I know a lot of people who are true wine experts. I know a lot people who claim to be. Let’s face it, lots of people can pick a really good $60+ bottle of wine from a wine list that they read about in a magazine. There’s a whole series of apps for that as well. But for me, what’s really impressive is when someone knows enough to pick a really good wine off the shelf in a liquor store for under $20 a bottle, even more impressive if it’s under $15!! My dear friends, Jon and Jesse Seguin own a great wine and liquor store in Lake Placid, NY. It’s right on the main drag in the Alpine Mall. It’s called The Smoking Cork They have an amazing gift for picking those wines, the ones under $20 or even $15 that will blow your socks off.
About 3 years ago I was up in Lake Placid for 4th of July. The real estate company that I work for, Select Sotheby’s InternationalRealty was sponsoring the fireworks on Mirror Lake. The local radio station, WSLP, was broadcasting the 4th of July parade outside our Lake Placid office. The day was a real scorcher so we decided to hand out cups, with our logo, filled with ice cold water. Jon Seguin, one of the owners of Smoking Cork and also a fellow agent with the company was out there with me. He said he was going to run to the store and grab a bottle of wine he wanted us to taste. I pictured a nice crisp, chilled Sauvignon Blanc. What he came back with was an oddly shaped bottle of Rose!
My previous experience with Rose consisted of the sticky sweet Boone’s Farm, Tickle Pink, during my teenage years and the “gateway wine”, the almost as sweet white zinfandel that I drank in my twenties when an open bar was only beer and wine. To say I was skeptical, was an understatement. Jon expertly opened the bottle and poured a few glasses and handed me one. One sip of the dry Rose and I was hooked. It was the perfect treat on this unbearably hot day. The wine was Mirval and at the time, although hard to get, it was still under $20. I promptly split a case with a co-worker. We drank it all summer. Then, the following spring, it appeared on the cover of Wine Spectator magazine and the man holding the bottle looked suspiciously familiar. It was Brad Pitt. Turns out he and wife Angolina Jolie own the vineyard! Of course, the price immediately spiked to $25 a bottle. But my taste for dry Rose remained and I learned as much as I could about Dry Rose wine so I could pick the good ones. They have been my summer favorite ever since.
Today, as I begin an uncharacteristic long weekend, I am headed to my niece, Mia’s, First Communion Party on Long Island, I went to the liquor store and picked out a delightful dry Rose that I am enjoying with a cigar (yes, it holds up well to a cigar) as I write this post. I won’t tell you the name, I’m afraid the price will go up, but I can tell you it was under $15. If you send me a comment, I will tell you which one. As boating season approaches, it’s perfect to bring along and it won’t stain the carpet when the waters get rough! Cheers!!