More than two hundred years ago in Napoleonic France, the business world was walled off to women, and champagne was a luxury reserved for the ruling class. So then how did a young widow take over her husband's struggling wine business and turn champagne into an international phenomenon? And how does her legacy continue to shape what we drink today?
Produced by Julia Press, with Charlie Herman and Sarah Wyman. Tilar Mazzeo is the author of The Widow Clicquot: The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It. Read more:
How Barbe-Nicole Clicquot outsmarted the French patriarchy to bring Veuve Clicquot to the masses and create an international sensation
Transcript Note: This transcript may contain errors. [CHAMPAGNE POP] CHARLIE HERMAN: I love champagne. Always have. When I was a teenager, I worked at a restaurant where there were a lot of wedding receptions and I got to be a pro at opening bottle after bottle of champagne (and I'm still available for bar mitzvahs and retirement parties). A few years ago, I got serious about studying wine and in the process, I got to know a lot more about sparkling wine — how it's made, what makes it different from other wines. And that included learning about this one woman who forever changed champagne, and part of her story begins back in 1814. So try and imagine it: there's a ship that's just left the coast of France with more than 10,000 bottles of champagne on board. The goal is to get to Russia and sell the wine, but it's a risky journey. First of all, it's June and it's getting hot. If the rocking of the ship does not destroy the wine, the heat likely will. It will be a miracle if the champagne survives the month-long journey. There's another reason the trip is precarious: it's illegal. This is the era of the Napoleonic Wars, when France was fighting with what seems like every country in Europe. As a result, there are blockades to prevent trade with France. If the ship is stopped and inspected, the thousands of bottles of champagne could be confiscated and destroyed. Meanwhile, back in France, there's a young widow in a small town east of Paris anxiously waiting to hear any news about the ship. It's her champagne on board and she's decided to risk her business on this Hail Mary pass. If her plan fails, that's it, she's out of business. If it succeeds, she could make a name for herself across all of Europe. She is Widow Clicquot. You know her champagne, Veuve Clicquot. From Business Insider, this is Brought to you by... Brands you know, stories you don't. I'm Charlie Herman. Veuve Clicquot is one of the world's best-known champagnes, but before it became a brand, it was a real person: Barbe-Nicole Clicquot. She was an ambitious, daring woman who took enormous risks at a time when women like her were not supposed to be running a business at all. And her legacy inspires women in the wine industry to this day…even if she might have rejected being upheld as a role model. If you have raised a glass of champagne at a wedding, a birthday or a graduation, you have Veuve Clicquot to thank. But do you know her story? Stay with us. ACT I CH: The reason why Widow Clicquot put it all on the line to get her champagne into Russia — and why it mattered — only makes sense if you understand just how remarkable she was. One person responsible for what we know about her is this woman. TILAR MAZZEO: So my name is Tilar Mazzeo. CH: Like many of us, Tilar first got to know the name "Veuve Clicquot" as a brand of champagne. In the 1990s, she was in her mid-30s, teaching at the University of Wisconsin in Oshkosh and, this is going to sound a little cliché, she and her girlfriends would get together every few months and open a bottle of Veuve Clicquot's "Grand Dame" and then vent about their jobs. One day, Tilar bought a bottle and noticed a little card attached that, in a few words, described who the Grand Dame was. TM: And I read it and I thought, 'oh, that's an amazing story.' I thought, 'oh, well, obviously, "veuve" is widow in French.' I had never really twigged on that before. CH: So she decided to do some digging. TM: And then it became this running joke where every time we had what we called a VC or a Veuve Clicquot night, I would come in and in my dorky professorial way, would give a little lecture about what I had discovered about Veuve Clicquot. CH: She went on to write an entire book about her: "The Widow Clicquot: The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It." TM: The Widow Clicquot was in some ways really the first audacious businesswoman and she lived at a moment where that was not culturally valued. CH: Do you usually refer to her as Barbe-Nicole or Veuve Clicquot? TM: Barbe-Nicole would be her first name and I feel like after all of these years I'm a good friend of hers, so I take a liberty and call her Barbe-Nicole. (laughs) Technically, it's Madame Clicquot. CH: I think you're allowed to do