NEW YORK--The Statue of Liberty loomed on the horizon on a brilliantly sunny day as the Hornblower Infinity Yacht plied the Hudson River with the largest-ever gathering of rose' wine producers and rose' wine lovers in the world; La Nuit en Rose'.
More than 150 rose' wines from around the world were available for tasting from 120 wineries from 9 different countries. The festivities were spiced up with live flamenco musical stylings from VieVite', a line-up of stellar chefs prepared a variety of sumptuous small plates to complement the wines, including hand-made truffle-covered pizza and freshly made truffle Risotto from world famous Urbani Truffles, a selection of international gourmet cheeses from Artisinal, charcuterie by D'Artagnan, salads by Vin Sur Vigt and an Italian pasta and olive oil tasting by Gourmet Cooking and Living.
Wines seemed to absorb the bright sunlight outside the ship and refract it out into the room like sunbeams reflecting on pink diamonds. Among the stellar offerings, the wines of Famille Sumiere of Provence, poured by Annabelle and Olivier Sumeire. Their Chateau Maupague Saeinte-Victoire Rose' 2014 ($24), a blend of 70% Grenache, 24% Cinsault and 5% Syrah. This is a true jewel of a wine with lots of pedigree in the early going. Wine Enthusiast gave it 90 points for its current vintage and it won a Silver Medal at Vinalies Internationales 2014. This is a wine that goes down real easy. It has a lot of bright fruit with lovely rose petals thrown in on the nose, but there's just enough acid to give you that nice drawn effect on your cheeks that makes it great with food. Sainte-Victoire is known for producing some of the greatest Rose' wines in the Provence and this is a real benchmark for quality. Don't let the modest price fool you. This wine has a lot of regal presence. While quite traditional in execution, it has just enough concentration and depth to make it interesting. I wound up coming back for more, even after tasting a sea of other lovely rose's on board ship. The Duck Confit bruschetta was a perfect match.
Palmer Pink POP NV ($20) in the bright pink little split bottle was the absolute hit of the party. If you're one who hits the velvet rope club scene, this is the favorite of the super chic party crowd and deservedly so. A blend of 33.3% Pinot Noir with equal parts Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay added for complexity. This is the one you drink out of a straw, which makes it especially adaptable to summertime parties or trolling the perimeters of the dance floor. Extra Dry by category, it ends surprisingly smooth and soft. You can't beat the concept of a pocket-sized bottle of champagne. It's pure genius and works great with Urbani truffle or Margherita pizza.
Lejay Spirits did an interesting take on cocktails. The created a drink with their Lejay Casis ($34) which combined an ounce of Lerjay Cassis, 2 1/2 oz of Sparkling Water and 2 1/2 oz of Champagne over ice with an orange peel, sort of a variation on the Aperol spritzer, but with a little more oomph.
The House of Burgundy dazzled with its selection of moderately priced Rose's. Two were exceptional. Bleu de Mer ($14). Made from 100% Cinsault and from the Languedoc Rousillon, From the cellars of Bernard Magrez, the wine opens with aromas of watermelon and cherries, perfect for summer! The flavors of cherries and berries continues right through to the finish, which its crisp and mouthwatering. The Crooque Monsieur (French grilled ham and cheese sandwich topped with Béchamel sauce) from The Regency Bar and Grill was a match made in heaven!
(Below) A bevy of beauties on board
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