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Los Angeles’s newest Cocktail Bar from Jared Meisler ‘The Moon Room’ Opens on Melrose

Los Angeles’s newest Cocktail Bar from Jared Meisler ‘The Moon Room’ Opens on Melrose

Renowned Los Angeles bar proprietor Jared Meisler (The Roger Room, Bar Lubitsch, The Friend, The Little Friend, The Brig and Gin Rummy), in collaboration with multi-talented textile and graphic designer Tria Jensen Meisler, announces the grand opening of their latest venture, THE MOON ROOM, in the Melrose District on Friday, March 15, 2024.

Multi-award-winning mixologist Annemarie Sagoi will lead the cocktail program, ensuring an unforgettable drinking experience.

THE MOON ROOM, located at 7174 Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, occupies a prominent spot at the southeast corner of Melrose and North Formosa Avenues, just a stone’s throw from La Brea Avenue.

Surrounded by the bustling energy of the city’s chic boutiques and culinary hotspots, it stands out as a beacon of allure in the heart of the Melrose District, beckoning with its inviting atmosphere and promises of unforgettable experiences.

“I have always loved that stretch of Melrose Ave.

It’s iconic and feels like a geographic center of Los Angeles,”

Meisler

“The idea was to create a chic and sophisticated room that is not pretentious and feels fun. A place to gather and celebrate. It’s a hub for people all over LA that come to life when the sun goes down.”

Guests are enveloped in a chic and sophisticated ambiance within THE MOON ROOM’s walls. Velvety black lacquer banquettes complement meticulously carved wood panels. White marble tables and contemporary café chairs with brass accents offer a striking juxtaposition against the sultry darkness.

The floor boasts a mesmerizing herringbone pattern, leading the eye to walls adorned with a curated collection of provocative art that intermingles with vintage abstracts, pop art, black and white nudes, and other avant-garde pieces from modern and contemporary artists. This eclectic mix creates an atmosphere of playful sensuality.

An enormous, mirrored ball gently gyrates at the heart of the space, casting a soft glow reminiscent of the moon’s seductive luminosity.

The fusion of chic 1970s and 1980s Paris and New York styles with the contemporary essence of Los Angeles creates a luxurious, sophisticated, and sensual environment that invites guests to immerse themselves in an experience beyond the ordinary.

Step out onto the narrow balcony and indulge in a bird’s-eye view of the bustling late-night activity along Melrose Avenue. Sip on your favorite cocktail, puff on your favorite puffable, and relish the cool breeze of the Los Angeles evening. It is the perfect setting to unwind and soak in the city’s vibrant energy below.

Music is a defining element at THE MOON ROOM, where the baby grand piano exudes a seductive appeal, setting the stage for captivating live performances. As the evening unfolds, the ambiance shifts to pulsating funky disco grooves.

THE MOON ROOM’s beverage Director Annemarie Sagoi has crafted an exotic menu of inventive and playful craft cocktails, each exuding a steamy and seductive vibe.

Drink prices range from $12-$18 and include Andromeda with Reposado Tequila, Mint, Cilantro, Jalapeno, Pineapple, Chartreuse & Habanero; Phoenix with Vodka, Sticky Rice Syrup, Longan, Ginger, Lychee and Lime; Pavo with Byrrh Quinquina, Sweet Vermouth, Fresh Berries, Lemon & Apricot; Cassiopeia Spritz with Kumquat, Jasmine, Cocchi Rosa, Lemon & Pet Nat; Orion with Reposado Tequila, Mezcal, Spiced Cocoa, Camel Milk, Coconut, Chartreuse & Black Salt; Lynx Martini with Gin, Bianco & Dry Vermouth, Za’atar Oil Wash, Pistachio & Orange Blossom; Hercules with Irish Whiskey, Coffee Liqueur, Cold Brew, Chai Spices, Honey & Averna Foam; Selene with Zubrowka Vodka, St Germain, Cinnamon, Apple, Angostura & Lemon; Draco with Dark Rum, Rhum Agricole, Creole Shrubb, Cocchi Di Torino & Manzanilla Sherry; and Pegasus with Bourbon, Date, Amaro & Black Walnut Bitters.

There are several NO BOOZE options including Grus with Lyre Aperitivo, Zero Proof Sparkling Rosé, Mineral Water & Lemon; Fornax with Mint, Cilantro, Jalapeno, Lime, Pineapple, Habanero and Mineral Water and CBD Tart Cherry Phosphate.

In addition to the assorted list of Wines by the Glass, Bottled Beers, Dry Ciders and a High Life + Well Bourbon orTequila Shot, there are snacks including Assorted Olives; Marcona Almonds; Pecorino Romano; Wasabi Peas; Salami with Stone Ground Mustard; Spicy Pepitas and Kettle Chips.

LA Financial Guru Michael Dodo is Living His American Dream with The Dodo Group

LA Financial Guru Michael Dodo is Living His American Dream

Los Angeles based financier Michael Dodo is fast becoming one of the most sought-after venture capitalists for a range of businesses in need of private equity investment and acute corporate leadership. The Founder and CEO of both The Dodo Group, and beauty brand conglomerate Luxury Brands LLC., he successfully identifies, restructures, nurtures, and drives formerly struggling businesses into financially stable, sustainable, and successful global companies. 

