I love watching little champagne bubbles dance in my glass. There is some thing both elegant and playful about this delicious wine. When Argex Beverages asked if I’d like to sample its Devant Brut French Champagne it was an easy Yes please and thank you kindly!
When you think of sipping champagne what comes to mind? Special celebrations, parties, or perhaps a way to add romance and fun to a mid-week meal. The Devant Brut and Rosé Champagnes’ one-of-a-kind glow label sets the mood for what’s to come. I like thinking of it as a little psychedelic dance. The label glows and the rose lights up!
Toby, that’s cool you might say, But it’s really about the wine. Is it any good? Devant Champagne is made from 30% Chardonnay, 30% Pinot Noir, and 40% Pinot Meunier grapes. The bubbles do sparkle as does the subtle notes of raspberry, peach and a touch of citrus from a taste of lemon. I found the finish to linger encouraging my next sip.
“Our vineyards of about 50 hectares are spread over 15 different villages in various champagne famous areas Vallée de la Marne, Montagne de Reims, Côte des Blancs, “Grand Cru” in Chouilly and “Premier Cru” in Rilly la Montagne, Tauxières, Champillon, Sermiers and Dizy. This variety gives us the tools to create very different elegant and harmonious cuvees.” – Devant Champagne Website.
Mark Becker, CEO of Argex Beverages, Tells The Story Behind Devant Champagne
I was curious to know the story behind the label, the wine, and yes, the brand. Enjoy this mini interview with CEO of Argex Beverages, Mark Becker. Mark talks about the competitive champagne landscape, how a friend’s illness led him to the graphic rose design, why the interactive label, and his vision for the company’s future.
About Mark Becker, CEO of Argex Beverages Inc. Mark is known in the beverage industry as a “disruptor”, as well as, a compelling marketer. Devant is not his first success in the champagne market. Mark led the innovative sales and marketing campaign for Armand de Brignac AKA, Ace of Spades. The campaign was one of the first times a champagne brand outside the traditional champagne houses broke into the mainstream, gaining notoriety among celebrities, including rapper Jay-Z.
Diva Foodies: The world of wine, and especially champagne, is an exciting but competitive business. What were the initial challenges you faced launching Devant?
Mark Becker, CEO of Argex Beverages Inc.: The biggest challenge is the Champagne world is dominated by LVMH (Moet/Dom). Winning shelf space and menu placements from them is not easy. Customers are conditioned to drink brands they know, and it is difficult to enter the market, especially as LVMH spends millions to keep their market share.
Diva Foodies: Love the fun packaging from the graphic of the Rose to the interactive glowing label. What’s the story behind both?
Mark Becker, CEO of Argex Beverages Inc.: In 2016, my best friend passed away of brain cancer. We spent 2 ½ years in a hospital together and I had a lot of ideas that I was drawing out while in waiting rooms. I kept drawing a rose, and I am not sure why at the time. As 2017 started, I had lost 2 ½ years of my life in a hospital. Honestly, I was broken as I had sacrificed a lot, and for some reason life just started handing me roses in the form of blessings.
Devant means in “Front of” in French. So, to me, life kept putting roses in front of me and I decided I would hand them back in the form of a beautiful hand-crafted Champagne – Devant.
I am a lively person. I love showmanship and to entertain. I thought what if I made these labels interactive so when a bottle of Devant walked by you, your mind would say what is that? I want it, how cute! And it’s worked.
Our interactive labels offer up something fun, something to talk about and something entertaining.
Diva Foodies: We found the wine to be delightful. When you were considering the innovative packaging were you concerned that customers might assume Devant was a fun but not necessarily a high quality product?
Mark Becker, CEO of Argex Beverages Inc.: Yes, that was a worry, but we always lead with our non-luminous label and everyone loves our quality. I have tasted Master Sommeliers who loved it and 22-year-olds that loved it. Devant over delivers on Champagne and has a friendly, yet elegant, taste profile. And then “By the Way, check out our interactive labels” —-SOLD. Our customer base ranges from 22 years old to 75 years old. It is hard to find an age range that inclusive for many non-essential product categories, like spirits.
Diva Foodies: What’s on the horizon for future Devant wines?
Mark Becker, CEO of Argex Beverages Inc.: We are arguably the hottest new Champagne on the market. We have account placements in some quality restaurant ‘By the Glass’ programs including KUMI, BOA Steakhouse, Komodo, S BAR, GIADA. Our Rose labels in the independent liquor stores is doing very well with female consumers.
We are selling our large formats in many of the major club groups like Tao Group, Zouk, Groot Hospitality. We just were awarded two Gold Medals from Proof Magazine. Valentine’s Day is our largest selling holiday because of the rose on the label so we expect to see more placements.
The future will bring a Premier and Grand Cru line with packaging the world has never seen. Stay tuned.
Devant Champagne Goes To A Birthday Party! I couldn’t open this alone so I shared the experience with friends at a special birthday party! Yes, everyone loved it! As Bruce says, “We’ve never seen this before!” Click to view the video and you’ll see the label glow.
h/t to Sandy Hill, Drink PR, for her help coordinating Mark’s interview and of course for the champagne!