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Bring on the bubbly and cognac

Champagne remains the most popular drink among city partygoers, although not everyone appreciates its bubbly, mixed sweet-and-sour taste.

Champagne is considered as a must-have for a fun night-out, due to its phenomenally successful marketing over the years.

These days, however, fewer and fewer people are in the mood to celebrate and order expensive bubbly because of the recession. Thus, marketers have realized they need to find another way out to promote the exclusive drink.

Moet & Chandon, for example, encourages consumers to drink champagne as a daily indulgence, not just at parties. More specifically, we should drink champagne "at any aspect of our daily lives which is worth celebrating," according to Arnaud Mirey, Moet Hennessy Asia-Pacific regional brand ambassador.

Pink champagne is said to create a feeling of romance.

Last Wednesday, a Moet & Chandon Salon was launched by the champagne house at Cabaret, the latest bar on the Bund, to promote its Rose Imperial and the latest "Book of Seduction" gift set.

The inspiration came from the royal court of 18th-century France, with Madame de Pompadour, the influential royal mistress of Louis XV, as its muse.

An intimate gathering was organized in the lounge where each guest enjoyed a glass of Rose Imperial and a selection of canapes created especially to match the wine.

Meanwhile, models in French court costumes invited guests to join them to play seductive dice games.

The book-shaped gift set contains a bottle of Rose Imperial, two tulip-shaped flutes and a set of "seduction" dice. The Rose Imperial itself is a fine blend of the intensity of Pinot Noir, the fruitiness of Pinot Meunier and the finesse of Chardonnay. The dominant hue is pink, the essence of warmth, while glimmers of red signify excitement and purple highlights connote depth.

Also last week, Hennessy VSOP launched its nationwide 2009 Hennessy Artistry tour in Shanghai.

Compared with last year's invitation-only extravaganza at the Shanghai Pudong Exhibition Center, this year's ceremony was more intimate and open to the public.

As on every other Friday night, the Yuyao Road property was packed with young patrons, who were surprised to spot Taiwan-based Korean artist Nicky Lee, German multi-genre duo Groove Coverage and DJ Becareful Sam Lee from Hong Kong on stage.

The Hennessy Artistry event also featured Tanya Chua, "Asia's queen of pop," Taiwanese all-round rock musician Alan Kuo, turntable genius DJ G and the UK remix dancing duo Product 01.

After Shanghai, the tour will move to 11 major cities, including Beijing, Tianjin, Guangzhou and Shenzhen in Guangdong Province, Chengdu in Sichuan Province, Xi'an in Shaanxi Province and Nanjing in Jiangsu Province.

This is Hennessy's fourth China tour. It's about "the global art of mixing, a philosophy that seeks to blend the best in musical genres and artistes, creating experiences that transcend borders and cross traditional music boundaries," according to June Neoh, marketing director of Moet Hennessy Diageo China.

Hennessy VSOP has established a strong brand in China, largely because of Hennessy Artistry, she said.

In China, Hennessy VSOP targets young professionals "who are dedicated to their careers, who enjoy all the luxuries and comforts life has to offer," she says.


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