What about sharing a bottle of Champagne with God

interview with Isabelle Mathieu – Jacob from Champagne Serge Mathieu specially for Modernists // CHAMPAGNE LADIES series

Isabelle Jacob comes from a champagne grower family, trying on her Father’s shoes and it seems – fitting well in them. She now runs the family business with her husband Michel, who is responsible for the vineyards, while Isabelle is the person behind every label…she’s the storyteller of Champagne Serge Mathieu.

What is your family history?

The Mathieu’s family has always been involved in the vineyards, we have here some notary documents confirming that my ancestors bought some plots during the 18th century, unfortunately no older documents are available.

Have women always been part of the champagne business in your family?

As for us this is a family thing, all women are now part of the champagne business. To be more precise – we have been in the vineyards since Champagne Serge Mathieu was created in 1970’s and are doing also the administration part.

How the woman’s role has changed during the years?

To be honest – the role has changed because the business has changed. Women used to be in the vineyards like men, but when my father launched his own champagne brand, my mother had to do the administrative and commercial tasks.

What is your position in the whole process of champagne production (from vineyard to bottle)?

I am not a “technical” element in our business. My duties are connected with commercial tasks (marketing, communication, labels , sales ), meanwhile, my husband Michel is responsible for all what happens in the vineyards as well as in the cellars.

What is your first memory of champagne? First sip?

As you may imagine, champagne here is quite a “usual” drink. I do not remember exactly when I had my first sip of champagne, but I guess it should have happened during Christmas time… as a child I might have tried a very little sip!

However, I still remember the taste of the juice my father let me try at the press during the harvest!

Can you study to become a champagne maker or is it a matter of heritage?

I am not a champagne maker myself. I studied commercial languages at the University of Dijon. When I was younger, I did not have in my plans to come back and work with my father. But…

How important is the appearance/design of the lable for you?  

In my opinion the most important thing about a label is to represent the champagne in the best way possible, because when the bottle is in the store or on the table of the customer, it has to speak for itself. It’s the first impression and the competition is becoming harder every year.

At Champagne Serge Mathieu we use the old signature of one of my ancestors for our labels. It is a real family heritage not a logo created by a talented communication agency! But I must confess that our labels are not so successful when it comes to social media and virtual world, because it is not so readable, no bold graphics, but you know – my ancestors did not take it in consideration.

Describe your champagne in 3 words.

I would say our champagnes are a combination of simplicity, freshness and elegance.

What is your favorite champagne from Champagne Serge Mathieu?

A quite recent one. The Extra Brut and the Rosé.

And from other maison?  

I enjoy the Billecart , Bollinger and Ayala Champagnes.

3 places you would recommend to visit in Champagne?

We are in the Côte des Bar, so I would advise to make a first stop in Troyes, where the historical center is located. There are really lovely hotels and guests houses. We are also close to les Riceys – the village is typical and tourism develops now. There will soon be a new tasting spot, located in an old, magnificent house, which used to be the viticultural school.  

Apart from this, I would really recommend to take time to go around the vineyards. The region is really attractive in spring, summer and beginning of autumn, when the hillsides and all the landscape have lovely colors.

Is there a shop/bar/restaurant you would like your champagne to be served?  

Since we export most of our production (90 %) in different 33 countries , I guess some of our bottles are actually served in lovely places all over the world. The most important is that people who drink our champagnes sincerely enjoy them. It may be a very simple place with good friends sharing time together …it may also be a fashion bar or well-known restaurant. It doesn’t  matter – the point is that people enjoy and associate our champagne with the good times they have.

If champagne had a gender – would it be male or female?

It’s a difficult choice. It really depends on the type of champagne. Elegance and finesse used to be female adjectives, but now it is no longer the case. Some champagnes are full-bodied and make us think of male characteristics…the evolution of our society as well as the numerous different types of champagne make the answer to this question very difficult.

Is champagne a drink of the kings?

Of the kings I don’t know, but I’m sure that champagne is a drink of happiness.

