The weekend of June 13th and 14th the weather was perfect for the annual La Nuit En Rosé, or The Pink Night. An exquisite wine-tasting event for some of the world’s finest rosé wines. Guests were able to choose to attend an afternoon or evening cruise along the Hudson River with wine connoisseurs, New York socialites, and members of the press. Everybody in attendance tasted the libations and sampled on gourmet hors d’oeuvres while listening and dancing to the music from DJ Teal who's a relative of the famous A-Ha front-man Morgen Harket. The wine, champagne and sparkling wine tasting featured 85 Rosé wine labels and approximately 1,500 in attendance. The event was sold out and some wine connoisseurs attended both evenings.
I love to attend events especially on the Hornblower, the premiere yacht cruise ship in NYC. It is even better to taste an assortment of 85 rosé wines from 58 wineries where some are not yet available in the US. Also, as an added feature there were 90 minute sailing along the Hudson River. The diverse crowd enjoyed 85 roses from wineries from traditional places like France, Spain, and US and nontraditional South Africa, Lebanon, Turkey, Corsica, Chile, Argentina, Italy, and Morocco. Many of the wines that could be purchased were very reasonable priced under $20.00.
Most of the rosés are dry with 2-3 different grape varieties. However, people who like sweet desert wines would like some rosés with grapes like White Zinfandel, White Merlot or Pink Moscato.
The layout of the event was great since it was not very crowded and the Hornblower Hybrid has multiple levels . Also, the staff at Hornblower is certainly a first class act unlike some of their competitors. They have locations in West Village and South Street Seaport. There was an informative book that provided many key facts about rosés. Rosé use both white and red grape varieties with an additional maceration time added in the beginning that has juice separated from the skins before it gets too dark. This can take 24 hours for lighter varieties like Grenache and few hours for darker red-wine varieties. Some like me like the Saignee method which has formation of red wine about 10% of the juice is bled off leaving a higher ratio of skin contacts on the remaining juice for the bolder and richer red wine.
One does not normally think of tasting Rosé from South Africa. However, tasting the very reasonably priced Mulderbosch Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé 2013, changed that with its boldness. They have been first to produce a rosé and considered one of the leading South African wine producer. Another reasonable priced delicious rosé wine I sampled was the Domaine Bousquet Rosé 2013, a blend of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon, not often found especially in the Mendoza region of Argentina. Despite made from vine yards at an altitude of 1200 meters (4000 feet) above sea level, one of the highest points in Mendoza, the wine was quite fruity with aromas of red fruits, with hints of plums and fresh cherries.
The Merlot Rosato 2012 from Omina Romana of Italy was very refreshing with its scents of wild rose, red currants and blackberries and touches of citrus and spicy notes. Unfortunately this wine is not available for purchase. There were many fine champagne and sparkling wines to taste. The Miguel Torres Estelado Rosé 2012 from Chile, is a different sparkling wine that is 100% Pais, the first grape to be planted by Chile's pioneers hundreds of years ago.
To compliment the fine wines there were delicious cheese and charcuterie from Vin sur Vingt, located in West Village and NoMad neighborhood, French pastries caneles and financiers by Celine, Oyster provided by Oyster Bar, liquor infused ice-cream from Tipsy Scoop and others. The wine merchant Zachys, family wine and spirits since 1944 located in Scarsdale Village, was able to make direct sales of any delicious wines. After the event they handled all orders and shipments. They conduct frequent wine auctions in New York and Hong Kong. More information can be found on http://www.zachys.com
The demand of rosé has exploded with nine straight years of double-digit growth with even higher growth for rosé wines pricing at $12 or more in 2013. It helps that nearly every wine grape can be used. This brilliant event tasting with new and yet unexplored wines on a premiere luxury yacht like Hornblower Hybrid would not have been possible without the help of co-founders Pierrick Bouquet and Jacques Azoulay of Able Wines. Jacques has supplied wine to after-parties to the Rescue!'s, The HSUS's signature national benefit, held on November, 15, 2013 at Cipriani, 110 East 42nd Street.
Rosé wines are very popular not only in just the summer months. Having this informative wine tasting will increase the strong demand of rose. Many, including myself, will be looking forward to joining their event next year in New York City.
Photo credit: LUXXELIVING Writer: Mitchell Acks
Rose sparkling wine aboard the Hornblower Hybrid
Exquisite oysters one of the many options for people to taste.
Chateau D'Esclans, Cotes de Provence Rose ''Whispering Angel'' from France.
Vias Imports Ltd. showcasing some of the wines they distribute including Marenco's Brachetto d'Acqui, a black-skinned Italian wine grape which is sweet and frothy making it either frizzante or sparkling wine from Italy's North West Piedmont region.