How would you describe your first impression of Krug Champagnes?
I never imagined crafting Champagne could be so difficult and complex. This is the first sign of the high level of professionalism involved. It also happens in art. When you hear a performance, you don’t necessarily realize the hard work behind it. Krug Champagne reminds me of Martha Argerich, my favourite pianist. She plays the most difficult piano pieces in existence, but does it in such an effortless manner, as though anyone could play…. But it is not easy, far from it. Only a true master or genius could play like her. Much the same as Krug Champagne, the process is extremely complex, but when being shared, it is only about pleasure and beauty.
Can you describe the differences between the Krug Champagnes you have tasted?
I am not a professional, so it is hard for me to describe the different Krug Champagnes with the right words and precision – but I can feel them. Once I had explored the House of Krug and had the fascinating process of creating Krug Champagnes explained to me, I had the confidence to imagine their music and the ideal way to enjoy them with music I love. You don’t need to be a professional to appreciate a great piece of music or love a painting; in the same way with tasting Krug Champagnes, I can express through music, my feelings and instincts, what moves me and what I feel. The emotions, pleasure and feeling of enjoying Krug Champagne is a wonderful experience open to anyone…
Which Champagne did you enjoy the most?
Definitely the Krug Clos du Mesnil. From the first taste, I instantly felt a new emotion. When I heard the story of this Champagne, I realized there is some kind of similarity between my personality and that of the Clos du Mesnil. There is also a special similarity between my instrument, the piano, and Clos du Mesnil. The piano is independent; it is a very free instrument while somehow also lonely in a beautiful way.
About Krug and Music
In music, you can understand there are many differences between melodic music in a classical piece and polyphonic music. There is a distinct equivalent with Krug. It is about the feeling you get with a Krug Champagne created from one grape, one plot and one year like Krug Clos du Mesnil, next to a Champagne like Krug Grande Cuvée, a blend of many different wines from different years – the ‘harmony of chaos’. In polyphonic music it is very difficult to find the right balance, to know where the limit is and where the edge of good taste lies. There are many people who have tried to compose polyphonic music throughout history, but only a very few achieved it to perfection; Bach for example, or, in my opinion, a modern composer like Chostakovich. With Krug Grande Cuvée, all the myriad small details create a mosaic of different aromas, flavours and characteristics that come together in harmony… It really is another art form.
What is for you the analogy between Krug Grande Cuvée and music?
You have to be Bach to achieve the perfection of harmony from so many musicians playing together, but everybody, even a non-musician, can feel intense emotions while listening to Bach. I think this is the same with Krug Grande Cuvée, only Krug’s cellar master can create such a prestige champagne, but anybody can feel the emotion of sharing a glass of Krug Grande Cuvée.
Having tasted the different Krug Champagnes, can you explain your choice of music to go with each one?
Krug Grande Cuvée
For Krug Grande Cuvée, I have chosen Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto. It is one of the most generous masterpieces, full of joy, full of greatness, with a kind of majestic presence. I think it goes beautifully with the open spirit and generous fullness of Krug Grande Cuvée.
Krug Rosé takes my mind directly to the era of Impressionism in music. Impressionists were daring and audacious people who found new harmonies that had never been used before while never losing their elegance and grace. Ever! That is why I have chosen Ravel.
For me Krug 2000 truly exemplifies “Harmony in Chaos”, so it feels very closely connected to the romantic period in music. It might be extreme but it is also extremely precise. When I was told how this Champagne was created in a year of sunshine and storms, I saw a movement in a concerto from the Romantic period. The Mephisto waltz works perfectly; it is a temptation waltz. It is romantic, extreme, diabolical and pure, all at the same time. This range of extremes marked by precision are just perfect with Krug 2000.
I chose Vivaldi Summer, the 3rd Movement, to match Krug 2003 because like this Champagne, the music expresses heat, it’s very exciting but with a delicious freshness.