Bitch Sesh Sips: Danielle Schneider and Casey Wilson Reflect On Starting a Rosé Craze
Whispering Angel rosé is synonymous with the chic Hamptons crowd that nearly drank it into a shortage, but for a certain, non-Hamptons frequenting sect of the population, its status comes courtesy of Danielle Schneider and Casey Wilson—comedians, writers, actresses and hosts of the popular podcast Bitch Sesh: A Real Housewives Breakdown.
Every week on Bitch Sesh, Schneider (co-creator and co-star of Hulu’s hilarious reality-TV parody series Hotwives) and Wilson (Schneider’s Hotwives co-star, as well as Tig Notaro’s girlfriend on the Amazon breakout hit One Mississippi) dissect what’s going on in the drama-filled world of Bravo reality TV, with a special focus on the Real Housewives. And if the Real Housewives are involved you better believe that wine is as well. After the pair did a taste test of Whispering Angel on the podcast, their followers took to Facebook and Twitter, posting photos of rosé bottles waiting to be enjoyed across the country—in grocery stores, on back decks, in refrigerators. FWx talked to Whispering Angel’s most popular unofficial brand ambassadors about how they created a rosé craze and what they’ll be drinking this fall. And for Bitch Sesh superfans, we bring good news. Says Schneider: “Casey and I are trying to take Bitch Sesh on tour and get it out to the people. It’s important work that must be seen live.”
How did you come up with the idea for Bitch Sesh? Your podcast might be the best thing to happen to me this year.
DS: As well as me, I gotta say.
CW: And me. For sure.
DS: And I have a child.
CW: Yes, and I have a son. I had the idea that it would be fun for Danielle and I to chat about the Housewives since we were basically doing it over text anyway.
DS: Casey approached me and was like, “What do you think?” And I was like, “I think definitely yes.” I have to give credit where credit is due—
CW: Thank you. We thought maybe a few people would find it interesting—we were shocked that so many are listening, and we’re humbled and honored.
You basically formed a cult around Sacha Lichine’s Whispering Angel. Everyone I know knows about this wine because of your podcast.
DS: We wish Whispering Angel knew! We’ve been trying to get in touch with them.
CW: Well, we sent an email to a PR person.
Do you think you’re going to be responsible for a very good year for Lichine?
CW: I have to say I think so. I’ve read what feels like hundreds of thousands of tweets about people buying the bottles.
DS: It’s funny because someone forwarded us this article saying that Whispering Angel had a huge bump in sales and they don’t know who’s responsible. We have tens of thousands of listeners every week, and if they’re all buying it, that’s a big spike in sales. And when they were asking this in the article, there were people in the comments section who were like, “We know why! It’s because of this podcast!”
How did you find out about this magical rosé?
CW: Admittedly, I’m not the most sophisticated wine connoisseur, but I was at a lunch meeting with Elizabeth Banks and my writing partner, June Diane Raphael, at Soho House. Elizabeth was like, “I love Whispering Angel,” so I thought, “Oh, I need to drink this because if Elizabeth Banks drinks it.…” And I don’t even know if I liked it, but I was like, I love it now. I just became amazed and fascinated with how good the wine is but how bad the name is. The name definitely stays with you.
DS: Oh, yeah, how can you forget? And then Casey said, “Danielle, you have to try this wine. It’s so good—let’s drink it on the podcast.” I, too, don’t have the most sophisticated mouth—or even brain—when it comes to wine, but I immediately thought, “This is perfect for me.” It’s not too strong. It’s just something mild and fun.
CW: Another rosé I like, and it’s poor timing, is [Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s] Miraval. I hope that the rosé will be their legacy.
DS: As opposed to By the Sea.
Now that summer—and rosé season—is over, what are you going to be drinking for fall?
CW: Danielle, why don’t you name the wine you were going to recommend our listeners?
DS: I’m a lightweight, so I don’t drink a lot, and I was saying that the wine I probably drink most and know best is manischewitz.
CW: Perfect for the Jewish holidays.
DS: And Christmas. Why not?
OK, besides rosé and manischewitz, what other wines do you love?
DS: Most of my recommendations come from Casey. Or, I have another girlfriend, and we drink a wine called Butter Chardonnay. It’s fuller in my mouth and tastes like butter. That’s a thing I enjoy in wine. The first time I had it, my friend asked me, “Do you want some Butter?” And I was like, “That sounds terrific. Sure, I’ll drink butter.” And she said, “It’s a wine.”
