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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Rose makes a comeback

Christopher South for The New York Times

Poured at the Spotted Pig, Domaines Ott, the
beautiful drinkers’ rosé of choice, whispers

The Summer Drink to Be Seen With

Published: August 6, 2006

IT was Fourth of July weekend in Montauk, N.Y., and Ben Watts, a D.J. and photographer, was serving as host of his annual beach blowout at Ditch Plains, a popular surfing area. Although there were plenty of people in hoodies huddled around a fire, this was no humble gathering. Mr. Watts was spinning 80’s rock and hip-hop for a crowd that included Russell Simmons; Sean MacPherson, an owner of the Maritime Hotel and the Park restaurant in Manhattan; the Hollywood stylist Philip Bloch; and the actress Naomi Watts, Mr. Watts’s sister.

At least a dozen revelers were chugging light pink wine from a bottle. It was Domaines Ott, a French rosé that retails for about $30. Thanks to Mr. MacPherson, who always packs several cases for the weekend, it has become the unofficial drink of the Ditch Plains scene, so common that attendees were referring to it as “D.O.” and “the Ott.”

“To me this wine tastes like the South of France and summer, and you should have an endless supply of it,” said Mr. MacPherson.

Rosé wines, long disparaged as too sweet, too pink and too cheap, have improved in quality in recent years and been embraced by food and wine connoisseurs. But a new collection of fans have emerged: club-hopping hipsters and tastemakers, who lay in a stash of rosé for parties and ask for it when out on the town.

“Rosé has replaced prosecco and cosmos as the new chick drink,” said Ken Friedman, an owner of the Spotted Pig, a celebrity-friendly restaurant in Greenwich Village, which offers five rosés on its wine list.

At Union Square Wine and Spirits in Manhattan, the demand for rosé has increased about 30 percent over the last year and 100 percent to 150 percent over the last four years, said Jesse Salazar, the wine director. “A lot of younger people are buying rosés,” he said, adding that many men are no longer embarrassed to be seen drinking a pink wine. “Guys will bring it to rooftop parties and backyard barbecues. I’ve been putting rosé in an empty Gatorade bottle and drinking it in the park.”

posted by Steve @ 8:18:00 AM

8:18:00 AM

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