Review | Narcisse Champagne and Tea Lounge Grand Opening

Champagne bubble lightsNarcisse Champagne and Tea Lounge put on what is sure be regarded as one of the biggest and best parties of 2011 last Thursday night.  The Grand Opening Celebration was an all out extravaganza.

I arrived a little before 9 p.m. and the lineup was huge to say the least.  So thought I’d try the VIP side entrance.  There was a security door and a little velvet rope section with two security men in suits with ear pieces.  There were people attempting to bribe, con or name drop their way in.  These guys were professionals, they didn’t even look at the list and politely informed them that the entrance is around the other side.  I gave them my name and for once in my life I was “on the list” !

Scottsdale Champagne Lounge

A packed house

Security escorted me in the building, down a utility hallway to an elevator.  He swiped a card, the door opened, he punched in some numbers, the doors closed and the elevator rose.  The doors on the other side opened into a small room with a black door.  I could hear the music thumping.  I opened the door.

crowd at a big partyThe VIP entrance is at the end of a little hallway next to the DJ stage, as I walked in I was hit by a wall of sound.  The music was loud, but appropriately so.  I finally entered into the massive main room.  Narcisse is a 6,500 square foot rectangular shaped room with massive windows on 3 sides.  There are two balconies overlooking the über fashionable Scottsdale Quarter.

night club bar

The Bar

This party was packed!  Shoulder to shoulder wall to wall.  There were photographers flashing away, there were party goers dancing all over.  It felt like New Year’s Eve, or an Oscar after party.

Narcisse gogo dancers

The Dancers

Then there were the go go dancers.  They were dressed edgy and just classy enough to make it appropriate.  There’s a lot to be said for a gal dancing in lingerie with feathery wings and a masquerade.

I wandered around and found some champagne and quickly began recognizing faces from the social media/public relations scene.    Narcisse promotional strategy was second to none.  They managed to invite pretty much every Twitter personality, blogger, PR firm in the metro Phoenix area.  The tweets and retweets and the facebook albums should keep the initial buzz going for quite some time.

Wine and Champagne for New Year’s Eve

It’s hard to believe that we are already celebrating the arrival of 2010.  It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were getting panicky about Y2K and the impending end of civilization.  So lets celebrate that not happening!

I know times are tough, but you know what?  Sometimes you just have to go out and treat yourself!  Plus the economy depends on it.  So I suggest that everyone spends at least 2 times what they would normally spend on a bottle of wine or champagne.   You only live once, you can’t take your $$$ to heaven and numbers like 2010 don’t come around very often.

In no particular order: (I’m not going to get into flavor profiles, because these suggestions are all based on “prestige, $$$, and point scores) Those are the things that you are going to  brag about at your New Year’s parties when someone asks you what you are drinking.

1. d’Arenberg “The Dead Arm”  Shiraz, McLaren Vale, Australia.  Retails for around $60 (US). Consistent 94,95 point scores.  Big bold Shiraz

2. Elderton Wines, Barossa Command Single Vineyard Shiraz. Saw it at Costco for about $80. 97 points Robert Parker.  Buy one for New Years, and hold the other because they say it’ll be good through 2035.

Those are two good suggestions if you like big bold wines and Shiraz in general. But what if you don’t?  How about something like a Cabernet Sauvignon then?

1. Chimney Rock, Stag’s Leap Napa Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon.  Retails for around $50. Nice 90 point wine, great with grilled meat, or by itself.

2. Spring Mountain Vineyard, 2004 Cabernet.  Great for drinking slowly over the course of the night, maybe get two bottles if there is more than one true wine lover at the party.  Retails for around $60

**Note** I would be suggesting the much less expensive  Cameron Hughes Wines but they are not available at most retail outlets, so I’m just going with wines everyone should be able to find at their local wine merchant.  If your local merchant doesn’t have these wines, it might be time to think about shopping elsewhere. (wow how wine snobby does that sound?!)

Okay so Shiraz and Cabernet are still just to big and acidic for you.  You need Pinot Noir.  You still want to be featured on Robin Leech’s Life Styles of the Rich and Famous though, so don’t be skimping and buying a regular $15 bottle of Pinot okay?

1. Hartford Court, Pinot  Noir, Land’s Edge, 2005 Sonoma. Retail $55.  96 points

2. 2006 Cambria “Julia’s Vineyard” Santa Maria Pinot Noir.  Retail $25.  I know this one isn’t that expensive but the accolades are impressive.  93 points, Editors Choice and #1 wine of the year in Wine Enthusiasts top 100 for 2009.

Okay on to Champagne!  What no white wines?  Yup thats right. No whites.

If you want to make a big impression and look like a super star you need to pick up a bottle of Dom Perignon.  And if you want to take it even farther and really rock it this New Year’s you need to pick up a bottle of Cristal.

1. 2002 Louis Roederer “Cristal” Brut Champagne.  98 points about $200+  but I have seen it at Costco in the metro Phoenix area for $167.  Nothing says “It’s good to be the King” like Cristal.  Name that quote…

2. Okay so the Cristal might be a couple bucks too much so try Louis Roederer Brut Premier instead.  90 points and about $40.  42,000 cases were imported so if your local wine merchant doesn’t have it then maybe it’s time to find a new place to buy your wines.

2010 will hopefully be a better year than 2009.  Let’s drink to that this New Year’s Eve.  Or if you had an awesome 2009 then drink to that.  All joking aside, I am serious about laying down some serious dough for some seriously good wines this NYE.  We all deserve it!  You can’t just keep squeaking through life missing out on the finer things, something has to eventually give!

Cheers, Happy New Year!