CW: I’m laughing because whenever I go to tastings, wine snobs are against buttery Chardonnays, and that’s what Danielle recommends to drink. It’s literally the thing people hate to drink. But I love that about her recommendation because I do think there are people who like to drink those wines.
I agree, I think you can find a good buttery Chardonnay. Casey, what do you enjoy besides the Angel?
CW: I really like Syrah and Pinot Noir. There’s one wine shop in my neighborhood that I go to all the time called Lou Wine Shop & Tastings—it’s great and has a little more out-there wines, I would say. They do tastings, and tried a Pineau d'Aunis there. It’s a really light red, and it almost tastes bubbly. It’s not too heavy, like something you’d have with a steak. I’m obsessed with it.
DS: Ooh, Casey, maybe that can be our wine for the fall. Red is nice, but I tend to like a little more white. That’s why the bubbliness of the red Casey was talking about appeals to me. For some reason red makes me more tired. On the podcast we tried a Pouilly-Fuissé. I loved that. I enjoy a Prosecco. It’s bubbly, it’s fun. I think it goes with a lot of food.
Have you ever had something bubbly like Champagne with something fried like potato chips? The combination of effervescence and grease just sort of works.
DS: No, but effervescent and greasy—those are two words I would use to describe myself.
CW: And I have one more Chardonnay that I like. It’s not as buttery—Stony Hill Vineyard Napa Valley. It’s just light and drier, not sweet.
And not as buttery.
DS: Alright, you guys. I get it, I get it. I can never drink Butter again.
What about wine destinations? Do you have any favorites?
DS: I actually got married in—
CW: In buttery Chardonnay?
DS: In a big vat of buttery Chardonnay, like the hobo that I am. No, I got married at Gainey Vineyard in Santa Ynez. Beautiful vineyard, good wine.
CW: And for my honeymoon, in Italy, I went to a vineyard in Tuscany owned by the Ferragamos called Castiglion del Bosco. It’s the most gorgeous place I’ve ever been on planet earth—the views of rolling hills are insane. They had this one Brunello di Montalcino called Campo del Drago, and it is so, so good. We loved the wine, but we also liked the name.
Besides Miraval, are there any other celebrity or even Housewives wines you like?
DS: I don’t mind Ramona Pinot Grigio.
CW: I do. I accidentally served it at my Thanksgiving table.
DS: I was at that Thanksgiving, and I was not unhappy.
CW: I support Skinnygirl. I really like a Skinnygirl margarita.
Speaking of, this year, New York Housewife Sonja Morgan came out with a brand of Prosecco called Tipsy Girl, which sounds similar to fellow New York Housewife Bethenny Frankel’s Skinnygirl. What’s the official Bitch Sesh stance on Tipsy Girl? Cheater brand or nah?
DS: Is Tipsy Girl a cheater brand? Yes, of course. But that’s what makes it more exciting to me. I want something deemed a little dangerous—forbidden fruit. That said, I tried it and it was, let’s just say, very Sonja.
CW: I love Sonja Morgan and stand behind her. I’m still waiting patiently for her toaster oven.
Your taste in rosé is on point, so naturally I’m wondering about your favorite restaurants.
DS: My favorite restaurant right now is a hole-in-the-wall Korean barbecue place in Koreatown called Soot Bull Jeep [in L.A.]. The waiters find no need to make you feel at home, but the food is so good, who cares. I don’t think we’ll see a Real Housewives of Koreatown anytime soon, but here’s hoping.
CW: In L.A. I love Son of a Gun, Little Dom’s, Malo and A.O.C. In New York I love Café Orlin for brunch and could only dream of going to Housewives hot spot Joanne Trattoria on the Upper West Side, apparently owned by Lady Gaga’s dad.
At times during the podcast, you'll drop a pop culture reference and then realize your millennial listeners might not get it. I'm thinking of the time you recommended that they watch Steel Magnolias. What’s one throwback you think our younger readers would enjoy watching, reading or listening to?
DS: The millennials, or “mills” as we call them on the podcast, are actually more up on older references than we thought. A bunch of them were insulted that I thought they didn’t know Steel Magnolias. But I would have them watch Designing Women, a TV show from the ’80s about four smart, sassy, funny Southern women. It still holds up, and the jokes and characters are just solid. You only ever see four women leads on TV today in the Housewives shows.
CW: Mills need to get at What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? for campy fun, read anything by Anne Tyler or Carol Shields, and listen to the podcast You Must Remember This. It’s aptly titled as I don't think the mills will remember any of this.