Champagne means so many different things to different people. On Champagne Day 2012, people are celebrating all the different expressions of this special sparkling wine from the Champagne region in France.
I haven’t been to Champagne, France in a few years, but one of my favorite Champagne experience here in California was the launch party for Perrier-JouÃ«t Champagne‘s new limited edition Belle Epoque Florale bottle.
We gathered in a chic, candelit private salon at Katsuya in Brentwood to sip Champagne and meet artist and famed Japanese floral designerÂ Makoto Azuma.Â His name may be new to Americans, but he’s well known in Japan and Europe for his avant-garde floral designs and pieces he’s created for Helmut Lang, Lady Dior and Shiseido.
Speaking through a translator, Azuma explained that he was inspired by the original Belle Epoque bottle designed by Emile Galle, his respect for nature and the delicate Japanese anemone flower. Azuma says he was also inspired by the sensation of bubbles jumping around on his palate and the smoothness of the wine and its complex taste.
For his new edition, he started with a stainless steel cube which represents artificial beauty created by man and filled it with Japanese blooms, calla lilies, phaelenopsis orchids and vines that symbolize nature.
“I wanted the work to be an homage to Galle,” Azuma said. “The flower language of the plants is quiet and sincere.”
Inside the bottle is the 2004 vintage of the Perrier-JouÃ«t Champagne. It tastes both rich and bright making it a perfect pairing for sushi or nothing at all.