Champagne Reading

Happy Bastille Day! Like all Francophiles, Adelaideans are using Saturday 14th July as an excuse to celebrate everything French. Whether  you’re going to Le Bistrot or Le Matin Calme, eating macarons or crème caramel, drinking champagne or cognac: enjoy 14 juillet! Most of my friends are watching the Tour de France and a group of us are making sure that we read our favourite French novels this weekend.

Another way of celebrating is to do some Champagne Reading. A gorgeous new book called Great, Grand & Famous Champagnes: behind the bubbles was published late last year. It’s beautifully-illustrated with pictures of Champagne-Ardenne, and photographs of happy champagne drinkers, everyone from Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart (in Casablanca) to Salvador Dali. There are lavish reproductions of European paintings, lovely Belle Époque advertisements and ‘champagne on the screen’, from Sean Connery’s 007 (sparkling wine was de rigueur for seduction 1960s’ style) to Eddy and Patsy knocking back the Bolly.

To quote Bette Davis:

There are times in a woman’s life when the only thing that helps is a glass of champagne.


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One response to “Champagne Reading

  1. OED Online Word of The Day

    Your word for today is: Quatorze Juillet, n.

    Quatorze Juillet, n.
    Pronunciation: Brit. /kəˈtɔːz ʒwiːˈeɪ/,  U.S. /kəˈtɔ(ə)rz ʒwiˈeɪ/
    Forms: also with lower-case initial(s).
    Etymology: <  French Quatorze Juillet (1865 in this sense), lit. ‘fourteenth of July’ <  quatorze (see quatorze n.) + juillet July (1213 in Old French), alteration of juignet July (1119; <  juin June n. + -et -et suffix1), after juil July n.
    Not fully naturalized in English.

    O.E.D. Suppl. (1982) gives the non-naturalized pronunciation (katǫrz ʒwiyę) /katɔrz ʒwijɛ/.
      The anniversary of the storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789, celebrated as a national holiday in France; Bastille Day.
    1899 Overland Monthly July 86/2 Here was somebody to converse with in French—no, better yet, in Provençal. And then it was the ‘Quatorze Juillet’.
    1951  R. Senhouse tr.  Colette Last of Chéri 196 One day, not long before the Quatorze Juillet, Charlotte Peloux was lunching with them.
    1966  H. W. Yoxall Fashion of Life xxiv. 233 A firework display.far more lavish than anything I'd seen in Paris on the Quatorze Juillet.
    1977  E. Ambler Send no more Roses x. 214 We had eaten that the servants could get off early to their local Quatorze juillet fête.
    1991  J. Richardson Life of Picasso I. xxi. 336 Palau thinks this happened around Christmas 1904. But the summer is also likely; possibly around the quatorze juillet.

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