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Perrier Jouet

Celebrities & Champagne

Perrier-Jouet Champagne Florale Edition LA Launch Party

October 26, 2012

The new Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque Florale edition was unveiled at Katsuya in Brentwood. Photos by John Sciulli/Courtesy of Perrier-Jouet

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-Jouët 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 designer  Makoto Azuma. 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-Jouët Champagne. It tastes both rich and bright making it a perfect pairing for sushi or nothing at all.

Champagne, Drinks, Pop Culture

White Stars, Anemones & Black Currants: Bubbly Questions Answered

October 20, 2009
perrier_jouet_basket

 

I’ve gotten a few questions lately at my site The Bubbly Girl so I thought I’d answer a few of them in one post. If you have a question about bubbly or cocktails, feel free to ask!

Q: Mal wrote to ask how long the Perrier-Jouët bottle has worn its fabulous cloak of white and gold anemone flowers?

A: The Perrier-Jouët family has always had an artistic flair, shown most notably in the Chateau Perrier and their home that has been converted into the Maison Belle Epoque on the Rue de Champagne in Epernay. In 1902 Henri Gallice commissioned famed artist Emile Gallé to create a special design for the Perrier-Jouët bottle that captured the artistry and spirit of the art nouveau movement. Gallé painted white and pink anemones outlined in gold with tendrils that hug the curves of the bottle. Apparently, with wars and other drama affecting the maison, the Gallé design sat unused for 60 years. It was unearthed in 1964 when a wonderful vintage inspired Perrier-Jouët to create a special cuvée called Fleur de Champagne, aka Belle Epoque in Europe. It was unveiled at Maxim’s and  Cabaret l’Alcazar  in Paris to mark Duke Ellington’s 70th birthday.

Q: James, a recent transplant to San Diego, asked where he could find crème de cassis? In Japan, there’s a popular drink called Orange Cassis that’s a blend of crème de cassis and OJ that he wants to recreate stateside.

A: Luckily for James, crème de cassis — which is black currant liqueur — is somewhat popular in the U.S. and Europe. It’s an ingredient in the classic champagne cocktail the Kir Royale or the white wine cocktail called a Kir. It should be available at most well stocked liquor stores — especially the old-school ones. The thing I like about creme de cassis is that its kind of sweet balanced by a tang on the back end. There’s a wide variety of styles of crème de cassis out there — some are more commercial and cost about $10; others like Massenez and L’Heritier Guyot are more artisanal and can cost about $20 to $30. For more brands, check out this crème de cassis discussion on Chowhound.

Q: Valerie wrote wondering what champagne to drink now that Moët & Chandon isn’t making White Star any more?

A: I wrote this post about the demise of White Star earlier this year, though I’ve been seeing it around for much of the year. You might try the new Imperial, the cuvée that Moët created to replace the top-selling White Star. Imperial isn’t quite as sweet, but it’s very tasty. If you loved the slight sweetness of White Star, then why not give Nectar Imperial, Moët’s demi-sec style champagne a try.

Bubbly Events

Bubbles on Tour: Bubbly Bar Book Events

September 14, 2009
Signing books at the Hotel Solamar on Aug. 26 at the San Diego launch party presented by Slow Food Urban San Diego  and Domaine Chandon - what a blast!

Signing books at the Hotel Solamar on Aug. 26 at the San Diego launch party presented by Slow Food Urban San Diego and Domaine Chandon - what a blast!

It’s been quite the whirlwind since my book The Bubbly Bar: Champagne & Sparkling Wine Cocktails (Clarkson Potter, $16.99) launched a few weeks ago. It’s amazing how many different skills it takes to be an author; not only do you need to know enough about a topic to write about it, once you’ve done so and had the incredible good fortune to get a book published, then you need to become an expert at marketing, event planning and logistics! All that is to say that with the help of some friends, I’ve put together some fun Bubbly Bar book events that will start happening around the country in a couple weeks.

If you’re a Bubbly Girl – or even if you just like to have fun while tasting some sparkling wine cocktails and learning something new, then I hope you’ll come out to join the fun as I make my way around the country. Stay tuned for more events in NYC, San Francisco, Atlanta and San Diego but here’s where I’ll be for the next month or so:

Chicago

Oct. 1.  – Pops for Champagne 601 N. State St. 6 to 8 p.m.
Come learn how to make great autumn cocktails with Domaine Carneros – America’s first estate grown organic sparkling wine and fine artisanal spirits. Ticket are $25 and include a signed book, cocktails and nibbles at America’s most acclaimed champagne bar. To RSVP, email rsvp@popsforchampagne.com

Oct. 3 – Shop & Sip at M2 Boutique, 3527 N. Southport Ave. 12 to 4 p.m.
We’ll have fun sipping fizz and browsing through fabulous fall fashions including TANO leather handbags at 20% off at this value-conscious boutique. Free event, no RSVP required.