Born and raised in Johannesburg South Africa, Michael Dodo earned his Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of South Africa before launching his career in finance at the Mercantile National Bank of South Africa.  With his eye sharply affixed on immigrating to America, and with a mere $300 in his pocket, he arrived in Los Angeles and was soon recruited by Tag-It Pacific, a garment hang tag and label production company, first as their Controller and then quickly promoted to VP of Finance and Operations. He was not only instrumental in taking the company public, but also ran both their Hong Kong and Mexican divisions before parting ways in 2001.

Financial Guru Michael Dodo

Financial Guru Michael Dodo / photography by David Christopher Lee

He, and a business partner, then purchased Triple L Distribution, a company which soon became the second largest redistributor of dry grocery and equipment supplies to the food service industry in the West. Under Michael’s direction, TLD successfully maintained a fleet of 70 tractor trailers and 5 fully stocked warehouse locations, and the company grew from $16 million to $128 million in annual revenue.  He was then approached to step in as CEO of FHI Heat, a prominent professional grade hair tool company, to restructure and cultivate the brand. Shortly thereafter, he purchased West Central Produce, later known as West Central Foodservice, growing the company into one of the largest premium wholesale food, beverage, and restaurant supply distributors on the West Coast, with sales topping $300M per year.

In 2017, he launched his first of two conglomerates – Luxury Brands LLC., positioned as a parent company for beauty, luxury, and lifestyle consumer brands.  FHI Heat, and sibling haircare brands STYLUS, NEO BOND, Hair Veil and Daily Beauty, were strategically placed under the Luxury Brands LLC. corporate umbrella., and last spring, Michael’s latest acquisition Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics and Skincare was purchased out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy and added to his growing beauty brand portfolio. 

Financial Guru Michael Dodo

Financial Guru Michael Dodo / photography by David Christopher Lee

Michael’s namesake conglomerate – The Dodo Group, has focus in F&B, a space which Michael has significant career experience.  Lodi Canning Company, a 100-year-old plus, farm-to-table vegetable canning company, and Wateria, a 25-year-old, 15-step Drinking Water Purification System both sit under DG and are currently scaling at a tremendous rate.

To say that Michael Dodo has optimized the “American Dream” is an understatement, and we look forward to acutely following his success for many years to come.

 

 

Art Beyond the Glass (ABTG) returns for its 12th event on Sunday, June 30th, 2024 – The Original Bartender Art Festival

Art Beyond the Glass XII – The Original Bartender Art Festival Celebrates Cocktails, Art, Community & Inclusivity for All

Art Beyond the Glass (ABTG) returns for its 12th event on Sunday, June 30th, 2024, at the legendary Catch One nightclub!

More than 100 of LA’s top bartenders will make cocktails and showcase their artistic talents, with proceeds donated to Self Help Graphics & Art.

Since its inception, ABTG has raised more than $250,000 for arts-based nonprofits in LA and across the country.

Photo Credits: Eugene Lee & Abigail Smith

Co-founded by Daniel Djang and Zahra Bates, ABTG is the original celebration of bartender artistry and widely regarded as one of the country’s premier cocktail culture festivals.

From painting to photography, live music, DJs and more, every ABTG showcases the creative pursuits of bartenders when they are not behind the bar.

“It’s hard to believe that what began as a casual conversation at Sunny Spot

in November 2011 has grown into this extraordinary event,”

Co-founder Daniel Djang

“The cocktail creativity and artistic talent of the bar community in LA and beyond never ceases to amaze me. We are so grateful for the generosity of our sponsoring brands and the numerous venues that have welcomed us into their spaces. Can’t wait to reunite with the extended ABTG family at ABTG XII!”

Photo Credits: Eugene Lee & Abigail Smith

Art Beyond the Glass is taking place for the third consecutive year at Catch One, which is graciously being donated to ABTG XII for this exclusive event.

Located on Pico Boulevard in the heart of Los Angeles, this landmark nightclub was opened by Jewel Thais-Williams in 1973 as Jewel’s Catch One, a pioneering LGBTQ+ disco. Featuring state-of-the-art sound and lighting, the massive venue spans two floors and multiple indoor and outdoor spaces. 

For the 12th annual Los Angeles event, Art Beyond the Glass is honored to be raising funds for Self Help Graphics & Art (SHG), which fosters the creation and advancement of new artworks by Chicana/o and Latinx artists through experimental and innovative printmaking techniques and other visual art forms.

Since 1973, SHG has been at the intersection of arts and social justice, providing a home that fosters the creativity and development of local artists. SHG establishes international collaborations and partnerships nationwide and creates worldwide cultural exchanges. 

ABTG is once again partnering with their fiscal partner Another Round Another Rally, a nonprofit financial resource for the hospitality industry.

ARAR co-founder Travis Nass: “It is an honor to be a part of one of the most creative, innovative industry events across the country. We have always loved ABTG, and it is such a pleasure to be able to work with them again this year. We could not be prouder to work with this wonderful organization.”

