“Rosé all day.” To some, this is a clever slogan for those who enjoy chilled, light summer wine. For others, it’s a mantra, a call for social revolution in a time of patriarchal oppression. For me? It was the catalyst for what might be the most unprofessional shit show excuse for a blog I have ever written here.
The Future Is Pink
Once upon a time, wine broke down into two basic categories: red and white. Sure, lighter mixed wines have been around since ancient Greece, but any self-respecting wine drinker wouldn’t dare order pink vino in public without fear of derision. But then something changed, and as usual, let’s blame / praise those wacky Millennials for changing the tides of our culture into yet another weird and seemingly arbitrary direction. According to Nielsen, 40% of rosé wine consumers are females aged 21-34 who are most likely scrolling through social media – a trend that is not showing any signs of slowing down.
It’s safe to say rosé has been having a moment, and by moment I mean a few years floating around the cultural zeitgeist – as evident by the Rosé Floaté. I spoke with co-founder, Madison Jesseman, about what compelled him to create a pool floatie in the shape of a rosé bottle.
“In 2017, Emily Stellick and I noticed through social media that there was a growing popularity for pool floats for adults. On top of that, rosé was clearly becoming a more popular wine choice. We thought it was a really fun way to partner the growing trend of rosé and pool floats!”
When inquiring about their demographic, Madison said, “Females over the age of 21. With that said, it’s been amazing to see a diverse group of people ordering them all over the country and even many internationally! Our Floatés have now been sold in over 10 countries and are a fun time for everyone!”
I was curious if he saw rosé’s popularity as a passing trend, or a growing market? “I see the rosé market growing even more over the next few years. Social media is a huge driver of this and until brands stop innovating I don’t see it slowing down anytime soon.”
So now that we’re in the middle of prime rosé season, at the height of the rosé era, we thought it would be appropriate to make the next subject of our emerging brands series be Bev – a local, female-driven rosé maker also founded in 2017 and based out of Venice Beach. And given that Venice happens to be the stomping / drinking grounds of myself and GP’s social media manager, Aylin, we decided to get slightly sloppy and hit the scene.
Apart from the sheer convenience of supporting such a hyper-local brand, we also dug the fact that Bev is made by women for women. Despite, or because of, the fact that rosé is typically marketed to a young, female demographic, there was also a certain ironic appeal about having me – a fastly-approaching-middle-age bearded man who normally does not consume pink libations – be the one to taste-test this particular canned beverage.
According to the bio for founder Alix Peabody, “Alix’s dream is to build a brand that challenges a male-dominated industry, changes the status quo in product offerings & distribution, and builds a strong, like-minded community centered around celebrating ourselves and one another. Bev is more than beverage – it aims to be an iconic brand of our time, a brand that deeply resonates as more than a company, but a movement.”
Wow. This rosé won’t just tickle your fancy on a hot summer afternoon, but it can CHANGE THE WORLD. Naturally, I would like to be part of this revolution, hence the reason for attempting this blog. Key word: attempting.
Adversity In The Face Of Mounting Failure
The idea was simple: procure some Bev with Aylin, document ourselves getting day-drunk, and at some point maybe even connect with any members of the Bev team to ask a few choice questions about how they plan to overthrow the wine patriarchy. Pretty solid plan, right? Unfortunately, the only contact info on their site is an influencer form for people who want to promote the brand on their socials. No email, no phone number. In fact, our only option to reach out to Bev was to slide into their DM’s, but unless anyone actively checks their Requested Messages folder on Instagram, that effort is slipping into the digital abyss for all of eternity.
Emerging brands, take note: always make it easy for people to give you free publicity, something Rosé Floaté understands…
Wearing my loudest day-drinking shirt, I rode my beach cruiser to meet Aylin where she lives on Rose Ave, which coincidentally also happens to be where the Bev HQ is located. I know what you’re thinking, rosé on Rose? It’s all coming together. The first order of business was using Bev’s handy store locator to get our eager paws on the pink stuff…
But alas, a neighborhood market, as well as a Whole Foods (both on Rose Ave, literally seconds from the Bev HQ) didn’t have a single can. Surely this could be a sign of their popularity, their inability to meet supply with overwhelming demand, but there was only one way to find out: knock on their door and meet the people behind Bev. However, unlike this Google image, when we arrived at the post-modern structure, there was zero signage indicating this building housed the leaders of the rosé revolution…
In fact, there was no name on the tenant directory under “B” for “Bev” or “P” for “Peabody.” The door was securely locked, and there was no reasonable way to scale the wall – should one want to trespass in the name of rosé.
“Blast! Foiled again, Aylin!” I shouted with a trembling fist.
“Hold on, let me check their event calendar,” Aylin replied in a calmer voice. “Hmm. It looks like they might be down in San Diego for some Pride event. That could explain it.”
“But this is July, wasn’t Pride last month??”
Aylin just shrugged and stifled a yawn.
Alright, I thought to myself, get a grip. This story is NOT slipping through my fingers. I wiped a sheen of perspiration from my brow, but only I knew it had nothing to do with the summer heat… Panic. Deadlines. Reputation. It all came crashing down on me in a sweeping avalanche of dread. I could imagine the look on my coworkers’ faces come Monday morning, the palpable disappointment in their eyes if I didn’t manage to come back with a worthy article.
