If Champagne’s attitude and expression was personified, it just might take on the form of Raymond James Irwin. He is the ebullient, energetic, and clearly passionate Chief Champagne Officer of Fizz Champagne & Bubbles Bar, Sacramento’s only lounge dedicated specifically to the consumption, promotion and advocacy of sparkling wine. Since opening in 2018, Irwin has been singularly focused on bringing bubbles from around the globe to the Sacramento masses and making the beverage an every day go-to, rather than a drink reserved only for special occasions.
When I recently visited Fizz’s location in DOCO, across from the Golden 1 Center in downtown Sacramento, Raymond James greeted me with smiling eyes behind a mask and a wave of exuberance. He could barely get the words out fast enough as he welcomed me in and started to list off the long inventory of innovations and new offerings that he and his team have been able to create and offer to guests during the pandemic.
When news of the first shutdown emerged, Fizz pivoted quickly and became the first establishment in DOCO to offer outdoor dining. While seated outdoors, guests are able to order sparkling wine by the glass or by the bottle, and pair it with thoughtfully curated menu items like wild mushroom and arugula salad, rustic white bean crostini or oysters on the half shell.
Now, if physically visiting Fizz is not an option, you can engage with them online. They have a strong social media presence which they use to promote events and drive messaging that Raymond James says, “celebrates the Champagne revolution” and “fights cocktail conformity.” Additionally, Fizz has fully embraced the online retail model and can now ship bubbles to almost every state.
In the online space, Fizz has also begun offering Beyond the Bubbles virtual events, for those who still want to gather and celebrate with friends and colleagues but they would like or are required to do so at a distance. Packages include sparkling wine, custom tasting sheets and tech notes, and a virtual guided presentation. Food pairings can also be added to some experiences.
Maybe you don’t want to exert any effort but still want to routinely enjoy delicious bottles of bubbles? No problem! Fizz also offers a wine club with three levels of engagement. It features only sparkling wines hand-selected by Raymond James Irwin and many are exclusively distributed to the club.
Fizz has also developed a selection of wearable merchandise with tag lines such as “Keep Calm and Fizz On” and “Fizz it,” for those who simply want to promote the Champagne lifestyle.
Aside from excitement over an ever-growing list of improvements to products and services, James also takes great pride and pleasure in the fact that he is doing all of this in his hometown with the backing of about 30 local investors. Click here to learn more about Fizz.