ABTG will feature dozens of Bartenders from LA’s top bars and restaurants, including All Day Baby, Apotheke, Bar Flores, Bar Next Door,Death & Co, Fanny’s, General Lee’s, Level 8, Lustig, The Mermaid, Mother Tongue, Nativo, Roger Room, Scum & Villainy, The Varnish, along with pop-up bars and a special Legacy Team.

“Art Beyond the Glass has become so important to the bar community,”

Clare Ward

ABTG Head of Production

Bartenders are makers. We make drinks. We make art. We make community. This is the perfect event to celebrate everything we do.”

Photo Credits: Eugene Lee & Abigail Smith

Guests will also be able to buy bartender art, shop handmade items by bartenders, and bid on silent auction items.

Photo Credits: Eugene Lee & Abigail Smith

ABTG XII is being made possible by its generous sponsors: Amaras, Bacardi, Balcones, Barr Hill, Beam Suntory, Bushmills, Calisco, Deutsch Family, Dirty Sue, Filthy Food, Flor de Caña, Fords, Hedonistas, High West, Jack Daniel’s, Juliette, Kin, Liquid Alchemist, Mal Bien, Mommenpop, Montenegro, Pinhook, Proper 12, Real Del Valle, Ritual, St Benevolence, St George, Seedlip, Silvergrin, Spiribam, Tito’s, Tromba, True Believers, Underberg, West Coast Ice, and Zomoz.

Ticket information: ABTG XII will take place from 3pm to 7pm on Sunday, June 30, 2024, at Catch One.

General Admission tickets are on sale at the Catch One website for $65 per person until 3pm on June 30.

If still available, tickets will be sold at the door for $75 per person.Tickets to this event are only available for guests 21+ and over.

The all-inclusive ticket includes entry, cocktail samples, art gallery, entertainment and bar bites. In addition, guests will be able to purchase bartender artwork, buy raffle tickets and bid on silent auction items such as artwork, photography, rare spirits and more. All proceeds fromABTG XII will be donated to Self Help Graphics & Art.

# # #

About Art Beyond the Glass:

Art Beyond the Glass was founded in 2011 by Daniel Djang and Zahra Bates as a special event for bartenders to showcase their artistic talents when they’re not behind the bar. From cocktails to paintings, photography, live music, DJs, spoken word and more, ABTG is a celebration of bartender artistry inside and beyond the glass. Proceeds from every ABTG event are donated to a local arts-based nonprofit – to date, ABTG has donated more than $250,000 to these vital community organizations.

FOLLOW ART BEYOND THE GLASS:

Instagram: @abtgla Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ArtBeyondTheGlass

 

Catch One

4067 W. Pico Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90019

https://catch.one/#/events

 

Come have a taste! Hollywood Bowl Previews their Food + Wine Menu for the 2023 Season

Hollywood Bowl Food + Wine for the 2023 Season presented by Los Angeles Philharmonic Association

The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association announces it’s menus for the 2023 Hollywood Bowl Food + Wine season.

Eighth year with award-winning chef Suzanne Goin and restaurateur Caroline Styne

 

Now into the eighth year with award-winning chef Suzanne Goin and restaurateur Caroline Styne, Hollywood Bowl Food + Wine promises exceptional dining for visitors to the iconic venue.

Goin and Styne’s culinary history has defined Los Angeles tastes since 1998 when they opened Lucques, their legendary first restaurant.

At the Hollywood Bowl, their California-inspired offerings include three restaurants and three marketplaces.

Additionally, menus for the Terrace and Garden Boxes, which can be ordered a day in advance, are created by four-time James Beard Foundation award-winner Suzanne Goin.

Vibrant Summer Dishes

Goin’s vibrant new summer dishes pair beautifully with the exceptional wine and beer programs curated by Caroline Styne, the James Beard Foundation’s 2018 Outstanding Restaurateur of the Year award recipient. Overseeing the broad range of dining options serving Hollywood Bowl Food + Wine’s thousands of nightly guests is Executive Chef Jeff Rogers.

Hollywood Bowl’s Wine Selection

 

This year Caroline Styne has expanded the retail wine selections in the three marketplaces, broadening the varieties and options for wine lovers visiting the Bowl.

In addition to increasing the selection of her popular canned wine offerings, she has also added a number of vegan and organic bottles, as well as a collection of natural wines from producers including Broc Cellars, Johan Vineyards, Lo-fi Wines, Angeleno Wine Company and more.

Returning for the 2023 season are the fan favorites Winemaker Wednesdays and Sunday Market Tastings – a 14-week program of complimentary wine tastings at the Plaza Marketplace with guest winemakers, importers and sommeliers hand-selected by Caroline to give the venue’s visitors an immersive and personal experience with her favorite people in the wine world.

Hollywood Bowl Food + Wine’s dining options

 

Hollywood Bowl Food + Wine’s many dining options include three sit-down restaurants, street-food kiosks, pre-ordered picnic boxes and a full-service dinner delivered to your box seat. For private events, Hollywood Bowl Food + Wine provides catering at several locations for groups both large and small.

