Rosé All The Way
All of a sudden, Summer has arrived. And she’s brought rosé.
For most of my drinking life, I’ve been a gin and whiskey type of gal. After rounding a quarter-century and realizing that day-long hangovers were steadily becoming the unwelcome norm, I curtailed the consumption of harder spirits and sought an alternative. Something that would help me unwind without passing out in the peonies and/or hydrangeas. Rosé answered that calling.
Full disclosure: I am not a wine expert by any means. Here is a summary of the rosé-making process, including the fun fact that musician Sting imbibes on stage. What follows is a brief account of my ongoing relationship with rosé and the culture that has popped up around it over the past few years. Along with millennial pink, rose gold jewelry, and sparkles on everything, what some may dismiss as trends I consider a celebration of a certain kind of femininity. Not to say that pink or glitter belongs to any specific gender, rather that the overt enjoyment of a beverage considered “girly” or “frivolous” denotes the rebellious nature of drinking it. Like a drag queen dressed as Barbie, rosé is meant to be exalted for its exquisite craft and determination to have fun.
Barefoot Bubbly Pink Moscato was my introduction to California blush wines and my go-to offering for most parties. Having reached the American drinking age abroad, I arrived home to find that the imported prices of Moët were far beyond my means, and that picnicking in public with alcohol was illegal. Not cool. Although I won’t attempt a comparison between the labels, the affordable Barefoot bottle was ideal for the demands of my social calendar. It’s an acceptable apéritif, and is more than suitable for refilling glasses throughout the night. They have also released a Brut Rosé Champagne, which I plan to sample soon.
Up until recently, my taste in blush wines was steady but unadventurous. It would have remained this way, had I not been gifted a bottle of BABE’s White Girl Rosé. One needs neither be white nor a girl to enjoy rosé, not to mention that the person who gave it to me was both very male and very gay. I had to laugh at the stark label and its tagline, “LOVE YOU, MEAN IT.” The aggressively supportive message in bold capital font immediately captivated me, and the wine itself was refreshing but not too sweet. An instant favorite, I’ve also become enamored of their Babe Rosé Bubbly, which may or may not make its way into my beach cooler sometime this season.
As I thought more about the brassy branding, and bought more rosé, I sought out other products that would mark me as a member of the team. After spending an hour finding the perfect font on the perfect color of tee, I considered a print of a bathing dog enjoying a well-deserved bottle. Seizing upon a pair of Soludos smoking slippers embroidered with a well-known French lyric crafted into a visual pun, my potential bill for these items was well on its way to catering an entire rosé tasting’s roster. I stepped away from my laptop and took a long, hard look at my choices.
Was this a life path I really wanted to take, especially in a sartorial sense? I’m a huge supporter of wearing pink in general, yet I’ve cast too much shade on boozy merch like Corona tee shirts and Budweiser flip flops to advertise my own alcohol preferences publicly. That doesn’t make “Rosé All Day” any less of a rallying cry, and part of me still wants the phrase emblazoned on my chest. Women are criticized enough for their blatant enjoyment of most things, and I won’t add to that noise. Still, I was not yet ready to fly the colors.
Instead of becoming a super fan after trying just one label, I decided to further explore rosés from different regions. Provence is the pink wine stronghold, and Château Miraval’s Côtes de Provence Rosé represents. Last weekend a friend accidentally froze our bottle overnight, and yet the wine retained its complex bouquet of fruity flavors when thawed. Wölffer Estate of Argentina makes many varieties, my preferred is Finca Wölffer Estate 2018. While aromatic, it’s drier than the typical rosé and pairs well with seafood. Both are best served chilled, although I’d avoid the freezer unless you have some Black Box Rosé to tide you over.
Writing this from a pink velvet armchair, I may not wear a specifically branded tee, but I recommend succumbing to the aesthetic of rosé to those lost in their local wine aisle. It’s difficult to go wrong with most brands, and as a non-expert I’ve often chosen bottles on appearance and price. This method hasn’t steered me wrong yet, and until a cool glass of the pink stuff fails to sustain me on a hot day, I’m willing to take the minimal risk.
By the way, I’m totally buying those slippers.
Zoë G. Burnett is a writer, menswear stylist, and film enthusiast based in Boston, Massachusetts. A born and raised New England Yankee, she feels equally at home in the 7th arrondissement. She is currently editing her first novel. You can read her personal blog here.