Back in the 80s, I remember seeing berry wine coolers and bottles of white zinfandel at parties (don't get me wrong, I was a wee babe, and just remember the bottles, I wasn't drinking). But the mood changed, and for the longest time, "ros-ay" and "blush" wines were the height of tacky. Gauche, if you will. Anyone that brought you a bottle of pink wine was a hopeless philistine, destined for the trailer park. In college, you'd be more likely to drink straight from a bottle of Boones than to buy a bottle of White Zinfindel (most likely from California and under $8).
Now, thanks to the scenester's insatiable need to make everything old new again, pink wine has experienced a resurgance that's landed it not only on the picnic tables of Brooklyn, but at some of Manhattan's trendiest night spots. Last year, even the New York Times, often the last to know in matters of haute everything, wrote a piece on how pink is the new Pinot Grigio.
Domaines Ott, a French rose that sells for about $30, was the shining star of the Times article, but just about everything that comes in red can be found in a pink - White Pinot Noir, White Zin (of course), White Rioja, White Cab Sauv. Insanity!
Writers Julia Chapin and Sia Marshall (it apparently takes two to write about pink) went on:
"Still, its old reputation was hard to shake. Jay McInerney, the wine columnist of House & Garden, compared rosé to Jackie Collins novels and Jerry Bruckheimer movies in his August column. ''There was a sense that pink wine couldn't be serious,'' said Mr. McInerney, a rosé fan, who has been trying to lead a revival for years. ''People were afraid of looking unsophisticated by drinking rosé. It wasn't red. It wasn't white. They didn't know what to do with it.''
But now, among a certain group of global style setters ordering rosé is a sign of being in the know. Dropping the name of a Provençal rosé like Domaine Tempier can be code for having recently frolicked in St.-Tropez or Cap d'Antibes, where rosé accompanies leisurely seaside lunches. Even Pamela Anderson, in the days before she wed Kid Rock in St.-Tropez, was snapped by paparazzi on a yacht, a glass of rosé in hand. ''The South of France holds a place in people's hearts and psyche as this cool jet-set place,'' said Jennifer Rubell, the author of ''Real Life Entertaining.'' ''Ordering a bottle of rosé back in the U.S. is a subtle sign of belonging to that world.'' "
St Tropez! You don't say! If the Times says it, then it must be true (unless Judith Miller is involved).
So, in honor of the first warm spell of 2007 (that isn't in January) and of trying to be as culturally saavy and jet-setter as Pamela and Kid Rock, I'll be sitting on a Roosevelt Island roofdeck this evening, sipping some pink wine and counting the days until the wine cooler is cool again.