Notable additions for the 2023 Hollywood Bowl Food + Wine portfolio include:

  • Suzanne’s Fried Chicken:  This kiosk serves an all-inclusive bucket of chicken in two sizes, complete with sides of cornbread, coleslaw, house-made ranch dressing, honey and hot sauce

  • Bar West, with batched craft cocktails, made with soju and other wine-based liquors by A.O.C.’s head barman Ignacio Murillo

  • The Plaza’s new South LA Cafe, a thriving Black-owned, family-owned and community-owned and -focused company, operates daily  7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and  during performances

  • State-of-the-art customer self-checkout at Marketplace East, where guests can have their entire purchase of up to 12 items scanned at once

  • Food kiosks – fried chicken, tacos, pizzas/BBQ and Kitchen 22 – have ordering stations, or guests can order from the Hollywood Bowl app or posted QR code

  • Additions of smaller Sweet Shop and soft serve ice cream stations around the grounds to increase availability

  • New beer pads for grab-and-go beers with self-checkout

  • Comprehensive compostable food ware and greenware program used throughout all disposable food services

 

Highlights for the 2023 menus include:

 

Supper in Your Seats – Available by pre-order online until 6 p.m. the day before a performance, Supper in Your Seats offers curated three-course dinners or customized meals from à la carte selections delivered right to your box seats.

 

Menu Highlight: The Angeleno – summer fruit and arugula with Leonora goat cheese, jamon and candied pecans; a choice of soft polenta, wild mushrooms, Swiss chard, mascarpone and gremolata or slow-roasted salmon with farro tabbouleh, summer vegetables and cucumber yogurt; and dessert of crème fraîche cheesecake with stone fruit and blackberries.

 

Newly available Supper in Your Seats items for 2023 include:

 

  • chopped Greek salad: romaine, cucumber, tomato, black olives and feta

  • summer fruit and arugula with Leonora goat cheese, jamon and candied pecans

  • tortiglioni pasta with heirloom tomatoes, pancetta, parmigiano-reggiano and garlic breadcrumbs (can be prepared vegan)

  • diver scallops with saffron risotto, young spinach and Meyer lemon salsa

  • braised short ribs with shell bean ragoût, rapini and whole grain mustard

 

Ann’s Wine Bar by A.O.C. – Showcasing a wine list personally curated by Caroline Styne, Los Angeles’ favorite wine bar comes to life at the Hollywood Bowl with a wine-friendly menu of artisanal cheese and charcuterie, farmers plates, grilled flatbreads, market-fresh salads and A.O.C.-style fish and meats.

There are also craft brews and farmers market-driven cocktails made with soju and other wine-based liquors.

 

Newly available Ann’s Wine Bar by A.O.C. items for 2023 include:

 

  • grilled flatbread with summer squash, taleggio, sun-dried tomato pesto

  • apricots and pickled cherries with soft ricotta, jamon and coriander hazelnuts

  • cherry tomatoes with sweet peppers, stracciatella, basil pesto and torn croutons

  • quinoa dumplings with spiced tomato, sugar snaps, pea shoots and feta

  • cumin lamb chops with black beans, cucumber, roasted poblano, Urfa and pistachios

  • milk chocolate torta with rum caramel and coffee cream

 

the backyard – The al fresco dining area, adjacent to the amphitheater, is flanked by two large wood-burning grills and offers an updated seasonal market-driven menu of summer salads, an extensive raw bar and side dishes, in addition to the wood-grilled selection of fresh fish, seafood, organic chicken, chops and steaks.

 

Newly available items for the backyard in 2023 include:

 

  • hamachi tostada with avocado, cucumber, citrus and salsa macha

  • avocado bruschetta with cherry tomatoes, feta and piri piri

  • heirloom tomatoes with Jimmy Nardellos, butter beans, aloreña olives and paprika

  • whole sea bream with couscous, golden raisins, pistachios, kumquat and chermoula

  • grilled lobster with toasted cornbread, succotash salad and smoked tomato butter

  • chicken paillard with pecorino pudding, haricots verts, spring onions and mustard breadcrumbs

 

Picnic Boxes – All four of Suzanne Goin’s complete picnic boxes can be pre-ordered a day before a concert and picked up at the Plaza Marketplace or delivered to your box seats.

 

Menu Highlight: The Maple Drive – Grilled wagyu with arugula, cherry tomatoes and preserved lemon salsa; summer succotash salad; feta stone-fruit salad with beets, dandelion and hazelnut vinaigrette; 2 cheeses, pain aux fruits, nuts and dried fruit, fig jam; and crème fraîche cheesecake with stone fruit and blackberries

 

Kitchen 22 – Made-to-order beef and veggie burgers, Suzanne’s Spanish fried chicken, grilled Comté cheese on Larder sourdough and savory sandwiches anchor the Hollywood Bowl’s tribute to classic American fare.

 

Menu Highlight: Big and Juicy Burgers

 

Marketplaces – Three Marketplace locations – Plaza, East and West – specialize in “grab-and-go” salads, sandwiches, farmers’ market-driven main courses, charcuterie, cheese plates, desserts, and Magpies Softserve ice cream pies and sundaes.

 

Showcasing the best of Goin and Styne’s casual Larder café-marketplace, these Hollywood Bowl venues also feature a large selection of hand-picked wines, craft beers, sodas and waters, as well as salty and sweet snacks including cookies and brownies, candy, nuts and crackers.

