May 23, 2017

Drink Pink + Rosé Season! + Giveaway!

Drink Pink | The Naptime Chef

It’s rosé season! I’ve always been on board with sipping rosé in the summer months, but in recent years it’s become a real trend. Everywhere I go I see the #yeswayrosé hashtag, right along with #roséallday. While I don’t recommend downing a bottle a day, I do think rosé has a rightful place among the most refreshing wines of summer. I am still working hard on my WSET degree and part of that includes reading as much as about wine in my free time as possible. Thankfully, my rosé knowledge just got a huge boost from Victoria James’s delightful new book, Drink Pink: A Celebration of Rosé. Illustrated by Lyle Railsback, this fun book is informative and enlightening. It covers the entire history of rosé, since, despite its recent trendiness it has been around for centuries, and includes several delicious recipes.

Here is a recent chat I had with Victoria, and a chance to win her new book!

1) Rosé has experienced a huge boom in popularity in the past few years yet it’s been around for a long time! What motivated you to write this book now?

It is true, rosé has been around since the 8th century BCE! However, it has never been as relevant as it is today. In the United States it is the largest growing category in wine. Today producers are making rosé for the sake of making rosé, it is not simply a byproduct of red wine production or something made from rotten grapes or young vines. Since they now are able to command higher price points for rosé (20 years ago they could never charge $35+ for a bottle!) there is a lot of focus going into high-quality winemaking. This is happening all over the world.

DRINK PINK came out at a time when rosé is trending, in an effort to combat the low-quality swill that puts pink wine in jeopardy as a serious category. I wanted to write a book that celebrates exceptional producers and styles of rosé. Hopefully, people will start demanding the good stuff and put the “lifestyle brand” and large corporations to shame.

Drink Pink | The Naptime Chef

{Kelsey’s Note} I love a delicious Sancerre Rosé featuring bold fruit.

2) I love all the facts and history you found at Rosé.  How did you start and conduct your research? Where do you begin?

A lot of the information came from my sommelier training, these are facts that I learned while studying for my exams, traveling to vineyards around the world, talking to winemakers and other experts. There is so much more I wanted to include in the book, but alas, I had to keep it easily-digestible so as not to scare everyone off with geeky wine-speak!

3) The recipes! I love the unique, accessible recipes. What inspired you as you developed them? Do you start with the food or the wine?

As a sommelier, I cannot talk about wine without bringing food into the conversation! Therefore, I thought it was crucial to include some of my favorite things to eat with rosé. A lot of them are snacks or bites I enjoyed alongside rosé at wineries during my travels. In the south of France, so many of these dishes are glorified by the greats like Richard Olney, Alice Waters and Lulu Peyraud of Domaine Tempier. I wanted to capture this cuisine and spirit in the recipes. Alice Waters provided the Anchovies on Toast recipe which is divine and the bouillabaisse (my favorite dish with rosé) is an homage to Lulu Peyrauds infamous soup.

For those that aren’t big cooks, there are recipes like Radishes with Butter, which is simple yet transformative. Also, cocktails were a big part of the recipes since too often people forget that they can use wine as an ingredient here! Great bartenders like Kenneth Vanhooser from Piora and The Dead Rabbit team contributed a few favorites but the rest I came up with myself. Prior to my sommelier career I was a bartender for a few years and truly respect the art of the drink.

4) What’s your favorite Rosé? Is there anything you recommend readers should try this summer?

I have so many favorites, that is why I had to write a whole book! After each region profile in the book there is a small little section that mentions my favorite producers. Most recently, I had a glass of Bandol rosé from Gros’Noré and it continually captures my heart, perhaps it is my favorite!

I think readers should focus on trying high-quality rosé from all around the world. At my restaurant, Piora, we feature over 30+ rosés and offer flights of 3 and 5 rosés side-by-side. This is a great way for people to educate themselves on the different styles and ultimately finding what they like best. If we start treating rosé like red and white, as a serious wine, there is a lot to learn. Not all rosés are created equal.

Drink Pink | The Naptime Chef

{Kelsey’s Note} DMZ Rosé is a continued favorite in our house.

5) What’s next for you? I love this book and the delightful illustrations. I hope you have more up your sleeve to share!

Thank you! Lyle Railsback, my illustrator, boyfriend and the love of my life, did an exceptional job with the drawings. It was such a beautiful thing to create together. I hope that Lyle and I will continue to do many more projects together, books included.

Currently, I am the beverage director of Gracious Hospitality Management, which includes Piora as well as our soon-to-open restaurant, Cote. For the next few months I will be juggling the book tour as well as a team of sommeliers, bartenders, two beverage programs and wine lists and opening a huge and successful restaurant!

Thank you, Victoria!

To enter to win a copy of Drink Pink:

  1. Leave a comment sharing your favorite kind of rosé!
  2. Contest runs from May 23rd at 7:00am to June 1st at 7:00am. Winner will be announce din the June 2nd newsletter. Good luck!