If you could give a bottle of champagne to a world famous historical/nowadays person – who would it be and why?

What about sharing a bottle of Champagne with God?!

Future of champagne. What do you think will change in the next 30 years?

I am not positive regarding the coming years. I’m afraid there will be less and less independent growers, because there is one huge actor in Champagne ( Möet & Chandon ) and the fear is that only few independents will remain.

What would be life without champagne for you?

Champagne symbolizes joy,  and I’m really happy to do that job since every champagne bottle sold means that someone somewhere celebrates something.  A life without champagne would be hopeless.

Suggest champagne for a Wedding party and for a New Year’s Eve?  

For a summer wedding party let’s imagine a light Rosé Champagne & for the New Year’s Eve have a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir (our cuvee Prestige) to match the festive atmosphere!

Mix a quick champagne cocktail. Ingredients:

As a champagne maker , we are not really fans of champagne cocktails, but it might be interesting to try a new trend with flowers and plants. The taste of terroir is important for us.

Champagne goes best together with… people we love.

Photos: from personal archives of Isabelle Mathieu-Jacob

The magical drop of champagne

Imagine a weekend morning…just before opening your eyes an idea of a sparkling glass of champagne pops on your mind. Without a feeling of guilt, specially in this holiday season – you should know that CHAMPAGNE IS GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH… and it is an anytime drink!

Champagne is a mood booster

Why? Well, because champagne is a drink of celebration, but it also is a chill “pill” that contains zinc, magnesium and potassium.

Champagne has little calories

Fewer calories is a good news, isn’t it?! Especially during the holiday season, when there are plenty of gatherings with family, friends and colleagues, where great quantities of snacks and delicious foods are served. So instead of a glass of red or white wine (120 calories), champagne is just 80 calories!

Champagne moves your body, ehm increases your sex drive

We all know that alcohol gives us extra self-esteem, plus I’ve read that it widers the eye pupil, which somehow happens to attract the opposite sex. Huh?! According to Kate Lough most alcoholic drinks will give you a momentary buzz, but then leave you with little energy and the lack of blood flow you need for arousal. Champagne, on the other hand, allows you to feel its effects much quicker without sapping your energy.

Champagne improves your heart health

Like red and white wine, champagne can be good for your heart. Made from both – white and red grapes, it contains the same antioxidants which prevent damage to your blood vessels, reduce bad cholesterol and prevent blood clots. But, of course – don’t exaggerate.

Champagne can prevent dementia

According to a research by scientists from Pittsburgh university, drinking a glass or two of champagne help prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Academics added, that people who regularly drink champagne up to three times a week, could also boost their spatial memory. The magical compound that improves your memory was found in Pinot Meunier and Pinot Noir grapes.

Champagne can lower a risk of diabetes

A 2009 study in Canada showed that all wines, including champagne, can lower your risk of contracting diabetes by 13%.

 

Sezonas dzēriens: Šampanietis

Lai gan mēs ticam, ka šampanietis ir dzēriens, ko baudīt visu cauru gadu, “nozvanot” svētku sajūtai, apmeklējot darba ballītes, tiekoties ar radiem Ziemassvētku vakarā un sagaidot jauno gadu, šampanietis ir un paliek nr.1 dzēriens!

Tas saistīts ar īpašajām svētku sajūtām, ko rada šampanieša korķis izšaujoties gaisā un dzēriena radītie daudzie burbulīši, kas viegli sitas degunā un aptver ar saviem aromātiem.

Pierasts šampanieti dzert kā aperitīvu, bet tas var būt arī lielisks “pavadonis” vakariņu laikā vai pat desertvīna vietā izvēloties saldo demi-sec.

Būtiski atcerēties, ka šampanietis ir dzēriens, kas nāk no Francijas vīna reģiona Šampaņas, bet visi pārējie ir vien dzirkstošie vīni, kas, protams, nav peļami,bet nav šampanieši. Ja ar šampanieti esat uz Jūs, tad gada noslēgums, ir labākais laiks, kad sākt to svinīgi iepazīt!