 

Lucques at the Circle full-service dining experience for Pool Circle

 

Lucques at the Circle – This is a full-service dining experience for Pool Circle subscribers, showcasing a seasonal made-to-order menu and exceptional wine list styled from the award-winning cuisine of Lucques.

 

Menu Highlights:

  • ricotta gnocchi with chanterelles, sweet corn, spinach and sage brown butter

  • “three sisters” gazpacho: yellow tomato, avocado, pepitas and queso fresco

  • dandelion and radicchio with roasted wild plums, pecans and crumbled goat cheese

  • arugula and Weiser melons with cucumber, Urfa, lime and pistachios

  • grilled ribeye steak frites with arugula salad and smoked tomato butter

  • Spanish stuffed chicken, romanesco, pickled golden raisins and Marcona aioli

  • pistachio baklava Magpies: chocolate crust, almond pound cake and fudge

 

Authentic street foods and snacks

 

Street Food and Snacks – Authentic street foods can be found throughout the grounds of the Hollywood Bowl, including Suzanne’s fried chicken, tacos (including vegan), artisanal pizzas, pulled pork BBQ sandwiches, assorted sandwiches and beverages.

The Sweet Shop offers signature desserts, cookies and brownies, coffee and ice cream. Visitors will find L.A.’s Magpies Softserve’s ice cream pies and their mix-in ice creams, which include nondairy and vegan options.

Please visit Hollywood Bowl Food + Wine for more information about the food and wine experiences available at the Hollywood Bowl.

Hollywood Bowl has been the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since its official opening in 1922

One of the largest natural amphitheaters in the world, with a seating capacity of nearly 18,000, the Hollywood Bowl has been the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since its official opening in 1922 and plays host to the finest artists from all genres of music, offering something for everyone.

It remains one of the best deals anywhere in Los Angeles; to this day, $1 buys a seat at the top of the Bowl for many classical and jazz performances. In February 2023 the venue was named the Outdoor Concert Venue of the Year at the 34th Annual Pollstar Awards, an honor bestowed 15 previous times.

The Hollywood Bowl was also named Amphitheater of the Decade at the 32nd Annual Pollstar Awards as well as Top Amphitheater at the 2017 and 2018 Billboard Touring Awards.

For millions of music lovers across Southern California, the Hollywood Bowl is synonymous with summer. hollywoodbowl.com

Hollywood Bowl Food + Wine is presented by the Los Angeles Philharmonic in partnership with The Lucques Group and Sodexo Live!

LA is Ready for a New Champagne, Give Champagne Jeeper a taste

LA is Ready for a New Champagne, Give Champagne Jeeper a taste.

It’s easy to fall in love with champagne.  Life celebrations.  Work success.  Life’s best memories (hello weddings, anniversaries, babies, birthdays).  If you’re ready to try a new champagne, this is for you.

 

 

Today we had the amazing opportunity to talk (via zoom) with Jeeper Champagne’s Camille Cox.  This conversation has been edited for length and clarity.  For the full conversation, visit our YouTube channel.

 

 

Can you share a favorite memory where you celebrated with champagne?

 

Oh, there’s, God, there’s so many. I can’t even begin to tell you. But the one thing I can say is that you always should carry champagne because in victory you deserve champagne and in defeat you need it. That was Napoleon Bonaparte, if I’m not mistaken? 

I think my most memorable toast with champagne are personal victories  And, of course, business victories as you can imagine. I’ve been selling champagne for a very long time, and I can name a couple that come to mind. One of them a few years back was getting business at the Delta Airlines lounges. Putting another maison there.   At the time, the house that I was working for at the time that was a big victory in itself. And just little victories in life each and every day. Every day is a celebration. 

It’s all relative in how you look at it and how you live your life, but I think every day calls for champagne, to be completely honest with you.

 

I love that,  ‘Everyday calls for champagne’. Jeeper has an interesting story behind it based on the end of World War II.

Can you give us just a very brief history lesson of Jeeper that brings us up to present day?

 

So, as you know, many champagne houses have great stories, and that’s the great thing about Champagne. Every Maison has their story and the fact that you get to go back and find out how it became is super fascinating to me.

When I had the chance to join Jeeper, I went back to look at the story.  A family started  making champagne in the 1800s.  It had its heyday and then it floundered. It changed hands for quite some time. Then a gentleman by the name of Armand Goutorbe, who was working his family vineyards, had to be called to war and ended up in a house in an undisclosed location because everybody was fighting against the resistance at that time.

He happened to be holed up in a place with some American soldiers and they were being bombed and consequently they were all trying to help save each other’s lives. History tells us that Armand was a gentleman who took it upon himself to risk his own life, to pull some American GIs away from the building that was going to be bombed, possibly losing their lives.

In doing so, he impeded his leg and went back to looking over his vineyards in Champagne. The hills aren’t high, but they’re steep. His leg impeded his day-to-day operations. The US army got ahold of the story and some of the soldiers that he saved wanted to pay tribute to him and in all humbleness to thank him for saving their lives. So the US military gave him a Willie’s Jeep, and he rode around in the villages and he became known as “Mr. Jeeper Man”. Two years later, he said, I think I’m just gonna name my vineyards Jeeper. So there it was born Jeeper in 1949 because of a wonderful gift that the US Army bequeathed to him.

