Grand Cru Champagne and a tale from 1970's London of its most infamous notoriously drunken restauranteur.
Champagne brings out the best in all of us, or the worst as in the case of the notorious alcoholic London restaurateur Peter Langan, owner of the eponymous Langan's Brasserie in Piccadilly that he opened in partnership with actor Michael Caine.
Fuelled by up to 12 bottles of Krug per day, he was renowned for his hell raising antics, potty mouth and capacity to sleep anywhere. He would regularly challenge pretty young things to strip off in the bar in return for large amounts of champagne - often with astonishing success - and had a peculiar habit of cruising menacingly on his hands and knees under tables, biting unsuspecting female diners' ankles.
Langan was notorious for his sharp tongue and vehement reactions to any kind of criticisms, real or imagined. On occasion an outraged woman found a dead cockroach in the ladies' loo and complained. He put her right: "It can't be one of ours. This cockroach is dead. All ours are alive and healthy." He promptly swallowed it, washed down with vintage Krug.
On another occasion he barred Rudolf Nureyev for, as he quipped, "being himself".
And then there was the time that he didn't recognise Marlon Brando when he came into the restaurant, explaining: "The only thing I knew about him was that he is even fatter than me."
He died in 1988 at the age of 47 after a failed attempt at self-immolation.
Sadly we can't all afford to drink Krug every day so are always on the look out for a delicious well made Grand Cru champagne at a more modest price point.
Richard Dawson Owner of Parabola wine bar & the Devil in the grape wine co. Richard holds the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Diploma qualification and lectures at the Academie du Vin in Tokyo. He is originally from Edinburgh in Scotland, studied French at the University of St. Andrews and lived and worked in France prior to coming to Japan in 2001.