When I open a bottle of wine, it is usually to share with friends, family, customers or business partners (some of whom are also friends!). Ultimately, when I open a bottle of wine, I like to share the moment. Fine wine is all about a pleasurable experience with people important to you; whether it is to please your beloved one or to share something of yourself – your own tastes: likes, dislikes and passions.
You are already aware, I am sure, that how good a wine tastes depends on the situation: the location, the time and, of course, the people you’re drinking with. Last summer, for example, I loved a fresh and simple Viño Verde on this amazing beach with my wife in the south of Lisbon. But, here, in Bordeaux, in November, it doesn’t taste the same at all. It has nothing to do with the quality, just a question of situation.
In addition, when I open a bottle of wine, I hope everybody will like it; but I’m not sure. Even when I’m enjoying the exquisite privilege of opening an Yquem, for example, (it happens!!), I know some might not like it. And the best thing is, they are right. Everybody has their own tastes and we cannot say anything against it. I cannot force anyone to appreciate Yquem as I do; I cannot force anybody to prefer Latour rather than Lafite, as I do. And I find this is better this way. I love to debate on all these different and personal tastes; it makes our dinners much more fun. This is what I call the ‘Right to Choose’.
In Bordeaux we are lucky enough to play with Reds, Whites, Rosés, Sparklings and Sweets and more than 50 AOC!! This is what we call Diversity. And here in France, we particularly love diversity, in every way. In France, we love all these wines, because we have been producing them for centuries or even millennia. We love food because we produce and create great food. Here, in France, we know how important it is to take time to share a moment with friends, having nice dishes, opening fine bottles. Yes, here, in France, we are happy to please the ones we love.
And yet suddenly, in France, in Paris, some people who hate Humanity decided this simple way of living was not good for them; why not! If they’re stupid enough not to understand the benefit of it, just too bad. But why kill for it? We just accept all differences here. We are able to understand without judging. Or was it jealousy maybe?! Because they are not able to think by themselves, to choose by themselves.
That is why I will always open amazing bottles with friends; I will always listen to their comments, and if we do not agree, even better, then open another one to be sure! I will always try to promote Yquem and its marvellous aromas and colours. I will always explain why I find Latour is straight, always, and why Lafite is weak, sometimes. I will always try to make you believe in hidden St. Emilion rather than the big names. I will be more than happy if I’m convincing you of course. But the good thing is, if not, be sure I’ll be happy too, then we can start to discuss, and I can’t wait to hear your arguments. Because like me, all of you have the Right to Choose. And that’s the best of it.
That’s why I love so much opening nice bottles: to express this beloved Diversity. That’s why I love so much sharing those moments: to defend this precious Freedom. I have the right to choose by myself, many died to leave me this gift in legacy. And I know I’m able to enjoy this Freedom because I’m French. Believe me, that won’t change.