Mainoties laikiem, mainās arī šampanieša dzeršanas kultūra un etiķete. Te minēsim dažas būtiskākās nianses, ko ņemt vērā gatavojoties laikam, kad dzirkstošais līst mazliet vairāk un biežāk, nekā jebkurā citā gadalaikā..

Kādas glāzes izvēlēties? Saki nē flautām!

Daudzi no mums pieraduši dzert šampanieti no flautiņām vai kausveidīgām glāzēm, tomēr pēdējos gados, gan paši vīndari, gan eksperti, gan rūdītākie šampanieša vēstneši par piemērotāko glāzi atzinuši universālo baltvīna glāzi. Tas saistīts ar to, ka baudot šampanieti no flautas vai kausveida glāzes, aromāti izpaliek, bet kā zināms, garšu veido tieši dzēriena aromāti, kas uzsilstot glāzē kļūst tikai izteiksmīgāki.

Magnums

Ierastās 750ml pudeles vietā izvēlaties magnum. Pirmkārt tas izcili saglabājis garšas īpašības, otrkārt – iespaidīgs iznāciens, jo pret šo pudeles izmēru viesi nekad nepaliek vienaldzīgi!

Rose

Varbūt pienācis laiks pamēģināt ko neierastāku, izvēloties baudīt rose šampanieti, kas pēc savām garšu īpašībām var būt gan  svaigs un viegls, gan gastronomiski bagātīgs. Arī eksporta rādītāji tieši šim šampanietim pēdējos gados palielinājušies, kas tikai apstiprina šampanieša augošo popularitāti.

Baudi kopā ar maltīti

Šampanietis ir izcils aperitīvs, jo rada īpaši svinīgu sajūtu ierodoties uz svinībām, tas liek atraisīties pirmajām sarunām un burtiski paceļ dažus centimetrus virs zemes. Tomēr šamapnietis ir arī izcila maltītes sastāvdaļa.

Piemēram, Chardonnay bāzētie saderēs ar svētku brokastīm, kur pasniegsiet omletes, pankūkas, ceptas siermaizītes. Vecāku ražas gadu šamapnieši, kas ir pilnmiesīgāki pasniedzami kopā ar ceptiem kartupeļiem un putnu gaļu. Rose un Pinot bāzētie, papildinās sieru plates vai zivs ēdienus.

Dārgākais ne vienmēr ir arī labākais

Kā atzīst Modernista īpašnieks, vīnzinis Mārtiņš Pīlēns, šampanieša piedzīvojumu nereti veido arī situācija un kompānija kādā to baudām. Ļoti labu šampanieti varam atrast arī par 30 eiro, bet 200 eiro vērta pudele, kuras saturu, piemēram, veido ilgi noturēts dzēriens – baudītājam, kurš nav eksperts var sagādāt vilšanos.

Temperatūra

Labākā temperatūra šampanietim ir robežās starp 8 un 9 grādiem, tādēļ pirms pasniegšanas glabājiet to zemākajā ledusskapja nodalījumā, vai ja nepieciešams atdzesēt dzērienu, tad izmantojiet ledus trauku, kurā iepildīts arī ūdens, lai vienmērīgi aptvertu pudeli. Nenoturiet to uz ledus pārāk ilgi!! Dzerot pārk aukstu šampanieti, neattīstīsies tā smaržu un attiecīgi garšu nianses. Citkārt pat var izrādīties, ka nesajūtat ja dzēriens ir korķēts.

Kā atvērt pudeli?

Vienmēr turiet īkšķi uz korķa. Metāla vītne nav jānoņem. Jāgroza pudele nevis korķis.

Sec un demi-sec

Noslēdziet maltīti ar saldāko no šampaniešiem, jo atšķirībā no desertvīniem, tā gāzētā struktūra piešķir saldajam desertam vai kūkai svaigumu.

Saskandināšana

Tā joprojām ir modē un rada svētku sajūtu. Priekā!