that. TM: Yeah, no as a biographer, there is only two choices. You either fall in love with your characters or you fall in hate with your characters. (laughs) And I mean I absolutely fell in love with Barbe-Nicole as a person. CH: But researching Barbe-Nicole — if I may, Madame — was easier said than done, because the record of her life in 19th century France had been more or less wiped clean. TM: She would have considered that erasing the details of her personal life would have been the appropriate thing to do. Women typically burned their letters before their death if they knew that they were ill so that their family wouldn't have the embarrassment of having to look through their personal correspondence and destroy it for them. CH: There are only a handful of letters and personal notes that remain, but what she did leave behind were meticulous business records and letters written to her suppliers. And to read them, well, if she were alive today, she'd be that person who is constantly on the phone with customer service disputing every charge on her bill. You know who I'm talking about. LETTER: I regret to say the merchandise was, to put it bluntly, what I was expecting. LETTER: One would really think these bottles were made by apprentices and not by master glassblowers. LETTER: The merchandise must conform exactly to the sample I have sent...or that will decidedly be the end of our partnership. LETTER: These bottles do not at all meet my expectations. LETTER: I am obliged to decidedly give up sending for your corks. CH: So yeah, you did not want to mess with her. But Barbe-Nicole also had a soft side. TM: Although she was a very, very hardheaded businesswoman, I think she was also kindhearted, and charitable. There was an occasion where a young boy delivered a shipment of bottles that she did not think were of sufficient quality. They were just shoddy construction. And you know, she sees the little boy with the trembling lip and instead of sending him back with the bottles, she decides that she'll accept the shipment and writes the letter to the boss saying 'don't ever do that again.' CH: Here's part of that letter: LETTER: At first we refused the shipment. It was only the tears of your panic-stricken delivery man (or rather the child who was driving the wagon) that convinced us to accept the order. CH: Barbe-Nicole grew up during the French Revolution, and during those tumultuous years, there had been some advances in women's rights. But by the time Napoleon Bonaparte came to power in 1799, all that was changing. TM: Well, Napoleon was not one of history's great feminists, I think, to put it mildly. CH: Under his Napoleonic Code, men essentially had total control over their wives and daughters. For example, women generally could not file lawsuits or be witnesses in court. They did not have a say over property or finances or even the fate of their children. The Code was written to keep women at home and definitely out of business. But Barbe-Nicole had a unique position because her husband was learning the ways of the wine business during the early years of their marriage. TM: Her husband, somewhat unusually, invited his wife to ride in the carriage around the champagne with him. So for them, wine becomes the heart of their love story. CH: And a few years later, she benefited from essentially a loophole in the Napoleonic Code when her husband got sick and… TM: He dies, and I think she thinks to herself that in some ways carrying on that wine business and trying to make a success of it is a way of staying loyal to him. CH: While the Napoleonic Code was still in effect, Barbe-Nicole, as a widow, could get away with taking over and running the struggling wine business. And there were other widows involved in the champagne industry, but they had been grape growers and small-scale winemakers. TM: So those were working class women who were mostly widowed and were trying to support families on family farms by doing the work that in most cases probably their husbands had done before their death. CH: Unlike those women, Barbe-Nicole came from a wealthy, prominent family in the Champagne region. And she not only planned to grow grapes and make wine, she wanted to sell that wine all over Europe and make a name for herself. There was also something else that, kind of disturbingly, worked in her favor. TM: She was very, very short. She was not a slender woman and she was not beautiful. I mean that's an important part of her story actually. I mean if she had been beautiful or attractive, if anybody had thought that it was possible for her to make a second strategic marriage, she probably would have been pressured into having done that. So part of it is that the gender stereotypes for the kinds of women who were considered attractive on the "marriage market," worked perversely to her advantage. Right? Those stereotypes worked to her advantage. CH: Yeah, they just sound