CHRIS HEMSWORTH : “I find that the best way to be introduced to wine is by a woman”

Here’s a billion-dollar riddle. He is Australian and plays a Super Hero God with a hammer. Still haven’t guessed? Come on, make an effort! The answer is the actor Chris Hemsworth alias Thor who’s proving to be a box office smash with ‘Avengers’. How about a toast to his health? Especially since the handsome hunk became a wine enthusiast thanks to his partner. And that’s not something you see every day is it?


What is your relationship with wine? I'm asking because I understand you were drawn to wine relatively late on.


Let me explain! As an Australian, I never say no to a good cold beer. I also admit that vodka has a certain appeal to me! But all that changed with Elsa (the actress Elsa Pataky), my wife who, as you know, is Spanish.

We have a house in Spain and one in Australia. Before I met her, I only drank beer. Most Australians do. And then one day my wife told me it couldn't go on. That I had to educate my palate! That I had to taste slightly more “sophisticated” drinks. Take that to mean wine! Anyway, it was my wife who introduced me.


That’s not very commonplace....


I'll give you that. Actually, I find that the best way to be introduced to wine is by a woman. Especially when it’s the woman you love. Inevitably, you hang on her every word and stare hungrily at her! As I was really uneducated, she started by buying me books like ‘Wine for Dummies’. As soon as we got the opportunity, we would also go to upmarket bars and good restaurants.


What type of wine did you start with?


I started with a red Rioja. When the sommelier brought us the bottle – I forget the vintage – he explained to us that it descended from Bordeaux wines and that its origins dated back to the 12th century monks who grew vines in the foothills of the Pyrenees. Australians are a young people. Unlike Europeans who have a much longer history, when you talk about the 12th century to Australians, it’s a real culture shock! Basically, we find it hard to place it on the great timeline of humanity!


What was the hardest part of your training?


When you look at the number of wines on the market, it makes you think that to find your way around, you really need to be an expert! I really have trouble understanding French wines. The label always says: “Château Thingy”! (laughs). What I really like about wine is drinking it, of course, but also seeing my wife dip her lips into a beautiful flared glass. I don't know what you think, but I find that very arousing!


Interview by Franck Rousseau, our correspondent in Hollywood – Photographs: all rights reserved