To celebrate Bastille Day and the summer season, Pierre-Antoine Bollet of Sotheby’s Wine in New York shares his favorite wines from France — and beyond.
How do the French celebrations of Bastille Day compare to Fourth of July festivities in the US?
In France, Bastille Day is all about the fireworks, which can be seen in any city and even the smallest villages. The grandest of all, in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, is quite an experience! Not to be missed if you ever are in France on the 14th of July.
What wines would you recommend for a Bastille Day celebration?
My initial feeling would be a rosé, which you can find great examples of from many regions in France — Provence, Sancerre, Burgundy, and even Beaujolais. My personal favorite is a Sancerre Rosé. Made from Pinot Noir grapes, its slight acidity makes it very refreshing, and the red berries and citrus aromas are lovely. When the fireworks start though, there is no better idea than champagne to get the party started.
What inspired you to focus your career on fine wine?
I love the fact that wine is a product of agriculture, made by farmers who have the deepest knowledge of their land, vineyard, and ancestors’ traditions. At the other end of the chain, it is enjoyed by wine lovers all over the world, who are seeking pleasure, building collections, sharing bottles with friends and family, or making unique gifts.
Most know the popular varieties of French wine, but are there any “under the radar” varieties that we should be considering?
Besides the classic regions of Bordeaux and Burgundy, which make fantastic wines, I love to drink Beaujolais reds. They typically are light-to-medium body, easy-to-drink wines, and even easier to pair with food. In the summer, you can serve them slightly chilled.
What are your favorite wines for summer and why?
Along with the classics such as Provence rosé, white Burgundy, and Loire Valley Sauvignon Blanc, a summer wine cellar should have some nice surprises, such as Italy’s Roero grape, for example, or California rosé. Those and more of my favorites are among the bottles we have selected for Sotheby’s Wine’s three Summer Cases — one of whites, one of rosé wines, one of reds. There’s a wine for every taste and occasion in each curated selection.
As in wine, France has influenced furniture design throughout the world, throughout history. What makes French design so special?
Might it be because furniture designers were inspired by the great wines they had on hand when looking for inspiration? Just my two cents…
Do you have any special French pieces in your home?
I do have a brown leather club chair, and as soon as I move to a larger home, I will get its sibling. They look even better in pairs!
Viyet has many pieces of furniture, art, and antiques from France – do you have any favorite items?
My three favorite French pieces I found on Viyet are the, Le Corbusier LC1 Pony Hide Sling Chairs, Mid-Century Modern Vintage Cocotte Combination Lamp And Sconce, and Vintage Brass And Glass Bar Cart.