After reading Bon Appetit’s August article, Bribes, Backdoor Deals, and Pay to Play: How Bad Rosé Took Over by Victoria James, Sommelier at Cote Korean Steakhouse, I just wanted to add my two cents.
James opens up about the shady business practices that she experienced and feels is behind the rise of watery, terrible rosé. I personally disagree and I still say that “if you like it, drink it!”
To clarify, I don’t love all rosés, nor do I like all wines, in general. Wine is a subjective elective. There is nothing more subjective than taste. I have served several rosé pairings at The National’s Chefs Table dinners and featured some in my monthly tastings at The Black Olive Bar & Grill. There are some really lovely ones out there, and I don’t think you have to look very hard to find them. Any sommelier worth their salt isn’t going to serve and/or put any wine on their list if they don’t like it and/or believe in it…..even if bribes are involved.
I suppose there are bribes out there everywhere, but I have never been offered one. Crap, I could have used more shoe money! I’ve been a sommelier for almost 30 years and not once have I been approached about any of the tactics mentioned in James’ article.
Even though I am not a huge Meiomi fan, they are growing a special clone of Pinot Noir to make their new rosé. Provence hasn’t changed the way they have made rosé in centuries, neither has Tavel, nor has Loire. Remember, every rating or every article is just another opinion; there have been many 95+ point wines that I haven’t liked in the least. There are also many ‘shoulder-shrugging’ wines out there….no matter what color they are…drink them or don’t, but that decision should be yours and yours alone. If you like it, drink it!
I love rosé Champagne and drink it when and wherever I can. For some tasty, well-made roses, try Charles and Charles Rosé from Washington, Bertani or Banfi Centine from Italy, Angove from Australia, Mulderbosch from South Africa.
Now, after saying all this, one article should not turn you against a whole category of wine. In conclusion, it was great communicating with you about something I am passionate about, and I hope we can continue this discussion at my monthly wine tastings at Black Olive Bar & Grill at The National Conference Center.