The Somm Journal

Dec 2015-Jan 2016

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Page 65 of 124

{ }  65 Perrier-Jouët's relationship with the Hollywood libations and pro- visions store Mel & Rose is personal. "We had a 'name the business' competition when we first opened 23 years ago, and we decided the winner won a bottle of Belle Époque," explains Sherry Banayan, who runs the shop as co-proprietor with her husband, Shawn. "My nine-year-old niece came up with the name, so she won the bottle. She ended up opening it on her wedding day." As Mel & Rose has grown to attain national attention in the last couple of decades—Oprah Winfrey is a raving fan of their goody- stuffed made-to-order gift baskets—the Banayans have continued to ensure Perrier-Jouët's creations play a key role in their success. "Our customers know quality, and they trust us to carry high- quality products," Shawn says. "It's why Perrier-Jouët products are store staples. They offer such a great pedigree, with their history, bottle ar t, and the Champagne itself. It matches our customers' expectations perfectly." Hervé Deschamps (center) visits Sherry and Shawn Banayan, proprietors of wines and spirits emporium Mel & Rose in Los Angeles. A Family Affair The windows of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel's main restaurant, The BLVD, overlook Rodeo Drive's south- ern terminus. This allows the venue to be a punctuation mark of sorts for luxury, and having Belle Époque on their wine list makes sure this registers as a solid exclamation point. Yet while the restaurant is an ideal fit for Belle Époque, the Champagne's natural sophistication is something the eatery tries very hard not to take for granted. "Perrier-Jouët has been creating elegant experiences for over 200 years," explains Roy Gerards, The BLVD's Assistant Manager. "We don't want to do anything to mess that up." Gerards doesn't have a thing to worry about. The BLVD's dedication to producing a luxe atmosphere worthy of Belle Époque shines through at every turn, making it a perfect spot for upscale window shoppers and local business types looking for a pause that truly refreshes. It's also a prime location for people to get educated on the complexities of the beverage. "We do get the occasional customer that comes in looking to indulge in a new experience," Gerard states. "When we open a bottle of Belle Époque for these people, we feel like we're opening the world of Champagne to them." Roy Gerards, Assistant Manager, The BLVD. Extending Rodeo Drive Glasses of Perrier-Jouët Belle Époque await guests at The BLVD, the signature restaurant of the Four Seasons Beverly Wilshire hotel in Beverly Hills.

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