so horribly sexist. TM: It is horribly sexist, completely. (laughs) There's no doubt about it CH: But there was one wrinkle to all of this. Even with the loophole for widows, Barbe-Nicole still needed to get permission from her father-in-law. TM: And she has no business experience. She has no business running a business in any objective sense. She goes to her father-in-law and she asks him to gamble the equivalent of today about a million bucks on letting her run a business that he thought all along was a bad idea. CH: Surprisingly, he said yes — though he did add one condition. He would bring in an experienced businessman to run the company with her in a quasi-apprenticeship. He promised that at the end of four years, if Barbe-Nicole had proven herself, she could run the company on her own. And I want you to stop and think about how unlikely this decision would have been at this time for someone like her father-in-law. TM: When you're in the presence of a story that doesn't make sense, it means that you probably have struck at the heart of character, that there had to be something astonishing that her father-in-law saw in her, this kind of determination and just boldness that he thought, 'well, she shouldn't be able to do this but I bet she will.' CH: That boldness, however, was not appreciated by everyone … one man in particular: Jean-Rémy Moët, the maker of the champagne you know today as Moët & Chandon. TM: Moët, Moët was not a fan of women in business. In that, to be fair to Moët, Moët would not have been unusual in the least. CH: Moët was almost 20 years older than Barbe-Nicole,and when she took over her husband's business, he was already well-established. Half the people who grew grapes for him were women and, according to Tilar, Moët had nothing but contempt for women in business. The rivalry between Moët and Barbe-Nicole would span their entire lives as each constantly tried to one up the other one. And Moët? He had several advantages, including one very important connection: Napoleon. TM: He particularly was a big supporter of Moët. That was one of the things that drove Barbe-Nicole crazy, is that Napoleon and Jean-Rémy Moët were buddies. Napoleon was actively supporting his buddy Moët as a kind of ambassador of French culture. CH: To beat Moet, Barbe-Nicole needed to take big risks in how she sold her champagne, and in how she made it. Now at this time, champagne was expensive — that might sound familiar — but the taste? Well, that would be unrecognizable. And it's really hard to compare it to what we drink today. CH: What was she making when she started out and what was the drink like? TM: So think about a really sweet dessert wine that we might get on the market today. It would have been sweeter than that. It was typically cloudy, and it was served ice cold in little tiny glasses. It was like a frozen dessert slushy. CH: Yum. It was also really hard to make. A major reason why Barbe-Nicole is remembered to this day is because she changed how champagne is produced. To understand what she accomplished, I need to go a little "wine geek" on you. Making champagne, sparkling wine in general, takes several steps. You'll hear terms like primary and secondary fermentation. What you need to know is that yeast eats the sugars in grapes and the by-product is alcohol and carbon dioxide, the bubbles in champagne. If there is too much CO2, and the glass is poorly made, bottles can actually explode from the pressure. In the 18th century, in the warmer months, winemakers could lose up to 90% of their sparkling wine from bottles bursting. There's also another problem. At a certain point, the yeast dies and when they do, they leave behind dead yeast that float in the wine and eventually settle to the bottom. I know, that sounds gross. But actually it is really crucial to the flavor of champagne. Trust me here. The issue is, how do you get the cloudy, dead yeast out of the bottle? When Barbe-Nicole started making champagne the process was called transvasage. What it was, was a pain in the neck. Basically, you would have pour the wine from one bottle to another. It was time-consuming, it led to a lot of wasted wine and generally, was not good for the final product. For Barbe-Nicole, this was not good enough, so she started experimenting — and in the process, discovered the solution that would revolutionize the industry. It's called rémuage, or, riddling. TM: She said, 'Well, look, what I'd like you to do is take my kitchen table down to the cellars and I want you to drill some holes in it. What if we just turn the bottles upside down so that the yeast is in the neck?' CH: The idea was that by flipping the bottles and putting the neck in a slanted hole cut into the table, the yeast would eventually accumulate in the neck of the bottle instead of the bottom. You could then pop off the top and the yeast would shoot out, and then just as quickly, you'd put a new