It’s no secret that I’ve always enjoyed the finer things in life—food, wine, fashion, travel. Give me a price-blind option between three similar items of clothing or a price-blind taste test of three bottles of wine, and I will somehow always select the priciest option.
“Champagne tastes on a beer budget,” my mother always says.
When it comes to wine, I love red and appreciate a good white. However, when I was younger, I always scoffed at rosé, as a result of too many old ladies drinking icky Zinfandels at beachfront bars in Florida.
Once, my boyfriend brought over gourmet gelato and rosé and turned on Gossip Girl as a “treat the girlfriend” type of evening. Rarely satisfied, and usually Bitchy, I scoffed at the fact he had purchased such an egregiously offensive bottle of wine. “Rosé is tacky,” I said as a 22-year-old know-it-all. Oh, how wrong I was.
This misconception I harbored in my younger days is far too common. Rosé, you see, can be quite good. I now drink it all the time—there’s nothing better than rosé on a patio in the middle of summer. The lighter the better, you see.
Our lovely friend Paul Chevalier, a handsome French gentlemen, is also on a one-man mission to change this misconstruction. Armed with a rosé barometer and bottles of reserve, he travels around the country attending food and wine festivals in Miami, Aspen, Newport, New York and elsewhere on behalf of Château D’Esclans.
Château D’Esclans is a French vineyard in Provence that makes several high end rosés, as it’s situated in the center of the Department of the Var, where the majority of Provence AOC rosé is produced. The property’s history dates back to 1201, when the original chateau that was given by the Comte de Provence to Gérard De Villeneuve. The current chateau, inspired by Tuscan Villa design, was built during the mid 19th century. Nestled not too far from St. Tropez, the chateau and vineyard is the paradigm of the the French riviera, rosé lifestyle.
The most popular rosé, Whispering Angel, has developed a well-deserved notoriety, as it is high-quality, easy-to-drink, and priced at a mere $20 a bottle. This thrills me, as it is high quality yet affordable, a welcome departure from the rest of my lifestyle.
When Paul arrived in Washington, we invited 100 of our closest friends and Washington influencers to celebrate the inauguration of rosé season in Washington.
The location? The stunning rooftop of the Graham Hotel, where we would enjoy rosé, gin martinis and raspberry smashes from Fifty Pounds Gin, and passed canapes from the Graham’s delicious kitchen.
Naturally, when you throw a rosé on the roof fete in spring in Washington, it begins to monsoon approximately two minutes before the party is set to begin. Thus, the group (dressed mostly in festive spring brights), the staff (in turquoise polos appropriate for poolside service), the bouquets of roses provided by our friends at UrbanStems, and the cuisine, were ushered down to the stunning basement.
It’s worth noting that the boys from UrbanStems all wore pink shirts, purchased that day in honor of the Bitches. You looked great, gents. As did everybody in attendance. (Check out the photos on Facebook).
Despite the weather, a spectacular time was had by all. While guests sipped on Whispering Angel from the bar, Monsieur Chevalier held court in the corner, detailing and providing samples of Château D’Esclans reserve rosés. Check out the photos on Facebook, or order some Whispering Angel online. (It’s also available at Clyde’s, which has half-priced wine night on Sundays from brunch to close).