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Champagne is a drink that traditionally claims to be aristocratic. We offer five films where this wonderful drink plays an important role.
Champagne is a wine with a good pedigree. He even has an official birthday: August 4, when the whole world celebrates Champagne Day. On this day in 1668, the French Benedictine monk Pierre Perignon (1638-1715) created a special “effervescent” wine, and this date is recorded in the documents of the Otvillers Abbey, which is located in the center of Champagne, 150 km from Paris. Perignon created a drink never seen before – a light sparkling wine in which bubbles rose from the bottom of the vessel with silvery threads.
Focus presents five films where champagne is like one of the heroes.
How champagne was invented
Objections are often heard about the invention of Pierre Perignon: after all, sparkling wine was before him, just a monk from Champagne improved its production. In fact, everything was both more complicated and easier. Due to the northern climate of Champagne, the fermentation of wine stopped in winter, and with the onset of spring heat, the process resumed too abruptly and the gas could break the barrel, knock out the cork and the wine was smelt.
At first, Pérignon also struggled with bubbles. But one day he asked himself the question: “Why am I doing this?” Its trick is that Perignon decided not to perceive the gas content of wine as a drawback, but, on the contrary, to consider it a “festive” dignity of the drink – this is a classic example of a shifter.
History has recorded the phrase “venerable” (as translated Dom) Perignon: “Hurry up here, I'm drinking stars!”.
And so that sparkling wine does not spoil the barrels, Dom Perignon suggested bottling it immediately – the glass was strong enough. And things went. Moreover, unlike the locals, the British were the first to appreciate the drink – where champagne went for import. Well, then we tried everything. And today, “Dom Perignon” – the legendary brand of French champagne.
We offer five films where this wonderful drink plays an important role.
“The Adventures of Captain Vrungel” (1979): a Slavic dream
In the legendary cartoon directed by David Cherkassky, created in 1979 at the Kievnauchfilm studio, Captain Vrungel won the international regatta with the help of champagne. The Slavic dream is literally embodied here: how to combine drinking and victory.
At the final stage of the regatta, when the “Trouble” was losing to the Black Cuttlefish yacht, Vrungel ordered to get a case of champagne and open bottle after bottle. As a result of the jet impulse received from the jets of champagne, the yacht “Trouble” rushed forward and arrived first at its destination. The authors combined celebration and competition, chic and excitement.
The Diamond Arm (1969): aristocrats and degenerates
In the cult Soviet adventurous comedy “The Diamond Hand” by Leonid Gaidai, the hero Gesha (Andrey Mironov) wakes up with a hangover and tries to fight it by swallowing the remnants of champagne from a bottle, but the mechanic Lelik (Anatoly Papanov) takes the bottle from him, saying the legendary phrase: “Champagne only aristocrats or degenerates drink in the morning.” Lelik also takes a sip of wine, classifying himself, apparently, among the aristocrats, but then “degenerately”, like cologne, smears the back of his head with champagne. Need for inventions is cunning!
“Chasing two hares” (1961): raise the temperature
In the Soviet Ukrainian classic – the film “Chasing Two Hares”, which was shot by director Viktor Ivanov at the Dovzhenko studio, there is a famous scene – also from the series “aristocrats and degenerates”.
Pronya Prokopovna Sirko (Margarita Krinitsyna) wants to produce on the groom-hairdresser Svirid Petrovich Golokhvastov (Oleg Borisov), a well-known impression of an aristocratic character, therefore, he shouts to the servants: “Khimka, nakad in the hut, otherwise it stinks of vodka. And warm up the champagne!”.
Of course, sometimes wine (like cognac) is really warmed up in order to better feel its bouquet (or they can make hot wine – mulled wine), but sparkling wine is cooled, due to its “gas content”.
” Is that wine to be served already? For I have already warmed it, warmed it!” Khimka asks. Of course, at the crucial moment, a heated bottle of champagne explodes.
In the film “Goldfinger” (1964), Bond prefers the classics. Champagne “Dom Perignon” as a drink of seduction
In addition to martinis, agent 007 James Bond absorbs a lot of drinks: from whiskey to cognac. And even makes cocktails (famous: “shake, but do not mix!”). But again, to emphasize his aristocracy, he regularly sips Dom Perignon champagne, saying in one of the paintings: “Personally, I prefer the 1953 vintage.”
In the film Goldfinger, James Bohn (Sean Connery), seducing the girl, he takes out a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne from an ice bucket next to the bed: unlike Pronya Prokopovna, he knows the peculiarities of its consumption.
“Four Rooms” (1995): Tarantino and Damn Good Champagne
The expressive black comedy “Four Rooms” (1995) from four directors (Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez, Allison Anders, Alexander Rockwell) collects stories, united by location, time and the main character – the porter Ted (Tim Roth).
In the final episode, filmed by Tarantino “Penthouse – a man from Hollywood”, the famous champagne “Crystal” from the prestigious cuvée house Louis Roederer appears.
What is his prestige? Cristal was first created in 1876 for Emperor Alexander II of Russia – this is the first prestigious cuvée (French prestige cuvée). The tsar was afraid of assassination attempts by the revolutionaries. He ordered that the bottles of champagne for his “Dinner of the Three Emperors” banquet be made transparent so that the bubbles and golden color could be enjoyed, and the bottom made flat to prevent the possibility of hiding an explosive device. What ultimately did not help – the emperor was killed anyway.
Until 1945, “Crystal” was not for sale. And in the mid-1990s-2000s, this brand of champagne became associated with American rap and hip-hop culture. The drink has become part of the image of some artists, “Crissy” was mentioned in the texts of Raekwon, 50 Cent, Big Karlage, Biggie Smalls, Puff Daddy, Big L, Hollywood Undead, Yung Lean and Jay-Z. That is why Tarantino refers to it in the film as the “best” champagne.
So, the hero of the fourth film novel, Chester Rush – played by Quentin Tarantino himself – constantly leans on sparkling wine, not forgetting to mention that this is not just expensive champagne , and “Crystal”! He forces one of the guests to drink champagne twice: “You never drank champagne if you didn't drink Crystal! It's damn good champagne. Everything else is urine!”
Yes, those who don't take risks don't drink champagne, but this is not about Tarantino's characters. Chester Rush in the film makes a bet with his friend Norman: he puts his little finger against Chester's car that he can light a Zippo lighter 10 times in a row without misfires. The role of “executioner” for one thousand dollars is offered by the porter. The lighter misfires on the first try, Ted cuts off poor Norman's finger, and Chester Rush, the indefatigable Cristal champagne drinker, wins the bet. An ice bucket to cool the champagne is now needed for a finger to deliver to the surgeon and sew into place.