Champagne Savart + Apologies

Full disclosure: I’m pretty sure I know more about Champagne than I know about photography. But really that’s questionable because vintages are a thing. And climate is a thing. Both have an impact on Champagne. And only one has an impact on photography (unless I get real meta-which I am not). These things (and quite a few others) make Champagne, and wine in general a constantly evolving commodity. What is certain however, is that I know more about both Champagne and photography than I know about writing a blog. Sincerest apologies. 

The above nugget of self deprecation is why I find myself publishing this post about Champagne nearly a month after the turning of the New Year when it might have been more timely and appropriate. Apologies again friends. 

However, my tardiness totally illustrates the theme I’d like to highlight and that is: Champagne as a daily drinker. Because life is short. Champagne is delicious. And Trump is “president”. 

Let. Me. Break. It. Down. 

The Champagne I photographed for this…thing (post? entry? contribution? what is the correct term here?) is Champagne Savart “L’Accomplie”  NV. The shoot went something like this: 

  1. Invite thirsty friends to tiny West Village apartment completely devoid of natural light. 

  2. Set props and lights

  3. Realize cats have infested set. Wrangle cats away from set. Re-set set. Say “set” one more time. 

  4. Apologize to thirsty friends. Throw some tequila at that problem. 

  5. Make note about writing tequila blog in near future. 

  6. Get back the fuck on track. 

  7. Pop Champagne. PAUSE. Wine, especially Champagne like Savart, is crafted, from vine to bottle, in painstaking fashion by farmers and artisans that pour their lives and love into the process. Open it with some reverence, empathy and respect for the care that went into producing the wine in the bottle. Cut away the foil. Cover the cage with your thumb and turn the key to loosen it (6 times if you’re sober enough to count). Grasp the cage and cork with one hand and very slowly turn the bottle from the bottom. Let the CO2 in the bottle do the work of slowly pushing the cork free for you. Or saber it. 

  8. Pour it on your tits. JK. Or not. But like, pour it into something. Fake footnote: champagne coupes were modeled after Marie Antoinette’s…décolletage. So I’m not being totally inappropriate. However, I prefer a white wine glass. Better for tasting, smelling and not spilling and feels a bit more approachable and democratic than a flute. 

  9. Pair it with something cute (ie: oysters, caviar, fried chicken, Netflix, your mother-in-law). Champagne pairs beautifully with quite literally everything. One of many reasons why I feel justified in endorsing it as a daily drinker. 

  10. Share with thirsty friends. Or don’t. 

That last step is the most important. Wine is a living, breathing thing. Much like a human. So share that shit. Get social. Revel in it. Talk about it. Bitch about it. Drink about it. But also, don’t. Experience what it is to enjoy a bottle of champagne to yourself while you paint your toe nails and watch the 6th season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on Netflix (that shit was so real, I can’t believe I got through it as an angsty teener without a drink). Woah. Blogs are super autobiographical. 

I think the point that I’m making is that we are a society that chases hedonism. And we should. We all work super hard. And Champagne is one of the absolute perfect material manifestations of the indulgence we crave. This bottle of Savart retails for around $60. When you consider that your Kombucha from the bodega retails for $6 and that your Gucci mules retail for $600, Champagne is actually a super approachable way to uh, treat yo-self. It’s luxurious. And luxury feels fucking good. And tastes even better.


More details for the curious…    

Champagne Savart “L’Accomplie”  is a non-vintage Champagne produced by Frederic Savart in the tiny region of Ecueil. He sustainably farms an even tinier four hectares of vines. Upon first glance, the grassy soil where his vines grow may appear a bit unruly and untended compared to his neighbors. In reality, this is all quite deliberate. Savart uses no pesticides or herbicides which is one of the reasons his wines are championed for showcasing the terroir of the region with such integrity. It is important to mention that Champagne, for the most part, is not produced to be evocative of its site. Larger and more commercial makers of Champagne have historically downplayed the terroir of the region favoring instead consistency and approachability of flavor for the consumer palate. Not for Savart. Instead, terroir is of upmost importance. His goal is to produce a wine that is as true to the unique character of the grape, the vine, the soil, the climate, the vintage, in essence, the terroir, of his vines as possible. He goes so far as to source the new oak his wines are aged in from nearby forests to further emphasize this concept in his wines. When getting down to actually making the wine, he relies on this new oak to allow him to use as little sulfur as possible to stabilize the wine. He does not employ “battonage” or stirring of lees, instead allowing the wine to rest and take on the character of the yeast more organically and peacefully. Nothing about his process is about manipulating the wine to satisfy an aesthetic determined by the winemaker. Instead, Savart allows the vines, the grapes, the vintage and especially the terroir to take the lead and inform his decisions as farmer and winemaker. All of this care and thoughtfulness comes across beautifully in the bottle.  When I taste Savart, I find myself commenting on how incredibly “pretty” the wine is. It’s finessed and elegant; Refined but endlessly interesting. It strikes this almost impossible balance between being a wine that shows incredibly bright, sometimes racing acidity but that is also warm and comforting. It allows the drinker access to the luxury they seek, rewards you after a long day, but never alienates you.