writer, I can attest to the veracity of this. As a matter of fact, as I sit here in my rather opulent dressing gown replete with feathers, I have a a crystal coupe in hand with Asti splashing around in the bowl. But, if my word isn’t enough, I know several other authors who will back me up. Chief amongst them, F. Scott Fitzgerald, whose name is almost synonymous with Moët & Chandon. He said:


And, because it’s Fitzgerald, and you can’t think of his seminal work, The Great Gatsby, without thirsting for champagne, I have to add this beatific quote from the novel:


While F. Scott’s work simply bubbles with this sort of effervescence, his contemporary and friend, Ernest Hemingway has a more candid way of approaching this libation. This next line from The Sun Also Rises captures the essence of Hemingway- direct, precise, and incapable of suffering fools:

This is a hell of a dull talk… How about some of that champagne?

Regardless whether or not you drink you champagne from a flute, a tulip, a coupe, or straight out of the bottle, Charles Dickens was bang on when he said:


And, of course, he’s right.

So, if you had to pour yourself a glass of champagne, what would it be? Are you an Asti Spumante sort of person? Or perhaps you prefer Brut, like me? Is Moët and Chandon the only way you’ll go, or does Verve Clicquot tickle your nose more? Or, are you into champagne cocktails? Let me know. I’d love to hear your champagne favorites.

I’ll leave you with a little musical interlude from Lerner and Loewe’s adaptation of Collette’s Gigi: The Night They Invented Champagne!