America Drinks Up

When times get tough, people drink. The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States reveal that sales for whiskey are up 4.3% by dollar value and 1.3% by volume in 2008. The last few years were all about top shelf vodka, tequila, and rum, but right now premium whiskey is the vital growth point among spirits.  Top shelf whiskeys like Johnny Walker Blue Label and bourbons like Maker's Mark are in hot demand. Bourbon, which is an American whiskey, has been distilled since the 18th century and is the key ingredient in many simple cocktails. You know, Whiskey Coke, Blue label on the rocks, all of which require no bartending skills. And as more people drink at home now then ever before, cocktails need to be simple and drinkable. What cocktails can you make with whiskey? 

Barack Obama 44, Limited Edition Unlimited Potential

For the 44th President,-elect a select bottle of Cognac. Hennessy got into the Barack Obama hoopla with a special edition bottle of cognac. The collector-bottle is cheap at $30 bucks.  If you're not into Barack Obama or Cognac, know that a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Thurgood Marshell College Fund which gives scholarships to kids attending historically Black colleges. If you're still not into Hennessy's 44th limited edition Cognac then you're most likely not human. A grand total of 180,000 Obama inspired Cognac bottles will me made available to the American people. You can get your hands on one namely in Washington, D.C, New York City, Maryland, Illinois and apparently, Georgia. Put up shot glasses ya'll and drink to "unlimited potential" as Hennessy says. Potential or not getting drunk makes everything better!

A Companion for Your New Year’s Champagne

By now everybody probably has their New Years outfits and plans figured out but we still wanted to blog this one. Champagne and New Year's Even go together like  turkey and Thanksgiving. To take good care of your champagne this New Years opt for the Baccarat Moulin Rouge champagne cooler. The lavish all crystal cooler is 23 cm high. The interior is your call, either gold or silver. You can also choose the handles you want. The glam cooler is $3,456.76 and perfectly festive to bring in 2009 in serious style. Drink up!

Gold Member

Moët & Chandon will be bringing in 2009 with a sparkly bottle of bubbly and an unexpected undertaking signed-off by talented French designer Camille Toupet. Midnight Gold is an Imperial Crude Moët & Chandon thats comes with a luxe limited edition gold jacket-case.

The encasing is isothermal to preserve champagne at an ideal temperature. The functionality is appreciable but, then again, so is the actually aesthetic. The bottle case is made with the finest gold lambskin leather and decorated with hand-sewn swarovski crystals and gilded pearls. Last but not least, the “neck tie”, signature of Moët & Chandon bottles, can be pulled off the case to double as a Swarovski crystal and pearl cuff-bracelet. While the bracelet may be a bit tacky, it's not a bad marketing ploy.

Designer Camille Toupet illuminated Moet & Chandon's sense of celebration with Midnight Gold. Midnight Gold replicates the effervescence and preciosity of Moet & Chandon champagne, a tradition since 1743. Only 100 Midnight Gold by Camille Toupet bottles will be made. You can get yours at at Lavinia and Caves Augé in Paris or at Hédiard in Monaco. This bottle is the way to bring in a very happy and exclusive New Years Eve 2009.

On Top of the World: Luxury Homes

We have found a new book for your coffee table. The book is the latest edition in teNeues' Luxury series called Luxury Houses : Top of the World. The very, very best houses from around the world have been photographed in the hard cover. The houses are stunning, the real deal creme de la creme of the real estate world. They all have "stunning settings, sumptuous materials, and sophisticated architectural detailing and interiors." Plus, each house "offers a unique perspective on what's possible if both money and taste abound." These houses have been built with serious money in serious locations. Architects and the affluent aren't the only who will appreciate this book by John Smith. Check it out!

           

We Buy Champagne Bottles, Bernard Arnault Buys Champagne Brands

People pop bottles of champagne for New Years, French billionaire, Bernard Arnault buys champagne companies. Arnault is the 14th richest person in the world with a net worth of $25.5 billion. He owns 47.5% of Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton or LVMH, which is the world's biggest luxury goods group.

Recently, LVMH bought the Montaudon champagne house for an undisclosed amount. The Moet Hennessy wine and spirits subdivision of LVMH will now have eight top-shelf champagne labels to maintain. Of which include, Dom Perignon, Moet & Chandon, Veuve Clicquot, Ponsardin, Krug, Ruinart and Mercier.

 

The rundown on Montaudon, the champagne house was founded in 1891 by Auguste Louis Montaudon. The house has since remained a small family owned business. Employing only 29 people in Reims, the exclusive champagne spot. Montaudon champagnes are sold throughout more than 25 other countries. The champagne is of high quality and noted for its tea-like flavor and airy taste.

