The Proust Questionnaire: Clovis Taittinger13th July, 2012 by Lucy Shaw
The irreverent Clovis Taittinger, fourth-generation scion of the Taittinger dynasty, is export director for the Champagne house. He lives in Paris with his wife Corentine and children Alice and Alexis.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Having lots of energy and a sharp, active brain.
What is your greatest fear?
The death of my children.
Who do you most admire?
My grandfather, Jean Taittinger.
What is your greatest extravagance?
What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Strength, determination, conviction and focus.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
How are you?
Everywhere and all the time. I have no right to complain.
Which talent would you most like to have?
A to be an excellent pianist and a great dancer.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Nothing… I am what I am.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
At 34, it’s too early to say if I will ever have one. I’m not Mark Zuckerberg or a Premier League footballer. I’m just starting my life.
Where would you most like to live?
I have many dreams. I like my country, but if I were to leave, I would probably go in Italy: Milan, Rome, Sicily…
What is your most treasured possession?
A fresh case of Champagne and few beers in the fridge. I’m not materialistic.
What is your most marked characteristic?
Who are your favorite writers?
Georges Simenon, Guy de Maupassant and Honoré de Balzac.
Who is your hero of fiction?
Charles de Gaulle and Winston Churchill. When you read their biographies you ask yourself if they’re real, as what they have achieved and lived through is extraordinary.
What is it that you most dislike?
Having to ask favours of people.
What is your greatest regret?
I don’t live with regrets.
What is your motto?
Change everything to make sure that nothing will change.
Who would be your ideal dinner party guests and what wines would you serve them?
Three beautiful women, to see how three bottles of Comtes de Champagne can turn them from the devil to an angel and from an angel to the devil.