Two summers ago, Erica Blumenthal and Nikki Huganir, best friends since high school, fell hard for Provençal rosé. Blumenthal, a fashion writer and Huganir, a graphic designer in the fashion world, weren’t involved in wine – they just loved to drink it and rosé became their thing. They launched an Instagram account to chronicle their enthusiasm, Huganir designed some chic tote bags and Yes Way Rosé was born.
Now, the two have thousands of followers, have sold thousands of totes (and t-shirts, too) and just this week launched their own Pinot Noir-based Napa rosé, Summer Water, with wine company Club W. “It really started off as just this funny kind of thing that was more commentary than actually being involved in winemaking,” says Huganir. “But now we’ve gotten to travel a little and we’ve met so many people because of it. There’s this whole world out there that’s embracing us. It’s very cool.”
“We’re particularly fond of rosés from Provence – the kind that you can drink at lunch outside,” says Blumenthal. “Crisp, dry, perfectly pale pink. That perfectly chilled, hot weather day rosé is the ultimate dream.”
Here, their picks for a dozen rosés that will make your Memorial Day weekend that ultimate dream.
1. 2014 Ostatu Rosado
“We’ve been learning that you can find delicious rosés from all over the world,” says Huganir. “This Spanish one is something that we’ve learned about more recently; it’s just bright and happy and fruity.”
2. 2013 Tamás Dúzsi Kékfrankos Rosé
“I was at a random fashion party and the woman who imports this Hungarian rosé was there pouring her wine,” says Blumenthal. “We got talking and she told me that rosé is the most popular wine in Hungary; it’s everywhere there. Meeting her really made me want to go to Hungary on a rosé mission. This one is in the Provençal style. It’s dry, crisp and has really great fruit and floral notes.”
3. 2014 Lorenza Rosé
“We met Michèle Ouellet and her mom Melinda Kearney first through New York fashion connections,” says Huganir. “Michèle is a model and I got to work with her in my last job. When we met them, we just totally vibed; it’s become this awesome friendship. And they also make rosé! So when we went out to Napa, we were lucky enough to be invited over to Melinda’s house for lunch and to be able to sit and to taste with her. She poured us a vertical of all of the Lorenzas that they’ve made in the past 4 or 5 years since they started. It was so cool tasting to see how amazingly well they hold up. And the 2014 is just so delicious.”
4. 2014 Wolffer Estate Summer in a Bottle Rosé
“I think the markup at the store where I just bought this was 8 or 10 dollars more than what they sell it for on the Wolffer site, but I didn’t even care because it’s the most beautiful bottle in the land,” says Blumenthal. “The design is just soooo pretty. The rosé inside is beautiful, too, but this bottle is unreal. It doesn’t even matter: it could just be water inside and I’d still love it.”
5. 2014 My Essential Rosé
“This one’s from Richard Betts, who wrote the Essential Scratch & Sniff guide to Becoming a Wine Expert. It’s definitely a modern Provence-style rose. We first had it at a restaurant in Boulder called Oak at 14 and it was really a wonderful, delicious compliment to the meal,” says Huganir. “We eat everything with rosé. I think that’s one thing that we love and maybe people don’t know about rosé. It’s so flexible and can be paired with lots of different foods. We love it with pizza.
“People kind of expect us to bring it to every summer bbq we go to,” Blumenthal laughs. “It can definitely go with hamburgers and hotdogs… fries, cheese, we’ll drink it with everything.”
6. 2014 Scribe Rosé of Pinot Noir
“Scribe was one of the places we visited when we were just in Sonoma. We just had such a magical time there, says Huganir. “These young guys really care about what they are doing, and put a lot of effort intothe vibe. We’re really all about good rose vibes. It’s just a beautiful atmosphere, a really special feeling place.”
7. 2014 Jolie Folle Rosé
“The bigger the better,” says Blumenthal about this one, which is sold in liter-sized bottles. “It’s like a bonus and it’s one of our summer go-tos, for sure. Great for the beach.”
8. Domaine La Suffrene Bandol
“This one’s a more medium-bodied rosé,” notes Blumenthal. “Bandol is known for some of the most sought-after rosés in Provence. They’re a bit richer, a bit more complex. It holds up really well next to a lot of food. We’ll have this one when we’re having a really good dinner.”
“It’s not the sort of wine we’d wouldn’t take casually to the Rockaways,” say Huganir.
9. 2014 Chateau Coussin Cesar a Sumeire Ste. Victoire Côtes de Provence Rosé
“We just had this for the first time at a tasting T. Edwards, its importer, was having,” says Huganir. “I couldn’t believe the color. It’s this really bright pink. It’s a pretty classic Provence style rosé, but with something extra special, just a little bit softer. It was a stand out for us out of the other 50 bottles that were there that day. Perfect wine for when you’re sitting on a roof – and its color would look so great on Instagram!”
10. 2014 Mouton Noir Love Drunk
“I guess we can just really relate to this one,” Blumenthal says. “We are definitely drunk in love with rosé. It’s an Oregon wine, a blend of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. It has lots of berry aromas and even a hint of kiwi!
“We love everything that the winemaker, André Mack, is doing. His OPP is one of my favorite wines ever. Other People’s Pinot? Genius! I’m definitely into the label design. André does all the labels, too and as a graphic designer, too, I’m like: RESPECT,” says Huganir.
11. 2014 VRAC Box Rosé
“We have one favorite rose wine store and it’s Dandelion in Greenpoint in Brooklyn. We go there a lot and we never leave without something. And they even have 4 or 5 different boxed rosé options, says Blumenthal.
“Yeah, we found this one there and it was like a revelation,” chimes in Huganir. For just just about $30, you can get four bottles of wine in a box. VRAC is just so easy to drink. In fact, it may be easy to drink because it just keeps coming out. We like to make ice cubes out of rose. This is a good one for that. We’ll just do a glass of sparkling water with and rosé ice cubes and they kind of sloooowly melt into the glass.”
12. 2014 Ameztoi Rubentis Txakoli Rosé
“This one is a little funky and different because it’s just slightly effervescent. Txakoli’s a really unique style that we just we learned about. It’s extra-refreshing because of that spritz.”