“Never mind this place,” I waved my hand dismissively at the building. “We need to head to the water. Let cooler winds prevail.”
“Where are we going?” Aylin asked incredulously.
“To The Waterfront bar!” I exclaimed as I marched forward.
“How do you know they even have Bev?”
I pulled up their menu on my phone for proof and held it up like a badge…
But first, I needed a rapid mood-adjuster, otherwise the likelihood of me getting into a bar fight was higher than I would care for on what was an otherwise cheerful Friday afternoon. My solution? Some thematic sunglasses that would pair well with rosé, obviously. What I wanted was a pair of wine sunglasses with bushels of grapes framing the lenses. This glorious vision was based on all the beer goggles and weed glasses that various vendors were selling up and down the boardwalk, but the quest resulted in yet another spirit-crushing failure, as evident by my darkening mood captured by Aylin in these photos…
Evading Possible Death In Search of Rosé
My existential crisis was short-lived, thankfully, when what sounded like GUNSHOTS erupted in a nearby public bathroom stall. A cluster of tourists scrambled, and one mother in particular locked eyes with me and said, “GO! GO!” When I turned around, Aylin was already a shrinking spec 50 yards and counting, so I ran after her. By the time I caught up, sweat stung my eyes, and with my hands clasped to my knees, I muttered, “What… just… happened?”
“Dude, that was crazy!” Aylin said while peering out from around a corner. “I think that was a gun, right??”
“It could’ve been someone slamming a bathroom door repeatedly,” I reasoned. “Probably some drug-fueled vagrant that freaked the tourists out in a fit of rage. Happens all the time.” Having lived in Venice for the better part of a decade, I know what gunshots sound like. These sounds were too muffled, albeit, startling in the moment. After catching our breath, I was able to convince Aylin that we wouldn’t be risking our lives when we headed back toward the bar – on account of the lack of sirens or a chopper. Reluctantly, she agreed.
When we got to The Waterfront bar, our adrenaline had subsided and left us not just with a deep thirst, but a desperate yearning for rosé. This was no longer a trendy libation, or even a marketing blog, no. It had now taken on a more profound meaning for us – liquid life. We approached the bartender, appearing like two survivors from a desert vision-quest, and with a cracked voice I demanded, “Two of your finest Bev canned rosés.”
The bartender, as if out of some Western, was cleaning a mug with a rag and shook his head solemnly, “We don’t carry any in here.” I didn’t have to look at Aylin to know that mine was not the only heart sinking through the Earth’s burning core and out the other end of the planet… and then, resurrecting us from total spiritual oblivion, the bartender said: “I mean, they’re in the outside bar.”
Elation. A thousand Christmas mornings combined into one. We stumbled outside and saw a tiny bar with no one manning it. We didn’t care. I made my way behind the counter and pulled two of the most perfectly-chilled cans of rosé any aspiring Instagram model could possibly hope for. I’m not entirely ashamed to admit that the only thing that stood between my welling tears of joy and Aylin were my non-thematic sunglasses…
I handed one to Aylin and we took a dramatic pause: “On the count of three,” I said. “One, two, three…” We cracked open our cans with perfect synchronicity.
“I can’t believe this is happening,” Aylin said while gazing at her can , possibly in the early stages of heat-stroke.
“Let’s drink…” I encouraged.
When Rosé Redemption Turns To Chaos
On their website, Bev is described as such: “She’s a dry rosé, crisp, a lil’ fizzy and crafted specifically for a can. She’ll most definitely go places where glass can’t, has 0 sugar, and 11.9% abv.”
I found this to be a fairly apt description, but admittedly the first of many cans was purely for the sake of hydration. The second can was when my palate began to awaken and really taste the chilled elixir. I even swirled it around my mouth some, imitating a wine counessier.
“Well, what do you taste?” Aylin asked between thirsty sips.
“Rosé… Definitely rosé,” I nodded confidently. On an empty stomach, it’s safe to say that the third rosé is where things became a little fuzzier… In some kind of apparent order:
Aylin took photos of my drinking Bev. Lots of Bev.
Which somehow turned into an impromptu photoshoot on the boardwalk where Aylin convinced me to “jump like an Instagram model would!”
And then I either joined a street gang or a boy band… while clearly double-fisting rosé in public.
By this point, the narrative begins to crumble entirely into a nonsensical mess of color and sound. At one point I seem to recall being chased by a small dog down an alley, and another mental fragment involves something to do with Aylin stepping in police horse shit while eating a churro (police ride horses in Venice). The last inexplicable image in our photo album was this absolute horror:
The only clue as to its origin came when Aylin texted me the next day saying she vaguely recalled me belting the lyrics to “LA Woman” at the top of my lungs, but without any context as to where or why. And this, wary reader, is how the blog ends: with no real clear understanding of the emerging brand we set out to highlight, but instead, a more thorough understanding of ourselves as human beings in the hedonistic throes of a rosé binge in the middle of a weird summer.
Rosé all day, indeed.