sean crowleyterry theiseed mccarthy

Pascale Rousseau

by Cynthia Sin-Yi Cheng
October 1, 2005

External Relations Manager
Reims, France

In a past life, Pascale Rousseau was an art historian who traveled around Europe guiding art and architecture tours. Today, she is the public face of maison Krug at their Reims headquarters. One can hardly imagine being better received and shown around this most luxuriant of champagne houses. Pascale is a seamless extension of the charm behind Krug.

You seem to have found the perfect fit for your love of aesthetics and your enthusiasm for sharing the art of living with others. What was the path that brought you to where you are today?

While my family did not have a high standard of living, my parents would nonetheless open a bottle of champagne at least twice a month, if not every Sunday. I grew up with the feeling that of course all events in life — whether large or small — had to be celebrated with champagne. But above all, champagne at home was — and still is — synonymous with spending a pleasant and relaxed moment with those you love, celebrating simply the "moment" as a unique one.

Years later, once I had become a tour guide, I found that I wanted to share the beautiful things in life with people. It seemed an almost natural continuation to join a champagne house. It was not Krug, though, and I still remember how we were all dreaming of that name. Fifteen years later I was living in Provence when a friend called to say that the house of Krug was recruiting an external relations manager. Some people believe they have a guardian angel. I feel I have at least a lucky star!

Could you share with us an occasion, other than a celebratory one, when you would choose to serve champagne?

Imagine a Monday evening (Tuesday would work too!): your day at work was terrible. Back home you feel you are a hero simply because you survived! This is the right time to enjoy a nice half bottle of Krug. Your Monday night immediately becomes a Friday.

From your point of view, how do you feel Champagne has evolved over the recent decades?

There have been years of democratization throughout the 70s, years of "gimmick" tendencies in the 80s — when consumers would be happy to get free candles or glasses with their bottle of champagne. This was followed by years of strong ambition in the 90s when everyone thought there would be a lack of champagne to celebrate the new millennium. Today, quality and a certain sobriety now seem to pervade the trends in the 2000s among a majority of market-players.

What are you referring to by the democratization of champagne in the 70s?

It was certainly along those years that more and more French families started to abandon their traditional aperitifs before the mid-day Sunday dinner. Historically the choices were port, whisky, Cinzano, or a martini. In the 70s, the more bourgeois families started to simply say, "Let’s have champagne!" and would open a bottle to serve as an aperitif rather than as something that was just for birthdays, Christmas, and other special occasions. Soon, keeping a bottle “just in case" in the bottom of the fridge became a sign of refinement. And it still is!

back to October intro

name (required)

email (required, will not be published)




Sign up to receive the Cravings newsletter!

Wine Features

The Wine of Paris

Island Whites (Part II)

Island Whites (Part I)

South African Diversity

Surprise, Surprise! Bordeaux is Really Very Good

Burgundy Joy

New Year’s Bubblies for a Splurge and Splash


My Weekend from Wall Street to South Beach

Vérité: French Roots in California Soil

A Spirit for the Ages

Ultimate Lurton

Vinexpo, the Asian Rendition

It’s Never Too Early to Think About Father’s Day… Especially if He’s Keen on Scotch

Gin from the Past

The Beauty of a Sommelier

March of the Carnivores

Discovering Mexican Wine

A Feast in the Hills above Las Vegas

Oregon: Wines on the Frontier

Not What We Expected, Per Se

Cru Beaujolais at Union Square Cafe

Beaujolais Retailers

Beaujolais with a Backbone

Summer Cocktails?

What is Bubbling in Champagne?

Tight Little Island: Islay Scotch

French Wine Finds

Alto Adige

Back to Restaurant Season in Paris

Cyn's Favorite Champagnes in 2006

Sparkles Everywhere

Discovering Jura Gems

A Taste of North Fork

Milou en mai: My Month of May

Parisian Bistrots à Vin

A Wine Story About Bees (Buzzed by Older Wines)

Gaia: Deconstructing a Wine List

Robert Pepi Makes New Waves Under the Eponymous Label

Holiday Toasting!

Parker on Champagne: What's in a Vintage?

Pascale Rousseau

Ed McCarthy

Terry Theise

Sean Crowley

The World of Champagne Seen from the Inside Out

Lieb Cellars - Recipe 2

Lieb Cellars - Recipe 1

Lieb Cellars - Retailers

Family Cellars' Pinot Blanc: Flat or Fizz?

Rosé - Related Websites

Cyn's Rosé Recs - Retailer

Cyn's Rosé Recs - By The Glass

Jancis Robinson, Rosé & I

Pearl - Champagne

Danube - Grüner Veltliner

Esca - Bellini

Prune - Bloody Mary

iTunes, App Store, iBookstore, and Mac App Store

Sur La Table_Brand_120X90


Save Ten on Angie's List!

Alessi S.P.A. US