Rosé wine is synonymous with warm weather and living the good life. We think of drinking it when we are at the beach, when we are on holiday and when we are relaxed and stress free. The flowers are out in New York City and the weather has become warmer, and so it is time to start drinking rosé.
We had a very long and cold winter in New York City. Once the festive times of Christmas and New Year’s were over, the cold weather discouraged people from wanting to go out, and it was a very slow time for restaurants and wine bars. New Yorkers wanted to curl up on their couch with a big, robust red wine.
But once it started to seem like spring with sunny days, people came out in droves. Everyone wanted to eat and drink outside. The restaurants started to bring out as many tables and chairs on the sideway as they were allowed. Tables and chairs even magically appeared in the middle of the streets. And the color pink was everywhere. Most people, men, women, young, old were drinking rosé.
I remember my first winter here, over twenty years ago, when I first moved to New York City. I moved from New Orleans which does not suffer the same bitter winters that are common in New York. I only had warm weather clothes, and so I was climbing many hills of snow with only a light jacket and flat ballet style shoes every day to get to the subway. I spent most of that winter being wet and cold, while working longs hours trying to support myself as I was going through acting school.
I even remember the old tenement apartment where I lived during that time. It was in the East Village, on 8th Street between Avenues A and B. The boiler would break down every winter and there was always a week during the coldest month where we had no heat or hot water. Through the years I got used to not having heat and hot water at certain times, but that first year was the toughest.
After my first winter in New York City, I remember wondering to myself how long could I keep living that way. So many people told me that I would never survive living in New York, and I was afraid that I would have to go back to New Orleans defeated.
But then I had a turning point. I remember after the winter, one day I was sitting at a sidewalk café. It was the first warm, sunny day we had in New York and it was my first “real” day of spring in the city. I decided to treat myself and drink a glass of rosé as I watched all the interesting people walked up and down the street. And in that moment, as I looked around and sipped my wine, I realized how lucky I was to be in such an amazing city, and that I belonged here and no where else.
And even though I didn’t know it at the time, that moment started a two decade love affair with wine. Life is good when you are drinking rosé.
Everyday Drinking Wine (less than $15)
2014 Mulderbosch Rosé from Stellenbosch, South Africa ($10): This is a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon rosé. A fun, exotic rosé with juicy black cherry flavors.
Special Occasion Wine (from $15 to 50)
2014 Chateau D’Esclans Rosé, Cotes de Provence "Whispering Angel" ($22): There is nothing like a wonderful glass of Provence rosé, and “Whispering Angel” is a great example. Bright strawberry, with a dry palate and intense minerality. It reminds you of being on the Riviera.
Fantasy Wine (over $50)
Ruinart Brut Rosé Non-Vintage Champagne ($75): Ruinart is known as the oldest Champagne house. It has beautiful non-rosé Champagnes, but their rosé Champagnes are simply some of the best. Floral notes with cherry and lemon confit. Rich body and a long, fine finish.