Raise a Glass: It’s Rosé (All) Day!

Today, we toast to pink wine and chat with the ladies of Lorenza Rosé.

If there was ever a better excuse to #roséallday, this is it: today is National Rosé Day. Yeah, we’ll drink to that.

In celebration of pink wine, we’re clinking glasses with some of our favorite rosé ladies, Melinda Kearney and Michèle Lorenza Ouellet, the mother-daughter duo behind Lorenza Rosé. We confess: it was Lorenza’s chic label that first caught our eye while browsing bottles at the wine store, but it was love at first sip of this dry, pale, fragrant California rosé.

We jumped at the chance to chat with the winemakers about Lorenza and all things rosé, from why the drink is so damn popular to what food they like to pair it with (fried chicken!) to what makes pink wine perfect for weddings (hint: it adds happiness to any occasion). Pour yourself a glass of blush-hued vino and read our interview with the lovely vintner below. Cheers!

Michèle Lorenza Ouellet and Melinda Kearney | Photo: Matt Morris

SMBG: Tell us about the history of Lorenza and what makes it such a delightful rosé?

KEARNEY: Lorenza was founded in 2008, inspired by a shared love of rosé. Our family collectively has over 80 years of experience in the restaurant and wine business so it wasn’t a surprise when my daughter, Michèle Lorenza Ouelle, expressed an interest in rosé during a trip to Paris as a teen—the idea was sparked! (Editor’s note: You may recognize Michèle, a model, from the pages of your J.Crew and Madewell catalogs.)

A few years later we sourced our first grapes in the Lodi area and made a Provence-style wine in California: dry, pale, high acidity, juicy, and with low alcohol. We make only one wine and pick early for rosé, which gives the wine the zip on the palate and the beautiful fragrance. Our secret is in the old vines that produce the grapes we use. Several of our vineyards are over 100 years old, planted in deep sandy soil, and bring to the wine complexity and a grounded sense of place. Artistically, the contrast of making such a delicate, feminine wine from gnarled, wizened old vines is just one of the reasons why we continue to work with these special vineyards.

We also enjoy our long relationships with the growers we are so fortunate to be able to work with. And it’s a special treat to work with my daughter as women entrepreneurs as we grow Lorenza as a business.

Styling: Gatherist | Photo: D’Arcy Benincosa

It seems over the past few years the popularity of rosé has skyrocketed. Why do you think rosé is having it’s moment in the sun?

We are ecstatic that the conversation about rosé has gone from, “Oh no thanks, I don’t like White Zin,” to, “Wow, you make rosé? How cool!” to, “I’ll take a case… or two!” Rosé has been a staple in France for decades and here in the United States as a young wine culture we are discovering rosé as a delightful companion to a meal or a fun occasion! It is so beautiful to look at in its wide variety of hues, and it adds happiness to any occasion. The rise of rosé in the U.S. has also shown us the power of Instagram and other social media—it’s been a perfect pink storm!  Thanks to our clever friends at @YesWayRosé and some of the savvy producers in France.

What are some of your favorite ways to serve rosé and what types of food do you like to pair it with? What makes rosé a great summer drink?
We serve Lorenza Rosé in a variety of glassware, from tumblers to fine stemware. We have small vintage tumblers that belonged to my grandmother that are perfect filled with rosé while we are cooking dinner.

Rosé is a great companion to so many foods with its mouthwatering acidity. Easy hors d’oeuvres include a variety of charcuterie, marinated goat’s cheese with herbs, garlic, and young olive oil, and walnut bread. Our guilty pleasure is late-night rosé with fries. We also love beautiful, ripe tomato salads in the summer, and smoked salmon or trout. My friend Kay Bouchard served our 2014 from Magnum with asparagus and garlic sauce—classic Provence. An American classic is rosé and fried chicken—we absolutely adore it! A glass of chilled rosé in the summer gets the party going, keeps it going, and helps a bit when it’s time to do the dishes.

You mentioned that rosé adds happiness to any occasion—we love rosé for weddings!
Yes, we have always been so happy to be part of weddings! They’re such a happy occasion and a perfect celebration spot for Lorenza. Sometimes we receive letters after the fact about how couples enjoyed a bottle of Lorenza on a date or a special weekend, and then served it at their wedding. It doesn’t get better than that!

Featured Photo: D’Arcy Benincosa | Styling by Gatherist