cork in the bottle. TM: You have to have a really, really fast thumb. In that millisecond that it takes for you to put your thumb on the top of it and stop the wine spurting out, the yeast plug has now gone into whatever vat you're catching it in. And now you have removed the yeast from your bottle. CH: Sounds logical. But the rest of her team was not sold on the idea. TM: Everybody looked at her and said, 'That's a crazy idea. That will never work.' She said, 'I don't care. Take my kitchen table down into the cellar and drill holes in it.' CH: She was right. It worked. TM: So you got clearer wine because it works better. The quality of the wine is not compromised in the way that it was with transvasage. And perhaps more importantly, it is a lot faster. You can move product out of your cellar a lot more quickly and it's less labor intensive. CH: It did not just make Barbe-Nicole's life easier, it meant more quality champagne could be produced more efficiently. It meant that what had been a luxury product could be made in larger quantities to sell to more people. And by inventing riddling, she now had an advantage over her archrival Moët. It would take him years before he would copy her in his cellars. TM: This is one of my favorite stories about the Widow Clicquot. She says to her employees, 'Guys, shh, don't tell Moët.' It's like, 'seriously.' CH: 'Seriously, we got a breakthrough here.' TM: Right, 'we got a breakthrough here.' I always think that it's an amazing testimony to what she must have been like as a person, that her employees keep it a secret from Moët in a small wine region for a decade. And Moët is going crazy. There are some letters that he writes and he's like, 'what is she doing? I don't understand.' LETTER: We must wrack our brains to obtain as good a result. TM: He's pulling out his hair, trying to figure out what it is that she is doing that is allowing her to get this clear wine so much faster than him. CH: Clear wine. It's a woman. I can't imagine that he was very happy. TM: (laughs) I'm sure she took immense pleasure in the fact that it took a decade for him to figure out what she was doing, bet she wasn't too pleased with the employee who finally let it spilled the beans either. CH: But Barbe-Nicole could not triumph over Moët with this innovation alone. She also had to sell more champagne than he did. And when she started out, Moët and his family had already dominated the champagne market for years, especially in Russia where the elites relished the sweet, slushy drink. TM: To some extent, and certainly for Moët, the sparkling wine market was the Russian market. The Russian court were huge drinkers of champagne. CH: If Barbe-Nicole wanted to come out on top, she would have to find a way to get her champagne into Russia and topple Moët. After the break, the race to Russia. ACT II CH: We're back with the story of the woman behind the name Veuve Clicquot. Barbe-Nicole had entered the champagne industry at a particularly tough moment. TM: So, the Napoleonic Wars were not a great time to be a winemaker or a wine exporter in particular. CH: The market for champagne within France was small, so to succeed in the business, you had to get your wine out of the country. But since the Napoleonic Wars had started in 1803, this was easier said than done. TM: In order to try to contain Napoleon, who obviously had imperial ambitions and wanted to take over all of Europe, the other European states decided that they would have to try to hurt France economically by putting in a series of blockades of French economic products. CH: That included champagne. Barbe Nicole tried to find ways to ship her wine, despite the blockades. In one instance, she managed to get some as far as Amsterdam, then a French port city. From there, she planned to send it on to other European countries. TM: So when it gets to Amsterdam, she has her salesman, who's there. He's writing her letters back. He writes her back and says, you know, 'We made it.' CH: But before she even had the chance to celebrate, devastating news hit: the British had blockaded Amsterdam. Her wine was stuck there, sitting in a warehouse, decaying in the summer heat. At the end of the summer, her salesman went to check on the condition of the wine and wrote to her: LETTER: I prayed to the Good Lord to let me find our wines in such a way that I could send you good news, but my prayers were not at all answered. I opened the first case with trembling hands...I took out a bottle, trembling I removed the straw and tissue paper, but rather than the clear and brilliant wine that I had hoped for, I saw nothing but a deposit like a finger that I could not detach without shaking the bottle for a full minute. CH: Yeah, that "deposit like a finger?" Basically it's bacteria that left a ropey by-product similar to egg whites. I do not see the royal courts of Europe paying for that. Only a handful of bottles could