 

L’Officiel x Modernists SPECIAL CLUB

Last week we were happy to host a lovely breakfast – L’Officiel x Modernists SPECIAL CLUB. Why “special club”? Because L’Officiel Baltics have gathered the most cool IT girls from Latvia, who share their adventures, work, ideas writing for the online platform, curated by editor & fashion icon Liga Zemture. So, to celebrate we gave a short lecture on this subject connecting the idea of CHAMPAGNE (Special Club history) & FEMININITY. They are both so special, indeed.

Scroll for MORE via official L’Officiel page.

Photos: L’Officiel Baltics/Liga Zemture

gold medal CHAMPAGNE // champagne battle Vol.2

We are super excited to share our latest news: yesterday we hosted a great event – Champagne Battle Vol.2 SPRING SEASON. It turned out really fun and surprising for us and our dear guests/jury.

We had just one mission – to select CHAMPAGNE of spring 2018. No professional jury involved, just passionate champagne lovers/drinkers, so it’s a true public vote.

Modernists selected 8 great champagnes from our dear Champagne Maisons and served them blind:

SUENEN CHAMPAGNE / C+C

CHAMPAGNE PIERRE PAILLARD / les parcelles

CHAMPAGNE EMMANUEL BROCHET / les hauts chardonnays 2010

CHAMPAGNE J.M.GOULARD / la charme

CHAMPAGNE PERTOIS-MORISET / les quatre terroirs

CHAMPAGNE NOMINE-RENARD / special club 2011

CHAMPAGNE LAURENT BENARD / vibrato 2012

CHAMPAGNE CHARLES DUFOUR / la benjamine 2.0

where after 6 rounds we announced the winner —> CHAMPAGNE CHARLES DUFOUR won the GOLD MEDAL!!

There were no bad champagnes, sometimes the decisions where tough – almost a vote of 50/50, but at the end of the day – it was just a fair game, game of fun and a moment to enjoy!

 

ēst. runāt. smieties.

*eat. talk. laugh. it was an honour to host such a great seafood paradise event guided by ambassador of oysters in Latvia, Martins Reinis. We matched some great champagnes to it, so above all it was an evening to enjoy the company of guests and of course eat OUT.

MENU

Pikantā “Ķirzakzivs” uzkoda

“Vannamei” garneles ar Charles Dufour Benjamine 2.0 šampanieša/zelta aioli

Svilināts dzeltenspuru tuncis, austeru lapas, “wakame” aļģes, “stir-fry” fenhelis Āzijas notīs

Gliemeņu buljona kokospiena zupa ar “mikro” garnelēm, sniega zirņiem un saldā tunča skaidām

Svaigas austeres / Portugāle-Francija-Nīderlande / piedevās:

  1. gurķis+džins
  2. zemene +laims+timuta pipars
  3. “kaisles” auglis
  4. arbūzs
  5. roze

Atvēsinoša Indijas riekstu siera kūka ar mango un priežu čiekuru sīrupu, papildināts ar zelta rozīnēm, mandelēm, rabarberu.

 

#travelnotes visiting Jérôme Prévost house in the vineyards

There are a handful of wines in Champagne that have attracted a nearly cult-like following. One of the most sought-after of these is the meunier of Jérôme Prévost. Prévost established his La Closerie estate in 1987, when he inherited a parcel of vines from his grandmother, who had previously been renting out her vineyard rather than cultivating it herself.

Prévost makes only one wine, which, ignoring the aforementioned 20 ares of co-plantation, is always from a single variety (meunier), a single vineyard (Les Béguines) and a single vintage. Prévost’s two hectares of 40-year old meunier vines are all located within a single vineyard, Les Béguines, located in the village of Gueux. The winemaking is as natural as the vinegrowing.

During Le Printemps des Champagnes in April, we met in Epicerie au Bon Manger and were invited to his new winery/house, which turned out to be a great lunch, full of laughter, great design and minimalistic architecture…well it’s just 3 months since he moved in with his wife Agnes.

