I’ve been in a rosé-kind-of-mood. Maybe it’s because it’s June, and June makes me think of rosé as a refreshing summer sip with memories. I first discovered rosé in Cannes, which offers a summer escape that is pure luxury and glamor on the Côte d’Azur. I was at the Carlton Beach Club Cannes just across the street from the ICONIC Carlton Intercontinental Hotel on a platform that extended out across the water, with fresh French breezes, black and white striped upholstery, bright canary yellow accents and no one who spoke English.
Everyone was enjoying a light pink wine, so chilled that it seemed to almost frost the glasses. Of course, I ordered one, too. That first sip of rosé launched my vacation. And then, I was on my way to St. Tropez for a decadent week of beach clubbing, sun and fabulous food. It was one of my favorite trips ever. I stayed at Le Château de la Messardière, an elegant French chateau that made us feel like royalty—truly an ICONIC destination.
Everyone drinks rosé in the South of France in the summer, because that’s where it really took off—Provence. The earliest wines made by the Romans and Greeks were pink in color, as they were a blend of the red and white grapes. (It was only later they started creating reds and whites.) The Romans brought these pink wines to the South of France many centuries ago, making Provence the epicenter of rosé. By the way, Provence rosés have to be dry in order to qualify for Appellation status.
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My newest favorite is Whispering Angel produced by Château d’Esclans in Provence. It’s widely loved for its perfect balance, taste and color, and quickly becoming a global favorite. In honor of my new sipper, we’ll soon feature a story on the brand’s new Provence rosé on iconiclife.com.
A little closer to home, I had the opportunity to experience some really nice rosés in the Willamette Valley in the Oregon wine region. Yes, I just went from Provence to Willamette. The point is that an up-and-coming region is making some really nice wines, and I had the opportunity to tour the area with Mark Candelaria on his Oregon Candelaria Design Tour with about 16 others. I had a fabulous time, and I can’t put words to how much I loved that tour.
Little did I know that there are more than 800 wineries in Oregon, and Mark showed us some of the best. I’m usually a Marlborough, New Zealand wine kind of gal, but there was none of that to be had in Oregon. I found something I loved at Durant Olive Oil Mill, made on property by their winemaker Spencer Spetnagel. His rosé was one of my favorites and guess what…Spencer was trained in the Marlborough region. Go figure. I know what I like. I highly recommend giving Spencer’s wines a try.
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Watch for my upcoming story, “Five Rosés We’re Loving This Summer,” and see if you can identify your favorite.
So, cheers to summer! A glass of rosé can mark the official start of the glamorous season whether you are in Provence, Oregon or wherever you plan to pull up your beach chair as you Live Beautifully.
Renee M. Dee
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