Swede Decadence; The Decline of the Sparkling

Pepe’s Bodega. One might think that Pepe’s Bodega in Båstad west- south of Sweden, is a typical Spanish tapas bar, with unpretentious wines from Spain’s decent regions for reasonable prices. Well, that is as far away from the reality as is Båstad from Stockholm.  Correction. Pepe’s Bodega, is a luxury night club with pretentious champagnes, which on behalf of rich kids are being poured out into the sink, out of caprice and just like that.

The phenomenon is called Vaskning which means “flushing” in English and occurred as a substitute to the former habit of spraying champagne. Since the latter has been forbidden in indoor places, rich dandies order two bottles of champagne instead of one, and request the waiter to pour one bottle out into the sink. Sweet decadence, lived and exhilarated in Sweden, where alcohol is controlled by a state institution Systembolaget.

One might now wonder why. The crisis seemed to have made an end to luxurious self indulgence in most parts of the world, excluding the notorious champagne spraying to celebrate sport victories. Europe has either recovered or the world is just upside down. The ambiguity within the wine world couldn’t be more apparent. While producing countries turn away from its cultural wine identity, decreasing domestic wine consumption, non producing countries turn to wine culture practicing it in literally all facets.

Wine and especially champagne has and still is considered en elitist issue, loathed and despised by some, mainly because of its snobbish stigma, while adored by others because of the former. But how nonchalant and decadent is wine culture? After all it seems that wine and glamour go hand in hand even though from time to time one outdoes the other. Rich dandies are making a good job in profiling themselves in exclusive circles however that happens on the expense of wine. Symbolizing richness by appearance is one thing but wasting wine by pouring it down the drain is not only crazy but extremely stupid, remarking that we are talking about a magnum bottle of Dom Perignon molded in white gold for 165 000 SEK (17,533 €).

What can I say, what can one say? To be honest I have no idea for this is beyond my comprehension. I can only advise not to take polo Ralph Lauren dressed kids, with folded collars and carelessly combed back hair, putting down dollars on the cocktail table, as an example. The dandy used to be a romanticised cult figure, the new school rich kid is an ignorant, whatever next stop is Ibiza. Cheers.



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