Wednesday evening the partner and I attended a French Wine and Cheese class at the Artisanal Premier Cheese Center. I like wine and cheese, and enjoyed the evening. granted, I didn't think I learned much new, other than sampling some new cheeses I hadn't had before. What was nice was that the evening was co-moderated by Xavier Flourent, CEO of Cognac-One. You might have seen the outdoor campaign for Ayala Champagne, the Purer Champagne. That's Cognac-One. He bought the wines we tasted that evening. They were from his new initiative. It's an interesting concept. He travels the world looking for small, quality producers, than brands them with the Xavier Flourent label creating a portfolio that currently includes producers in France, Spain and Chile, with more being added all the time. While the concept of a global brand with regional offerings isn't new, I was impressed by the wines, but also the branding itself. The distinctive X label provides a strong brand signifier that varies in color with the wine. All labels identify the local producer as well as the wine. It was a nice system.
After the class I had the chance to speak with Xavier. He is enthusiastic about the business and I wish him luck.
P.S. The Chateaunuef du Pape was wonderful, and at $35 a bottle, a great value.