There’s a musical genre from the late '70s/early '80s dubbed yacht rock: smooth, heavily-produced music made by virtuoso musicians in expensive recording studios. Think Steely Dan, Hall & Oates and the Doobie Brothers. And to drink on your yacht with such music? There can be only one candidate: Provençal rosé, the more expensive the better.
You can’t miss these wines in your local store. They come in a bewildering array of bottles resembling amphorae and bowling pins, with squared-off shoulders and some even entirely square. Then there’s the distinctive color: Provençal rosés have to be as pale as possible. It’s all a far cry from when I worked in a wine shop in the late '90s when rosé was white Zinfandel, bright red Spanish rosado or sickly sweet rosé d’Anjou. Nobody would have dreamed of spending more than $10 on a bottle.
In contrast, yacht rosés (I’m trying to coin a new genre) can sell for up $100 for the Chateau d’Esclans Garrus. It sounds outrageous but this is a drop in the ocean for the producer's target market. Sacha Lichine, from the Bordeaux family that owns Esclans, was quoted recently: “I knew we had arrived when I got a call from a top yacht-builder wanting the dimensions of our three-liter double-magnums ... He wanted to make sure he built a fridge on a yacht that was big enough.”