In April 2015, we toured Berlin with two Oxford neuroscientists on a flavorful journey to understand how sound influences the way we taste. Krug Champagne spearheaded the initiative—and our experience forever shifted the way we perceive the relationship between senses. Almost five year later, and thousands of miles away, we returned to the program—now in the form of a dinner and performance series, entitled Krug Encounter, in and around the art-filled Palm Beach home of John and Amy Phelan (founders of Aspen ArtCrush). Within view of the Intracoastal Waterway, composer/classical pianist and 2019 GRAMMY Awards performer Chloe Flower—as well as special guest, classic-fusion violinist Ezinma—paired music with four Krug Champagnes and the delicious fare of Eau Palm Beach’s chef Neall Bailey.
Flower drew upon emotional associations to pair sound with Champagne. This was epitomized with the entry offering, Krug’s Clos Du Mesnil 2004—one of our personal favorite Champagnes and produced from a single grape, from a single year on an elegant plot of historic land. Flower played Chopin’s “Nocturne in E Minor, OP 72 No. 1.” “The left hand, with its buoyancy, really builds the perfect tension over the right melodic, melancholy line. It just provides the perfect emotional experience,” she says, regarding the pairing.
To accompany Krug 2004, Flower performed her original composition, coproduced by Babyface and Tommy Brown, “Get What U Get.” She selected it as she considers 2004 to be one of the most important years of her life and a period of experimentation, the results of which translated into this track. To pair with Krug Rosé, Flower—joined by Ezinma—tapped into the artist’s most symphonic song—one weaving historic sonic structures with an undeniably contemporary vivacity. In mirroring the attributes of the liquid, Flower’s emotional impact intensified. In conclusion, along with Krug’s Grande Cuvée 160 Ème Édition, the duo performed a rousing rendition of Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy.” Once again, sound harmonized with other attributes of the celebration—and moments were made. It’s more than recognizing a good playlist at a party. It’s an alignment of notes that blossom beyond the sum of their parts.
Though this experience was invitation only, Krug’s team hopes to bring some version of it to interested consumers. Of course, the underlying sensory stimulation—luxuriant bubbles, delectable foods and thoughtful performances—are a draw unto themselves; but there are honest learnings, too. And, in their exploration of the world of sound, Krug’s embarked upon a quest one won’t find at any other Champagne house.
Images courtesy of Krug / John Thompson