 

BALTIC WINE LIST AWARD

Modernists is very proud to hold the title “BEST PRESENTATION IN BALTIC COUNTRIES” + announced as TOP 3 by Baltic Wine List Award international jury. Modernists is the first champagne shop/bar in Baltics representing menu of boutique champagnes exclusively.

 

Baltic Wine List
Baltic Wine List
BALTIC WINE AWARD

Baltic Wine List Awards is created to discover and spotlight Baltic restaurants with good, great and extraordinary wine lists at a time when the appreciation for wine is becoming an integral part of Latvian, Estonian and Lithuanian cultures.

Photo : Baltc Wine Lists

 

Peter Liem visiting Modernists

World’s most notable author and Champagne expert Peter Liem (champagneguide.net) visited Modernists last week! We welcomed him at #houseofmodernists with conversations about… champagne of course and served  or own Modernists Champagne with number “003” aka third bottle ever made from 220 in total. What an honour!

Peter Liem

Peter Liem Modernists

Peter Liem Modernists

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Peter Liem Instagram

Thank you Riga Wine & Champagne for this great surprise!

 

 

 

Champagne Meets Art / Mārtiņš Pīlēns x Helēna Heinrihsone

On March 8th, in courtesy of Riga Wine & Champagne, four of Latvia’s most celebrated artists showcased their favorite champagnes, their art, and found the most appropriate dish for every champagne with the help of Latvia’s leading sommeliers and Biblioteka No 1 team.

Pairing for champagne ambassador Mārtiņš Pīlēns – mesmerising and color loving artist Helēna Heinrihsone. They met at her studio to discover champagnes, talk art and make conversations about everything between.

champagne meets art

champagne meets art

      

champagne meets art

champagne meets art

Apollonis (Michel Loriot) Les Sources du Flagot 2007 Blanc de Blancs and Laurent Benard Vendange 2010 were the two champagnes Helēna Heinrihsone loved the most and made a pairing to her artwork!

Riga Wine Champagne Modernists

Riga Wine Champagne ModernistsRiga Wine Champagne Modernists

Riga Wine Champagne Modernists

Riga Wine Champagne Modernists   Riga Wine Champagne Modernists  Riga Wine Champagne Modernists

Photo : Riga Wine & Champagne

Modernists CHAMPAGNE

Champagne served / private party for BEAUTY CLOUD

MODERNISTS Champagne

MODERNISTS Champagne

MODERNISTS Champagne

MODERNISTS Champagne

MODERNISTS Champagne

MODERNISTS Champagne

MODERNISTS Champagne

MODERNISTS Champagne

 

Champagne s’il vous plait! With Les Parcelles Bouzy Grand Cru and Apollonis Champagne Michel Loriot served by Mr. Martins Pilens, MODERNISTS welcomed beautiful ladies to celebrate grand opening for new magazine BEAUTY CLOUD.

MODERNISTS Champagne

MODERNISTS Champagne

MODERNISTS Champagne

MODERNISTS Champagne

MODERNISTS Champagne

Photos : Agnija Grigule

TRUST YOUR TASTE. PLAY THE GAME

Mārtiņdiena / TOP 7 Champagnes served by Mārtiņš Pīlēns

 

 

 

Champagne served / LAST DAY OF AUGUST

 

Yet another #houseofmodernists party! This time the last one of the summer season were two ladies, true fashion lovers Agnija and Bettie introduced everyone with their collection of embroidered t-shirts aka LAST DAY OF AUGUST. .. and we welcomed them and their guests with the very best of champagne!

 

PHOTO : Agnija Grigule

XIII Champagnes selected by Kaspars Gorkšs

 

Champagne served / Deep White family gathering

We do hold house parties, especially pleased if they are so elegant as latest for ad agency DEEP WHITE. Champagne was flowing and an entertaining lecture by Mr Martins Pilens satisfied every champagne lover…indeed!

Photo: deep white

Champagne time at Place 11

This week we celebrated opening of Place 11 – office building with a fantastic panoramic view of Riga. Champagne served and introduced by first champagne bar in Baltics Modernists aka Mr Martins Pilens. #letstalkoffice #modernistschampagne