 The most recent statement from LVMH was by Moet Hennessy Chairman Christophe Navarre, who said, "The acquisition of Montaudon enables us to complete our portfolio of prestigious brands and to increase our champagne reserves. This corresponds with Moet Hennessy’s strategy to strengthen its worldwide leadership in the luxury wines and spirits sector." And there you go, LVMH already the world's largest luxury goods conglomerate adds one more to the mix. For the record, LVMH is the owner of about 60 sub-companies that each manage several prestigious brands. At what point does LVMH go for world domination? And Mr. Arnault, we would love to be you right now.

 

Spend Money Honey

All credit cards were not created equal, black is on another level. If you have no credit limit but don't have a black card, then there's something wrong with you. Get one!

Most big spenders are well aware of the American Express Titanium Centurion card or the Black card as it is commonly referred to. The Black card is a coveted status symbol and only about 17,000 total are in circulation right now. To score a black card, you, first and foremost, must be charging a minimum $250,000 a year. You pay the $5,000 initiation fee, plus, the annual fee of $2,500 which is simply worth it considering the perks. Besides a no credit limit, you will have a wholly, personal concierge service to abuse. This means, the best tickets to sold out events, reservations to the best restaurants that were at capacity. Private shopping services that gain you access into major fashion houses, oh, and a private jet with just six hours notice.

Visa, not to be outdone by Amex, has recently launched their version of the black card. The Visa Black card which they tout as the World's most prestigous and versatile credit card has launched. The card is designed out of patent pending carbon graphite for maximum attention. The annual fee is only $495 and the perks are, well, just alright. There's a 24-hour concierge service, a plethora of information and discounts on luxe goods, travel and business services. The original American Express Black card is still our first choice but the choice is yours. Happy spending ya'll!

Krug Gives it to You On Your Own Terms

A small percentage of the world has been unaffected by the financial crisis or, at least, they are rich enough to never really feel it.  These are the people still spending money and the Krug champagne house is fully catering to them. Krug hosted the biggest Miami Art Basel party on Thursday at the Raleigh Hotel. They were pouring out their best bottles of champagne like it was cheaper than water. Krugis doing just fine and has introduced a new service that allows elite clients to personalize cases of Grand Cuvee. "The Krug On My Own Terms" case is a wooden encasement that on one side can be personalized with metal, mirror, or saddle leather with an inscription of choice. Could make a good gift this season and is sure to make Krug a little extra something, something. You can order your champagne case exclusively from Krug.

Time for Fine Wine

The luxury market has become a hunting ground for the bargain savvy. Thanks to really bad financial times which the whole world seems to finally be feeling, luxury prices are dropping. From the cost of prime real estate, to new Aston Martins and even fine wine, has gone way down. The Liv-Ex 100 lists the prices of the top 100 most coveted luxury wines and since last October there has been a 12.4% drop. Bad news for the wineries but if you're looking to fill your wine cellar with some luxe bottles of Dom. Romane Conti 1997, $1,540, Petrus Pomerol 1998, $1,459, or Chteau Le Pin Pomerol 1999, $908 now would be a good time. The wine market is a buyers market so let your collection begin.

In the Spirit of Art & Spirits: Art Basel 2008

Art and alcohol work in tandem on Miami Beach, particularly during Art Basel. If you are an art or liquor aficionado, or both, check out the Maison Ruinart Champagne lounge. In case you are ignorant, Ruinart is the historic Chanpagne house founded by Nicolas Ruinart in the Champagne region of Reims, France. Ruinart has been exclusively bottling champagne since 1729 making it the oldest champagne house in the world. Ruinart is now owned by parent company Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA  or LVMH.

Now we can get back to the Art Basel, Miami Beach part. The Maison Ruinart Champagne lounge at Art Basel will feature Internationally renowned Dutch furniture designer and artist Maarten Baas. The lounge will be selling his latest work, an evanescent chandelier. The Salvador Dali-esque centerpiece was made from Murano glass, silver and bottles of Ruinart Chamoagne. The piece "Bouquet de Champagne de Dom Ruinart," was influenced by an 18th century Venetian chandelier that has fallen. What we mean is the piece sits on the table, rather than hanging above, and gives the illusion of a chandelier that has fallen and is melting with bottles of Dom Ruinart.

The extraordinary piece will be going for $100,000 during Art Basel and is just one of many pieces we have found so far. In the spirit of art and, well, spirits we cannot wait for Art Basel to begin on December 4th!