“The world is in perpetual motion, and we must invent the things of tomorrow. One must go before others, be determined and exacting, and let your intelligence direct your life. Act with audacity.” -Madame Clicquot
I owe many of my favorite things to my older brother whose great style, taste and zest for life inspires me daily. He was the first to introduce me to sushi, not a soft intro like a California roll, instead a plate full of raw strips of fish (sashimi) which at the ripe age of 13 mine as well been a plate of worms. As I did with sushi I began to appreciate (and fall in love with) another one of his specific tastes, champagne. Not the sweet, domestic fizzy drink often found in your brunch mimosa…real champagne made in France.
My fascination with France is something I will delve into in a future post, but for now lets just say I have a kinship with anything French, so naturally I would love champagne. The first time I had brut champagne I can’t recall, but the first time I truly tasted champagne, appreciating every bubble and flavor was with my brother. He opened a bottle of Clicquot and prefaced our toast with the declaration that I was about to taste something special.
Per usual, he was right. I was instantly in love with bubbly. If you ask my friends or family three of my favorite things, they will no doubt include champagne. I am intrigued by it, fascinated by its story and being a self-proclaimed ‘old soul’, I long to live in an era where bubbles flowed, dressing up was the norm, and big bands boasted tunes you couldn’t help but get up and dance to. My brother finished a book, The Widow Clicquot by Tilar J. Mazzeo and swiftly passed it over to me, insisting I would find the tale intriguing. Again, he was right.
It was a story of perseverance, persistence, and the strong will of a woman who was faced with enormous responsibility and impossible decisions to make at just 27 years old. Nowadays it would not seem too far off, but back in the 1800s when the book took place, makes the story even more remarkable. Like many icons (Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, J.K.Rolling) Madame Clicquot kept investing in herself, even to the point of bankruptcy because her will to make a champagne empire was so definite and the faith she has in herself sparked something in me.
I instantly wanted to live my life with self confidence and determination. I aim to make it so apparent that others cannot help but gravitate towards it and feel it themselves. Toot your own horn once in awhile, don’t give others the opportunity to doubt your ability, if you are not showing others your greatness, who is? I’m not sure if the purpose of the book was to inspire one’s inner entrepreneurial spirit, or to explain in detail the birth place of bubbly, or tell the story of one of the world’s first businesswoman. Either way, it is a magical tale and one I won’t soon forget.
Next time you want to celebrate, let someone know they are special, or just toast another day living on this beautiful planet, do yourself a favor and purchase the iconic marigold bottle. Pour it slowly, watch the bubbles dance to the top of your glass and save your cork! The cage boasts a portrait of the widow herself and on top of the cork is stamped an anchor that Madame Clicquot created to differentiate her bottles, the world’s first trademark.
What inspires you? Do you have someone whose story has moved you?