We still have the Jeep today on property.

 

 

 

Can we talk about the terroir of the region?

 

We are located in Faverolles et Coëmy, a commune near Reims in the north-west of the Champagne region.  In the Montagne de Reims, the Côte des Blancs and the Marne Valley.

We are mostly a chardonnay house and we use Chardonnay as our primary grape.

We make eight different wines under the Jeeper label. We  have two great certifications for being biodynamic and organic.  Our flagship for the winery is our Blanc de Blanc. Our bottles are color coded in terms of the labels so that they stand out significantly to consumers.

That area has cool nights. A little bit of frost, but beautiful, pristine, crisp grapes from those regions, from the sub regions in Champagne. We own about 80 hectares. We don’t buy any grapes. We use our own grapes. We have the capacity to make 3.5 million bottles, but we hope to make more with some partnerships that we’ve kind of acquired.

Having Michel Reybier as a new partner with Nicholas, the current owner of and partner, who makes the wines too. Nicholas Dubois makes us stand apart from that we’re not right in the middle of Reims. We’re out there, believe it or not.

So when you come to Reims, you’re not gonna see us. You’re gonna have to get on the train or take a little cab and make it to Jeeper. 

I love talking about process.  Our audience is a mix of very basic drinkers up to connoisseurs.

So can you share a little bit of the process and how, how, what, what makes your champagne so unique?

 

What makes us a little bit more unique is a lot of champagne houses only use steel vats. We’re still kind of old school. We do use some Burgundy barrels.  We have one of the biggest barrel rooms behind Krug and Bollinger. We have about 1200 barrels that we use. So for instance, our Grande Assemblage, which happens to be our brut non vintage, we age 20% of the chardonnay that we use in that blend for two years in used burgundy oak barrels and then we do the aging of the lees. We lay it down for about four years. So that’s two years for the 20% Chardonnay laying down for two years. Then the four years makes it a total of six years. So you get a totally different taste. There’s a little bit of maturity there with the oak barrels. 

It’s something completely different. I’ve worked for houses that were stainless steel, so this is something new for me as well too. The aging process, there is some lactic, it just depends on which cuvee we’re speaking about.

Withholding our wines a little bit longer. We’re not big production, we’re not a grower champagne house by any means. We’re just over the hump as a boutique champagne house. We’re just getting started here in the United States. Our biggest production and where we sell the most champagne is in France.

But opening up the United States, it’s tough to build a champagne brand in the US, believe it or not. It’s super tough.

You have to find a way to differentiate yourself, what makes you stand out. I think that’s Jeeper having the name and the story and the total difference of not having stainless steel aging, and that we’re malolactic and that we do use oak barrels in some of our cuvee’s.

 

One of the reasons I wanted to talk to you is a few weeks ago when I had the chance to actually taste through the bottles, they did have such a unique taste.

 

So let’s talk about the actual bottles.

 

I’ve mentioned the Grande Assemblage, which is our brut non-vintage. It’s a green label, and I just told you a little bit about that. But the one that is our flagship is our Blanc De Blanc.

I think our bottles are beautiful. We have a patent on the bottle.  People notice how easy it was to take off the foil.

So there’s still a little label underneath the foil that says Jeeper, which is kind of neat for us and it speaks volumes because it doesn’t leave you a mess or end up getting paper cuts from the foil cuts. 

The Blanc de Blanc is big, full-bodied, rich.  Also super elegant. It’s clean. It’s crisp, even though it has a big mouthful. 

Our champagnes are the categories in the last 7 to 10 years that have really ended up getting some traction. I think people are walking away from the norm. They’re walking away from big commercial houses because they wanna see what else is out there. 

Their curious is curiosity’s sake and I think it’s really helped the champagne business. I think the champagne business has always been cyclical, but in the last 7 to 10 years, it’s really gotten a hold and people are really embracing champagne to great success 

Because there’s so many beautiful wines out there, so many different styles and so many cool things that you can learn. I think the more the people, because of the terroir, I always say that champagne is a reflection of the mood of the terroir.

Champagne, the terroir from where we are, its chalky soil limestone. It lends itself to so many different characteristics in the wine. We’re not a big vintage champagne house. 2008 was probably one of the best vintages of the century.  It was gone in a flash. With our 2008, we age it for 12 years on the lees. It’s 88% Chardonnay and 12% Pinot Noir. So there’s that wonderful characteristic and it has a little maturity on it, a little oxidation. 

I’m a vintage champagne girl and a no dousage champagne girl so this one fits the bill for me, but it may not be for everyone’s taste profile. 

I can always tell at the beginning when I’m doing a tasting with the two lead wines that you start off with in Champagne, what someone is gonna like in the rest of the range.  It never fails me. It’s always about 95% full proof. 

It’s so subjective. The 2008 for me is interesting. We’re getting ready to release a new release of Blanc de Blanc coming in May, which I’m super excited about. It’ll be no dousage.