be saved. So as the Napoleonic Wars continued, Barbe-Nicole's business, which was still very new, suffered. She may have been French, but Napoleon? She called him, the devil. TM: Napoleon's war was ruining her business. I mean, that was why she couldn't export it and why troops kept coming in and trying to raid her cellars each time. So she was not a fan of Napoleon, although her family were quite politically powerful and involved. And they certainly hosted Napoleon. But privately, she was not a fan. CH: All this to say, Barbe-Nicole knew that to succeed, she would need to take some risks, especially if she wanted to get her wine to the one market that really mattered, Russia. But Russia came to her first. By 1814, Russian troops were literally in Barbe-Nicole's backyard fighting Napoleon's army. TM: The Champagne region, was this battleground. Right. CH: Literally, the battleground between Napoleon and the rest of Europe. TM: Exactly. They were fighting the war right there. And so what would happen is, one day, the Russians would come in, and they'd conquered the town, and they'd want to celebrate by drinking the local wine. And then the next week, Prussians would take over. And then they wanted to celebrate. Then Napoleon would come back through. Each time they were fighting over, these towns got taken back and forth, back and forth. Each time, the conquering army wanted to celebrate by drinking wine. They were really worried about their wine getting stolen. There were stories about caves being blocked up to hide the wine. And Barbe-Nicole was pretty sanguine about it. She said, 'You know what...' CLICQUOT QUOTE: Today they drink, tomorrow they will pay. TM: 'The people who drink my wine today will be my market tomorrow.' That was really the moment that champagne becomes a worldwide phenomenon in that sense. CH: In the middle of all these wars? TM: Yeah. Because there are all of these foreign troops there who learn to love the local sparkling wine as they're celebrating. CH: And they did just that when Napoleon abdicated his throne in April 1814 and the fighting came to an end. TM: They have a big party. CH: The tsar planned a banquet for 300,000 Russian troops to toast their victory. TM: And they have a lot of champagne. But of course, the brand of French champagne that is widely celebrated in Russia at that moment is Moët. And so that is what they choose to celebrate with. CH: Barbe-Nicole would have understandably been disappointed. That is a lot of bottles of champagne. And after months of invasions and years of depressed sales from the wars, she was on the brink of bankruptcy. Desperate, she settled on her plan to win over the Russians...and along the way, beat Moët. TM: She knew that Jean-Rémy Moët had sewn up market share in the Russian market and she wanted to take some of that share from him is what she wanted. She knew that sooner or later, the Russian market would be open again. She decides to make the biggest gamble of her business career. CH: To run the blockade. Once Napoleon abdicated, Barbe-Nicole furiously began looking for a ship that could take thousands of bottles of her best wine to Russia. And remember, even with Napoleon gone, the blockades had not been lifted. If the boat carrying her wine was stopped, it was likely her champagne would be confiscated and destroyed. TM: You have to imagine that the navies of all of these different world powers are patrolling, right, looking for contraband. If I were somebody patrolling looking for contraband, there's nothing I'd like to confiscate more than a shipment of vintage French champagne. CH: There was another factor to consider — would her wine survive the sea voyage? Barbe-Nicole was sending the best of the best: her 1811 vintage. And vintage champagnes are only produced a few times a decade — they use grapes from one extraordinary good harvest, rather than blending from different years, which is the common practice. As a result, there are fewer bottles of vintage champagne, and that makes them unique, and means they sell for prices higher than your typical champagne. Barbe-Nicole was jeopardizing her very best wine. Even if it survived enemy confiscation, the weather might actually do her in. TM: She's sending it too late in the season. And it would have been hot. So there's also the risk that if the wine gets hot, you're going to have cooked wine and it's going to be ruined. CH: She did not want a repeat of those "deposits like a finger" that ruined her wine in Amsterdam. But if she wanted to save the business, this was her only chance. On top of that, Russia was still banning the importation of French wine. TM: She'd already been at the brink of bankruptcy before. Her father-in-law would not have supported this going on any longer. It was the end of the road. She was gambling absolutely everything on this shipment. CH: And the expectation that Russia would lift the ban. Her