We asked Richard 5 quick questions. Read them below.
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
You really love champagne, what is it about champagne that you personally appreciate so much?
‘To me, champagne is one of the greatest gifts to mankind. If I were to answer that it is the world’s tastiest and most interesting drink, it would certainly be true, but also sound extremely vague against how life-promoting and big the whole concept of champagne is. In my personal sphere, champagne is synonymous with unforgettable moments, places, experiences and memories. Most things in life that have been at the maximum level of enjoyment have included champagne in one way or another.’
Why is it appropriate to serve champagne at a wedding?
‘Champagne is the obvious wedding drink as it is in every way the most luxurious and festive you can drink. Add to that the feather-light bubbling intoxication, the expectant romantic feeling that the champagne gives already at the first sip and it’s easy to realize how naturally connected. Champagne is with the dreams and expectations that the bride and groom have for their future life as spouses.’
Which champagne, right now, that provides value for money, is your hottest tip?
‘I test thousands of champagnes every year from an international perspective, but I do not keep up well with the ever-changing and today truly extensive range of champagne at Systembolaget. Therefore, I have to content myself with saying that the best value is usually obtained when buying vintage champagnes from the small growers in the Grand Cru villages in the Côte de Blancs. Preferably right now from 2012.’
You go out with a bang with your new champagne bible Champagne Opus, what can we partake of that you did not describe in your previous books?
‘Hopefully the Champagne Magnum Opus contains everything you will ever want to know about champagne apart from price recommendations which I leave to the reader to explore on their own based on my point reviews. In addition to the content itself, I would like to emphasize that so much has happened in Champagne in the last 10 years that only updating the development of events is news in itself. Add to that Pål Allan’s perfect artistic images and Pontus Frankenstein’s design and I can without a doubt say that this is our greatest masterpiece.’
Surely the book costs SEK 20,000? It’s an incredibly spectacular price, how come you dare on that pricing?
‘To say that a champagne costs a lot of money can be an objective assessment, but to say that it is too expensive is a subjective assessment. For some, a saved ten at the expense of quality can provide satisfaction and for others, a few extra bucks is small change to get an extra dimension in their experience. It’s exactly the same thing with this book. It’s incredibly beautiful, amazing and lavish, but is it worth the price? Is Mona-Lisa worth SEK 6 billion more than a poster with the same motif and size? Our luxury version comes in such a limited edition that we expect that there are enough people who are willing to spend 20,000 on Sweden’s most beautiful book.’