Los Angeles

Oct. 7 – Moet Champagne Cocktails & A Sparkling Book Party at The Edison, 108 W. Second Ave. 5:30 to 7:30
p.m. Meet me in the Tesla Lounge for an intimate literary cocktail party featuring Moet & Chandon champagne cocktails and appetizers at this unique vintage-style bar in downtown LA. Wear business or cocktail attire – the Edison has a dress code. Stick around for the sexy cabaret show starting at 8 in the main bar. Tickets are $20 and include a signed book and bubbly. All guests must pre-pay by Oct. 3 by emailing maria at thebubblygirl.com.

NYC

Oct. 12  – The Bombay Bubbly Experience at Beekman’s Bar & Books, 889 1st Ave (At 50th) 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
We’ll explore the unique synergy between fine aromatic Bombay Sapphire gin and bubbly at this cocktail demo and party at Beekman’s, a warm and clubby bar that’s filled with thousands of books. I’ll be mixing drinks along with resident bartender Ben Scorah – GQ Magazine’s NYC Bartender of the Year- and Bombay Sapphire U.S. Mixologist James Moreland.  Tickets are $25 and include cocktails, food and signed books. For information on reservations, email maria at thebubblygirl.com

Napa County

Oct. 24- Cocktail clinics & book signing at Domaine Chandon, 1 California Drive, Yountville. I’ll be lounging in the gift shop of this modern showcase winery and giving two cocktail clinics featuring drinks from the book throughout the day. Cocktails from The Bubbly Bar will also be available for purchase at the tasting bar. Come up and make a day of it by taking a behind the scenes tour of the winery and treating yourself to a bubblicious lunch or dinner at Etoile! Free event!

Washington DC

Nov. 4 – Cava and Latin Libations at Masa 14, 1825 14th St. NW, Washington DC 5:30 to 9 p.m.
Masa 14 is the hot new restaurant by Richard Sandoval and Kaz Okochi that serves Latin and Asian small plates in a hip setting. We’ll explore the fine Spanish sparkling wine called cava and Latin libations from The Bubbly Bar paired with small plates from the restaurant. Tickets are $35 and include, drinks, food and a signed book. Make reservations through www.hooksbookevents.com or call 202-328-1414.

NYC

Dec. 12 – Book signing & Weekend Tasting at Harlem Vintage, 2235 Frederick Douglass Blvd. 4 to 7 p.m. Perrier-Jouet Champagne will be the featured champagne at this tasting and book signing at Harlem Vintage in this famous neighborhood that was home to lots of gin joints and speakeasies dating back to the classic cocktail era. A bottle of international bubbly and a signed copy of the Bubbly Bar make a fabulous and fast holiday gift. Harlem’s own Hue-Man Bookstore will be our book-selling partner for this special tasting. Free event!

Pop Culture

Perrier-Jouët & Inglourious Basterds – A Glimpse at Wine & War

September 11, 2009
?? drank Perrier Jouet champagne in this fateful scene in Inglourious Basterds.

German actress Bridget von Hammersmark (Diane Krueger) drank Perrier-Jouet champagne in this fateful scene at the bar La Louisiane in the movie Inglourious Basterds.(Courtesy photo)

I like a shoot-em-up action flick as much as the next Bubbly Girl, and I wasn’t disappointed with Inglourious Basterds. Of course, I could have done without some of the gore, but that’s to be expected from a Quintin Tarantino movie.

I was pleasantly surprised though to glimpse Perrier-Jouët champagne — the anemone flower painted bottle known as the Cuvée Belle Epoque —  in a few scenes of the movie. The first I recall was at a restaurant where the Jewish heroine Shoshanna (Mélanie Laurent) dealing with the unwelcome attention of German war hero Frederick (Daniel Brühl) and finds herself being treated to fancy lunch with Nazi Joseph Goebbels. It shows up again in a fateful scene at a bar called La Louisiane and once more at the end of the movie, when Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt)  and some of his men get dressed up in tuxes to take in a movie premiere.

Especially given the circumstances of this first scene and the others, there’s a feeling of desperate fin de siecle decadence, watching people gaily drink champagne from beautiful bottles as their country is overrun by invading troops.