We also now have a partnership, as I mentioned, one of our owners, Michel Repier. There’s a gentleman by the name of Tony Parker, who’s a former four-time NBA champion. A hall of famer. I was just with him a couple weeks ago. Super, super person. He told us his story about where he came from and how much he loves gastronomy.  He’s French.  A lot of people don’t realize that.  He’s from Lyon, and I’m sure the Parisians would beg to differ, but Lyon is supposedly now the gastronomy capital of Paris. So we have him as an ambassador; a gentleman who really loves wine and is very enamored with it, wants to roll his sleeves up.

He’s helped us with our Rose project that we have in Provence, but helping me with Jeeper as well. It’s a great collaboration. It’s been great for me, for the brand, for helping us build the brand here in the US because we’re building our distribution network.

Which is not an easy thing to do, as I can tell you having done it for many years. So we’re looking for new partners that want to build a brand with us who we want to be on the ground floor with.  I feel like the people that bring you to the party are the people you need to stick to.

It’s easy to be a fair weather friend, but I am all about loyalty and building a brand with someone. And making it happen. The wine business is exploding, so there’s a lot of opportunities out there. It’s just finding our niche and letting people know the story and taste the wines.

 

I don’t know that champagne gets enough love when it comes to food. Let’s talk about food pairings.

 

A previous maison I worked for didn’t want us to suggest pairing champagne with chocolate or strawberries.  I think that fallacy of Pretty Woman when she’s having her “floor picnic” as she called it in the movie.  She’s drinking champagne and having strawberries – they are very acidic. But I think it’s really what you want to do.

Do I think it’s the best pairing? Absolutely not. 

I’ve gone through this with many chefs in the past where I’ve asked them not to use chocolate or strawberries, and [while they weren’t happy with that] luckily they did talk to me at the very end of it, but they weren’t very happy. But there’s so many great things out there that you can pair champagne with and the new thing is, Champagne and chicken fried chicken.

As a southerner, I’m a fried chicken lover. It’s an incredible pairing. 

I also think sea salt potato chips with a non-dosage champagne are absolutely fabulous. But let’s look at the classics. What about ratatouille from France? You know, something that you don’t really ever think about. It’s always the ones that are there that you can think about.

Gratin potatoes are an amazing pairing if you’re a big potato lover as I am.  It’s just great. So I think the sky’s the limit depending on what it is you’re drinking. Of course, no dosage champagnes aren’t gonna be great with everything. I also love Dim Sum and champagne, to be completely honest with you.

So all the pairings that are non-traditional, if you will, kind of thinking outside the box. Really making it an opportunity to see: where you can take it? Are you gonna push the limit? I’m all about pushing the limits on a lot of things.  Nobody should be chastised for that on any level.

So if somebody likes what they like, they like what they like. I think the traditional [concept] many years ago: Are you having chicken for dinner? You can only have white [wine]. I love the fact that that’s out the door now.

People learn more and more about wine every day. They’re so enamored with it.  I think the pandemic gave us all an opportunity to stop, take a minute, take a breath, slow down, maybe enjoy things or get into things that we didn’t have the time to do. I think gastronomy is one of them.

People now love to make food at home. People love to drink wine at home. We saw that with the pandemic. There’s a lot of opportunity, everywhere you look. I like the classics.  I’m a foodie.

But I love food and I think drinking it the way you want to drink it and the way you want to enjoy is paramount. Paramount. I don’t think there should be any rules put around that on any level. 

As everyone’s hearing the Jeeper story and getting to know your bottles, what can our audience do for Jeeper Champagne?

 

Helping Jeeper is to buy some [bottles] where we’re distributed. Give something new a chance. Wherever you buy wine, take an opportunity to just treat yourself to something completely different because you never know what’s gonna happen.

It could end up being your favorite wine and you just don’t realize it. Expand your opportunity and your horizons, and that’s what life is all about. 

Think outside the box. Live a little, okay. You, you bought a bottle, but there’s some great champagnes out there that are really economical. We know we’ve taken a little bit of a price increase, but treat yourself, you’ll be glad that you did. I think it, it expands your horizons and makes you see so many other things you didn’t see

 

Where can we find Jeeper Champagne on social media to follow?

 

Jeeper is on most major social media channels.  Please give us a follow and visit our website at: https://www.champagne-jeeper.com/

https://www.facebook.com/ChampagneJeeper/

https://www.instagram.com/champagnejeeper/

https://twitter.com/ChampagneJeeper

Camille, thank you so much for your time. I loved hearing the stories.

 

Thank you so much!

Former NBA Star Tony Parker knows the future of the Rose’ Revolution; and shares his Dinner Party Secrets, French Summer Escapes

NBA Hall of Famer Tony Parker shares his dinner party secrets, favorite french summer escapes and the future of the Rose’ Revolution.

In his incredible basketball career, Tony Parker earned four NBA Championships with the San Antonio Spurs, was selected for six All-Star teams and named MVP of the 2007 Finals.

But these days, his passion for food and wine is keeping him even more inspired.

Starting as a boy growing up in France, the memorable dinner parties he hosted during his NBA days, his summer escapes to French Vineyards during the off-season. 

It’s no surprise that now he diving into the French wine world, buying Château La Mascaronne in Provence with legendary business partner Michel Reybier.

A magnificent adventure for the next vintage of his life’s journey.

