By DOM GALEON

It’s not every day you get a special bottle of cognac—maybe some of you do, but I don’t. So when I received a package from Hennessy with a little note attached to it, I was curious. When I opened it, it was a surprise in shade of red.

HENESSY VSOP - SURPRISE IN A BOTTLE

To celebrate 2020’s Lunar New Year, or what most of us refer to as Chinese New Year, Hennessy tapped internationally renowned Chinese contemporary artist Zhang Huan for special edition V.S., V.S.O.P., and X.O. bottles. The one I received was the V.S.O.P. bottle and, man, even the box was stunning. The design follows the Eaux-de-Vie painting by Zhang, which was in fact originally inspired by Hennessy’s eaux-de-vie library. Like his dreamscape artwork over five meters long, the designs on the Hennessy bottles follow a mostly red and yellow pattern, with bubbles or cellules that contain red lanterns, grapes, and amber cognac that all become visible on closer viewing.

zhang huan hennessy - SURPRISE IN A BOTTLE

The painting Eaux-de-Vie was unveiled earlier this year during a special event at Hennessy’s global headquarters, the Château de Bagnolet, in Cognac, southwest France, which was followed by an exquisite dinner of Chinese and French fusion dishes.

Zhang, who rose to fame after staging multiple provocative performance art events in New York, has also been commissioned to celebrate 150 years of Hennessy in China.

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