One of our signature events, Debut of Rosé, is non-doubt a fan favorite. What better way to welcome the Spring season than with the debut of 2015 Rosés? The Debut will have more than 100 Rosé varietals to try, and takes place on Wednesday night, making it the perfect kick-off to Taste of Vail weekend!
Avon Liquor Buyer Cary Hogan is no stranger to Taste of Vail, or the Debut of Rosé, having attended and volunteered at the event since its inception. We talked to Cary about the world of Rosé and what keeps her coming back to the event year after year.
Hi Cary, thanks for taking the time to chat with us about all things Rosé! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself before we dive in?
I am a Colorado native and have lived in the mountains most of my life, raising 2 wonderful boys who have followed me into the wine world. I have been involved in the wine, liquor and beer industry for over 30 years. I became passionate about wine, not just for the unbelievable versatility the world offers, but I also love the history, culture, geography and geology that is involved in the world of wine. I have managed 3 stores and owned Avon Liquor for 18 or so years. I sold the store, but am still the wine and liquor buyer. I became a volunteer for the Taste of Vail the second year of it’s inception and have been involved ever since. I was a board member for many years and then retired from the board to concentrate on the seminars for Taste of Vail.
How long have you been going to Debut of Rosé?
This is the third year for the Debut of Rosé and I have attended every year. I organized all the seminars for many years, and had hosted a few Rosé seminars in the past, but as Rosé became more popular and understood by the American market, Taste of Vail felt a Rosé debut would be a great new event by itself.
How has the event changed over the years?
The event has become better attended by both the wineries and the public as the event has grown in popularity. It’s nice that the event is being held in the Arrabelle’s Grand Ballroom this year, so we can better accommodate all the wineries and festivalgoers.
Why do you think Rosé is having such a big moment in the world of wine?
The Rosé movement is really a movement in the U.S. The French and Europeans, and many other countries have been making and enjoying Rosé for centuries. The U.S. customers went through a sweet white zinfandel affair and hence the color made most consumers think of the inexpensive sweet white Zinfandel. The opposite is true. Most Rosés are on the very dry side. I began featuring Rosé in Avon Liquor at least ten years ago and just kept at it, waving the Rosé banner as such a versatile wine! The complexity of the red wine grapes the Rosé is made from, coupled with the crispness of a white and voila! You have a great food wine!
Do you drink Rosé in colder weather?
I drink Rosé all year and this year, I noticed my customers followed suit, enjoying Rosé with all sorts of winter foods.
I noticed Avon Liquor often has a Rosé display front and center in the store. Do tourists love to drink Rosé when they’re on vacation, or is it locals that love to drink it?
Avon Liquor showcases Rosé all year in a prominent location in the wine room. Education is part of retail, and I have had a Rosé display for at least ten years trying to woo the U.S. consumer into this beautiful world. My enthusiasm was born on a trip to France as I sipped Rosé in Provence along the sea. Both locals and tourists alike enjoy and ask for Rosé. I noticed an increase in local awareness and purchases after the last few years since Taste of Vail began the Debut of Rosé event. People requested that I bring in their favorite Rosé from the tasting. I carried more than 35 different Rosés last year and sold hundreds of cases.
Where do you think the best Rosé comes from?
My favorite Rosés come from Provence, but my memories feed that love as well. I do enjoy Rosé from every part of the planet, however, and drink many, many different types. I pair the richer ones with different foods than the more delicate Rosés.
What is your favorite Rosé?
What are you looking forward to most about this year’s Debut of Rosé?
I just love that the event showcases the new Spring releases, and is a wonderful celebration to the start of Spring as well!
Tickets to Debut of Rosé are still available for purchase here.
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