Of course, while Inglourious Basterds is fiction, champagne did play a role in both World War I and II. Champagne was both a symbol of French national pride and a valuable commodity that the German armies were quick to loot, as detailed in the book “Wine & War: The French, The Nazis and the Battle for France’s Greatest Treasure” by Donald Kladstrup. They even appointed wine fuhrers who over saw the selection and storage of wines stolen from France. Some winemakers built false walls in their cellars to hide their precious bottles from the invading armies.

This gate leads to the caves where Perrier Jouet champagne is stored during aging. (Photo by Maria C. Hunt)

This gate adorned with the anemone flower logo in metal leads to the caves where Perrier Jouet champagne is stored during aging. (Photo by Maria C. Hunt)

Those same caves also served as prisons during World War I. Visiting Maison Belle Epoque, the gorgeous art private deco museum that serves as the hospitality house for Perrier-Jouët this summer, I got to tour the caves with winemaker Herve Deschamps. We came across inscriptions carved into the walls by mostly Italian men who were imprisoned there.

This inscription with the name Masse, the year 1911 and 15F - perhaps a regiment - were left behind by an Italian soldier imprisoned in the caves under Perrier Jouet during World War I.

This inscription with the name Masse, the year 1911 and 15F - perhaps a regiment - were left behind by an Italian soldier imprisoned in the caves under Perrier Jouet during World War I.(Photo by Maria C. Hunt)

War and champagne makes me think of one cocktail from my new book The Bubbly Bar: Champagne & Sparkling Wine Cocktails for Every Occasion in particular: the Kir Royale. A quintessentially French combination of creme de cassis and champagne, the drink is named after Felix Kir. Besides being a priest who later became the mayor of Dijon, France Kir is celebrated as a heroic figure in the French Resistance.

Isn’t it amazing how many stories can be told through a glass of champagne?

Bubbly Girl Cocktail Recipes, Celebrities & Champagne, Drinks

Perfect Beauty — My Custom Cocktail for Preston Bailey

March 17, 2009
Perrier Jouet's Fleur de Champagne was just one of the champagnes used to create The Bubbly Girl's Perfect Beauty cocktail created for Preston Bailey. Photo by Bob Stefanko/Ranch & Coast

Perrier Jouet’s Fleur de Champagne was just one of the champagnes used to create The Bubbly Girl’s Perfect Beauty cocktail created for Preston Bailey.    Photo by Bob Stefanko

Sooo sorry for the long wait for the actual Perfect Beauty cocktail recipe, but I have been having such a good time soaking up with culinary and wine culture of the Salentino in southern Puglia, Italy for the past 10 days — more on that soon. Plus, I was waiting for the professional photo from my good friend Bob Stefanko of Ranch & Coast Magazine.

Preston Bailey, the world-renowned floral and event designer, was fêted at the home of Susie Spanos when he flew to California in early March to speak at a benefit for the Village Garden Club of La Jolla. I designed a custom floral cocktail called Perfect Beauty with fresh California strawberry juice and rose geranium syrup for the party.

During the evening, the bartenders made the cocktail with sparkling water and a variety of champagnes from the Spanos’ cellar including Dom Perignon, Bollinger’s Special Cuvee, Roeder’s Cristal and Perrier-Jouet Fleur de Champagne decorated with anemones shown above. The garnish was a beautiful pinch of edible flower petals called Confetti from San Diego Specialty Produce.

Since I created a rose geranium cocktail for floral guru Preston Bailey, I couldn't think of a better time to wear my geranium pink suit from Max Mara.

Since I created a rose geranium cocktail for floral guru Preston Bailey, I couldn’t think of a better time to wear my geranium pink suit from Max Mara.

I was really thrilled to see that most of the guests were sipping my cocktail when I arrived at the party just after sunset. But I was ecstatic when Bailey raved “Delicious, delicious, delicious!” when he tasted a Perfect Beauty made with sparkling water. He then insisted on getting some of my rose geranium syrup, which I promise to send as soon as I get home.

Perfect Beauty
Makes 1 drink

1/2 ounce fresh pressed strawberry juice, seeds removed
1/2 ounce rose geranium syrup (From The Bubbly Bar)
4 to 5 ounces chilled champagne or sparkling water
pink and gold edible flower petals

Add strawberry juice and rose geranium syrup to a champagne flute. Top with chilled champagne or sparkling water. Garnish with edible flower petals and serve.