Every Saturday TheChampagneSommelier will ask 5 questions about 5 coeur de bouteilles to friends and Champagne lovers from near and far. This Week we took a bubbly chat with Dutch Champagne lover Inge de Jong Merci Inge !
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Inge de Jong
My name is Inge and I’m obsessed with natural champagne. I live in Amsterdam with my partner, who got me into champagne when he ordered 7 Crus by Pascal Agrapart on our first date in Reims. I thought I didn’t like champagne, but boy I was wrong. Ever since that day, I’ve been fascinated by organic and biodynamic champagne, so I started writing about it on my website Fizzyvines. The website has brought me to the domaines of some of my personal heroes, and last year I helped my absolute favourite champagne maker David Léclapart with the harvest of ’21. If I ever go missing, you’ll probably find me in the yellow hills of Champagne with too many bottles in the trunk of my car. And I’ll regret nothing.
Which Champagne would You treat your parents or in-laws?
‘My in-laws know good wine, so I have to be careful here. I’d probably go with Les Bauchets by Flavien Nowack, because it’s a refined and spectacular champagne. My mother-in-law likes restrained luxury and that’s exactly what Les Bauchets brings to the table. We’d toast to my brother-in-law, who unexpectedly passed away last month and who is desperately missed.’
Which Champagne would You treat your lover?
‘Fortunately, I know my lover’s taste quite well. I’d surprise him with a 2004 Apôtre by David Léclapart. The best-case scenario is that we open it around 2040, because the older the Léclapart champagne, the more magic in the bottle.‘
Which Champagne would You treat your boss?
‘My boss is British so he likes beer! I’d probably give him Reflet d’Antan by Bérêche et Fils, as it’s a champagne with a great personality, just like him. I’d make sure to get a magnum bottle and we’d get together with the team and raise our glasses to life, friendship, and great content marketing. You know what, I’m actually going to arrange this.‘
Which Champagne would You treat yourself?
‘Substance by Jacques Selosse. It’s the best thing I’ve ever tasted in my life. It’s bombastic yet pure, it’s strong yet refined. There’s honey, there’s crispy apples, and there are just so many different layers to it. We often visit Les Avisés, the Selosse-owned hotel-restaurant in Avize. My best memory of all time is that I’m sitting in their salon after a great lunch, with a glass of Substance in my hand. For one moment, the world and everything in it seemed perfect. Light came in from the big windows, soft piano music was playing and people were softly talking in the background. I’m not crying, you are.‘
Which Champagne would You treat a dream guest, and why?
‘I’d pick Sam Bentley, the lead singer from the Paper Kites, an Australian band from Melbourne. Their songs are so good that, sometimes, I have to turn their music off. Sam and I would drink Yprésien by Legrand-Latour, because it’s just like the Paper Kites: small scale and intense. Hopefully, we’ll make some music afterwards. I like writing songs and I’ve always wanted to know what they sound like in a Paper Kites setting- especially after a glass or two.’
[ what piece of music would you listen to drinking wine with Your dream guest ?]
‘This won’t come as a surprise: I’d listen to Deep Burn Blue by the Paper Kites, because this song is the musical equivalent of natural champagne. It’s magical, smooth like honey and it has the power to change the atmosphere in the room.’