There was a time when magnums of Champagne signified largesse at swanky soirées and high-end brunches. But a blush-colored sea change has washed up on our sybaritic shores, and rosé wines have become the summertime beverage of choice.
This rosé fascination makes perfect sense in South Florida. The sky dissolves into a spectrum of pastels with every sunset, and South Beach’s Art Deco buildings are colored in a variety of coral hues. Plus, there’s just something about it that encourages celebration. It feels right to order a cheese platter and a few bottles of chilled rosé at The Standard Spa, Miami Beach to watch the weekend recede. It’s such a perfect fit that the hotel’s waterfront Lido Bayside Grill offers more than 30 ways to enjoy it: by the glass or bottle, in magnums, three liters, cocktails and even as a frozen slushie-like treat aptly called f’rosé.
“Rosé is a universal choice for all occasions and all people,” says Amy Demoga, the hotel’s beverage director. “[It] doesn’t take itself too seriously. It can be casual; it can be elegant; but it’s always a fun wine.”
Belle of the Ball
Originally from France’s Provence region, rosé is believed to be the oldest kind of wine in the world. It is an intermediate style between red and white, taking its heft and color from different red grape varieties and its light, fresh character and fruit-forward qualities from white ones. It is traditionally dry and crisp, boasting luscious fruit flavor and refreshingly high acidity.
While these wines have enjoyed varying degrees of popularity in Europe for centuries, they haven’t always garnered respect from American oenophiles. But that view has changed. In 2015 there was even a rosé shortage.
Fortunately, last year’s wet spring, followed by a particularly dry, hot summer, resulted in some exceptional wines. Château Minuty’s Cuvée M from St. Tropez is one of the year’s standouts. It features an aromatic blend of grenache, tibouren and cinsault grapes and a perfect pale pink hue.
Winemaker Philippe Guigal — whose Vins Guigal boasts more than 50 vintages — says 2015 is a “vintage of a lifetime.” Their own Côtes du Rhone Rosé is bursting with red fruit and pairs well with barbecue fare.
In 2012, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt bought the Château Miraval estate in Provence and released their first vintage to rave reviews and a virtual sell out. Their 2014 is a beautiful salmon pink in the glass and has distinct berry notes.
Instagram comedy phenom, Fat Jew, recently partnered with White Girl Wine to release White Girl Rosé. And this kind of pop culture collaboration is not at all unusual. This year’s bottle of Magic Maker rosé by SAVED was designed by celebrity tattoo artist Scott Campbell.
“Rosé wine, both still and sparkling, is having a renaissance in Miami,” says Syed Ali, director of food and beverage at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach. The hotel’s Mediterranean eatery, La Côte, is a haven for rosé enthusiasts. “It’s a fun and frivolous wine that doesn’t have a pretentious bone in its body.”
Now, it can even be served on the rocks thanks to the venerable house of Moët & Chandon. Its popular Ice Impériale was followed by this year’s introduction of Ice Impérial Rosé. Launched in just a handful of cities early this summer, one of the target markets was Miami. It’s incredibly easy to drink and playful.
There are plenty of spots around town where you can enjoy a chilled glass. At the splashy new Driftwood Room at Nautilus, a SIXTY Hotel on South Beach the Sunday brunch includes free-flowing Château d’Esclans Whispering Angel rosé instead of the traditional bubbly.
“It’s not as heavy as red wine and smoother than most white wines,” says Steven Hiblum, general manager at Nautilus. “Hence why rosé is commonly referred to as summer water.”