Champagne lifestyle is heavenly in HellSince the opening of Naos Nova in June 2005, Seoul’s champagne cognoscenti have used the lounge as a debating chamber where they discuss the merits of various grand marque bubblies.
Located at the foot of Namsan near downtown Seoul, the elegant lounge has become a hot destination for the city’s affluent and high-profile who like to be seen sipping from a slender flute at Naos Nova’s casual evenings and at its exclusive parties.
Kyle Lee, the proprietor, a champagne aficionado himself, boasts that he has the most extensive champagne list in Korea, and earlier this year he organized his own event to introduce Piper Heidsieck and Henriot champagnes. Lee’s promotion of high viniculture and his sophisticated establishment have made him into a Seoul A-lister, especially among wine, spirits and champagne distributors and importers who are battling to make a connection with the city’s most elite customers.
While most event organizers chose the last weekend of October to stage big Halloween bashes, Mr. Lee planned something discreetly elegant for the Naos Nova chosen few on All Hallows’ Eve itself.
In accordance with the private party’s theme, “Black Sabbath,” about 80 people ― stock traders, art gallery owners and collectors along with chief executives in their 30s ― turned up in ebony black to party on the basement floor, aptly called “Hell.”
“I wanted to organize Seoul’s chic-est ever Halloween party,” said Mr. Lee, formerly a fashion designer from Paris, who was wrapped in a black fox fur for the evening. And Mr. Lee’s complimentary drinks du jour, Veuve Clicquot Yellow Label, Veuve Clicquot Rose and the 1996 La Grand Dame, made clear he is one of Seoul’s champagne aristocrats.
The choice of champagne comes from the impression Veuve Clicquot made upon him when he visited their headquarters in Reims. He is also fond of the new Clicquot package design featuring a mirror by the world-renowned designer Andree Putman. When he found out Veuve Clicquot sponsors upscale Halloween parties in the United States, he decided to start a chic tradition here. He says he plans to make it an annual event from now on.
“I’m not only interested in parties; I’m interested in high culture and the design concept behind parties,” he said.
Mr. Lee announced that another of his exclusive events will take place at Naos Nova on Nov. 24 for those who wish to understand the haute world of taste and refinement, he will offer bottles of Krug Grande Cuvee, 1995 Krug, Krug Rose, 1995 Krug Clos du Mesnil.
by Ines Cho
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