Don't listen to me, I have bad taste!

bild(2)This passed Thursday I was invited to be in a tasting-panel, for one of Sweden's best wine magazines. Seeing it as a huge honour, I of course agreed with joy! The panel were to taste about 80 different champagnes and pick out five favourites in the categories standard, vintage, prestige and rosé.  Not and easy task, and it took about five hours even though I tried not to be unnecessarily slow. :-) bild(1)We had a great time (of course!) and as a "thank you"-present I got Richard Juhlin's newest champagne book, En doft av champagne (A scent of champagne). For those of you that don't know Richard, I can just say that he is considered to be the worlds best champagne expert, and he has an incredible sense of smell as well as a photographic memory.  In Paris 2003 he identified 43 champagnes out of 50 in a blind tasting, while his closest competitor managed 4. So yes, he is that good, there is no denying it. 

Last night when I went to bed after we had been sitting writing on the new cava book, I had a look through Richard's beautiful book and read some passages that I want to share with you since you might like or even love cava just like I do...

Since the book is written in Swedish, I have taken the liberty of writing the passages in Swedish as well of my own translation into English.

From the preface/forword: "Ju längre man lever, desto färre sanningar verkar det finnas, men en sak vet jag alldeles säkert efter att ha avverkat alla dessa champagner - livet är aldeles för kort för att dricka spansk cava!" "The longer one lives, the fewer absolute truths there seems to be, but one thing I know to be absolutely true after covering all these champagnes - life is way too short to drink Spanish cava!"

Maybe I have a very long life so I have time to spare ;-)

From " gentleman in Champagne" written by Eduard Cointreau: "Med denna enorma talang kommer även sen stor lyhördhet för andras känslor, vilket ofta är fallet med hyperbegåvade människor. Richard har en sällsam förmåga att känna och förstå andra människors personlighet och djupare och innre lager. Dessvärre för det också med sig att han kan bli djupt sårad." "With this immense talent also comes a great sensitivity to the feelings of others, which is often the case with hyper-talanted people Richard has a rare ability to feel and understand other people's personalities and deeper layers. Unfortunately this also brings the fact that he can be deeply hurt."

...Unlike the rest of us that can not understand the feelings of others or take offence when someone talks ill about something we love... Luckily I don't get deeply hurt because I lack that social register of feelings.... ;-)

From "Bra och dålig smak/Good and bad taste"

"Det är alltid väldigt bekvämt att hänvisa till personliga intryck och individnivå när man inte har tillräcklig kunskap kring hur saker och ting faktiskt förhåller sig. De flesta av oss använder oblygt värdeladdade ord som bättre och sämre när det gäller saker vi ser och hör, men när det kommer till doft och smak verkar det vara helt okej att framhärda att man gillar lågkvalitetsprodukter. Det är självklart att man skall var ärlig med sin smak och stå för om man föredrar syntetisk hallonarom istället för färska hallon, eller cava framför champagne, hur sorgligt det än är."

"It is always very convenient to refer to personal impressions and individual level when you do not have sufficient knowledge of how things actually are. Most of us use unashamedly emotive words like good and bad when it comes to things we see and hear, but when it comes to flavour, it seems okay to insists on liking low quality products. Of course we should all be honest with our taste and admit if we prefer synthetic raspberry flavouring instead of fresh raspberries, or cava in favour of champagne, how sad that might even be."

Ok, so if I like products within the classification champagne, cava, asti, prosecco and cap classique, but choose to see them as different products with different heritage and purpose, am I still an uneducated, untalented buffoon then...? ... I guess so...

From the preface/forword:

"Jag vill betona att jag inte på något sätt känner mig förmer för att jag har begåvats med ett fotografiskt doftminne, utan är ödmjukt lycklig över att ha tilldelats en sådan gåva, med vilken jag i första hand kan skänka mig själv och andra kunskap och njutning."

"I want to stress that I in no way fell superiour because I have been blessed with a photographic sent memory, but is humbly happy to be awarded such a gift with which I primarily can give myself and others knowledge and enjoyment."

I am sorry all readers for leading you astray, making you think that cava is good. I'm so very sorry! :-)

I will... ...never tell you that what you like is wrong, as long as you like it. ...never judge you based on what you eat or drink, only on your strength to stand up for what you like.  ....NEVER feel ashamed for loving cava! ...continue to work against prejudice, so we all can feel free and secure in liking what we want. ...never put points on things I drink! Seriously... why is my opinion more important than yours, even if I would become famous?

Now I will share a bottle of Mestres with my beloved Andréas, while we continue to write about our friends in Catalonia that produces the sparkling wine they call cava. I hope they lack the fantastic sensitive skill that Richard possesses, so they don't take his comments personally...

CHEERS dear cava and champagne lovers!