Château La Mascaronne Rose' COURTESY OF CHÂTEAU LA MASCARONNE

Château La Mascaronne Rose’ COURTESY OF CHÂTEAU LA MASCARONNE

Today I sat down with Tony Parker (over audio-only speakerphone) for a conversation about dinner parties, french vacation, getting busy in vineyards, and the future of Rose’ wine. 

The conversation has been edited for length and clarity.  The full conversation can be found on our YouTube channel.

Also, the podcast version is here:

 

 

You’ve been diving into the world of winemaking with Michel Reybier and his team. Can you talk a little bit about the adventure, any surprises or lessons?

 

It’s been amazing. I always wanted to invest in a project like that. The first time I tried wine was when I was 17 years old. I wanted to keep learning about it and get my knowledge better around the wine world. And so when I was 19, I finally made enough money to afford all those great wines.

I was lucky enough to play for a coach who loved wine, had a huge collection, was reading wine magazines every trip. And so that’s how we bonded. As I got better, in my knowledge of wine, I started to invite all the best [people] in San Antonio to come to do a nice dinner at my house with Coach Popovich, and then the next day I would invite them to a Spurs game.

Château La Mascaronne COURTESY OF CHÂTEAU LA MASCARONNE

Château La Mascaronne COURTESY OF CHÂTEAU LA MASCARONNE

Then during the summer I started making trips to the vineyard. I started to know them better. Because in the wine world, obviously, you have great families. They’re super passionate. And that’s how I started; working on my allocation and the good bottles, the Reserves. 

Tony Parker and Michel Reybier - SEBASTIEN CLAVEL

Tony Parker and Michel Reybier – SEBASTIEN CLAVEL

When I retired I wanted to be more involved. But it’s very hard to invest in the wine business because it’s either in the family for generations and generations.  Those big companies buy everything. And so I was very lucky, through mutual friends I met Mr. Reybier and after talking for six or eight months, we decided to become partners. Now I’m a proud Owner / Ambassador / Everything.

 

You mentioned the wine dinners you had in San Antonio. Just for us massive foodies, can you help us fantasize for a moment?

What kind of food was served? What kind of wines were poured? Can you take us back to those nights?

 

I had a private chef. My private chef would work with the vineyard. We tell them who’s coming, how many people, which bottles and what year they will send us. 

Then they will work with my staff to make sure we make a menu accordingly, to make sure that everything is matched with what we are drinking.

So when the [dinner party] came to my house, we tried [the vintages] 1969, 1982, 2000 and 2009. It was unbelievable. Great bottles, great vintages. 

And for me, I’m very lucky too because I’m born in 1982 and it’s one of the best years for wine, especially in Bordeaux. So every time I visit a castle in Bordeaux, the employees are always super happy because it’s a good opportunity for them, as the owner, to open an ‘82 [vintage]. 

Most of the time, they’ll come and say thank you to me, saying it’s [their] first time trying an ‘82 [vintage]. Because nowadays, they don’t open those 82’s a lot.

 

 

You’ve hinted at your sports background, obviously you have become a master. Is there any lesson that you mastered in sports that you’ve brought into the wine world with you?

 

The passion and the work ethic. Obviously in the wine world I will never try to be and talk like a Sommelier, they studied for that. Even if I have good knowledge and I’ve been working with vineyards.  And I’m learning all the time, especially since I’ve been owning vineyards. I did Harvest. I did the assemblage.  Which is when you try all the possible [options], and you decide what the wine is going to be.

Tony Parker and Michel Reybier - SEBASTIEN CLAVEL

Tony Parker and Michel Reybier – SEBASTIEN CLAVEL

I’ve been working with great directors.  Our director is unbelievable. The director at La Mascaronne, she’s great too. And so for me, it’s been great knowledge, and a great learning process to learn even more about wine.

What inspired you to choose the partner with Chateau La Mascaronne?

 

When I met him, I knew he was huge in the wine business and obviously it brings a lot of credibility when you work with somebody like Michel Reybier because he’s been at this for so long and he’s the owner of one of the best wines in the world with Château Cos d’Estournel.

That’s how I knew him and that was big time. When he talked about La Mascaronne, he bought it from Tom Bove.

Back in 2006, when I started going on vacation every summer, I started drinking Rose’ with my brothers and my friends. We love rose’ in the summer. 

That’s when Miraval took off.  Brad Pitt bought it with Angelina [Jolie]. He bought Miraval from Tom Bove.

Tony Parker at Château La Mascaronne COURTESY OF CHÂTEAU LA MASCARONNE

Tony Parker at Château La Mascaronne COURTESY OF CHÂTEAU LA MASCARONNE

So [I thought] if Tom Bove hit that property perfectly with Miraval, for sure [it can happen] with La Mascaronne, it’s just a matter of time before we can do something amazing.

What’s next for you as far as the wine world goes?

 

Our premium rosé just came out from La Mascaronne.  Only 3,000 bottles.

We’re working on more premium one’s now.  I think that’s where things are going with rose’s.  All these big companies and all the knowledge that they get from the red wines is coming into the Rosé world, where the Rosé is going to get better and better.

For more information on Tony Parker and La Mascaronne:

La Mascaronne’s website

La Mascaronne’s Instagram

Tony Parker’s Instagram

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