idea? Ship the wine to Konigsberg in what was then Prussia. TM: It's a port that is the closest to Russia. What she wants is to have her product positioned so that the moment peace is declared and the wine can get across the border into Russia, where she knows there is this large pent-up market, she is there and she wants to be there weeks before any of her competitors. And in particular, weeks before Moët. CH: The entire operation required subtlety and secrecy, because we're talking about smuggling out 10,000 bottles of champagne from the center of France, to the coast and then onto a ship. TM: You have to ask yourself how she and her employees managed to carry it down to a barge secretly right in the middle of town without Moët finding out. CH: Somehow they did it and Barbe-Nicole got her trusted salesman, Louis Bohne, to lead the trip. TM: She sends him with bottles of brandy and a copy of Cervantes' Don Quixote. CH: (laughs) Tilting at windmills. TM: The knight fighting impossible battles. Exactly. CH: The journey from France to Konigsberg took nearly a month, and it was a month of rough waters, and vermin infestations, and increasing heat. But the ship managed to avoid confiscation and pulled into port on July 3, 1814. TM: And when they arrived, Louis Bohne checks the quality of the wine and he writes her a letter back and he says, 'You won't believe it. The wine is perfect.' LETTER: As strong as the wines of Hungary, as yellow as gold, and as sweet as nectar. I am adored here because my wines are adorable...what a spectacle. CH: It was clear, after years of war, these Prussians had been thirsty for champagne. Bohne became the most popular guy in town. TM: And Louis Bohne is just ecstatic. He says, you know, 'I don't think we're even going to be able to get the wine to St. Petersburg. I have people lined up outside the boat here.' LETTER: Two-thirds of the high society of Konigsberg are at your feet as a result of your nectar. Of all the fine wines that have teased northern heads, none compare to Madame Clicquot's 1811 cuvée. TM: And he says 'but don't worry I've doubled the price.' [laughter] CH: Barbe-Nicole could not contain herself in her reply. LETTER: Great God! What a price! How novel! I am over the top with joy and satisfaction. What overwhelming happiness this change will pay out. The heavens have showered me with blessings, after all the terrible moments I have passed. I owe you a thousand and thousand thanks. CH: Louis Bohne says like everybody here wants the wine, I'm not even sure I'm going to be able to have any to go into Russia. Does any make it into Russia? TM: Yes. Their final goal, of course, is capturing share of the Russian market. So he does hold back some. He does get it into St. Petersburg. It's almost astonishing to believe. She goes from being unknown in the business world to a month later everybody knowing in Europe who Madame Clicquot is, the Widow Clicquot is. It's not just that this is a success and her business begins to grow steadily. It's that she gets into the market and suddenly her champagne is the in thing and she becomes an absolute phenomenon such that if you asked for a bottle of the Widow, everybody understood that you meant champagne. And that was because of the Widow Clicquot. CH: Barbe-Nicole not only saved her business, she made a name for herself across the continent. Combine that success with "riddling" — her invention that produced better quality champagne and is still used to this day — she would go on to inspire women in the wine business for generations to come. Even if she might have given that legacy the side-eye. That's after the break. ACT III CH: We are back, with the story of Veuve Clicquot and the women who followed her. Arriving first in Russia after the fall of Napoleon saved Barbe-Nicole's champagne business. But if she had gone bankrupt, she wouldn't have been out on the street. Once again, Tilar Mazzeo: TM: You know, it's not that she would have gone hungry. She was a very wealthy woman, she could have packed it in and closed the business and gone lived in her château and done embroidery. But that would have been the end of any idea that she was going to be a businesswoman and have this independent life. CH: So, yes, it helped that she had a financial cushion. But the fact that she was willing to risk her independence and her business, to bet the farm — or the winery — says a lot about her. CH: Why do you think she did? TM: I think that goes back to that story of character. She shouldn't have. But whatever her father-in-law saw in her that led him to believe that a young woman in her late 20s with no experience could build a business, you know, was about the character behind her. I think she was a force of nature as a person. It's not a story of a marketing success. It's a story of a really high quality product made by somebody who was a very determined and risk-taking entrepreneur. She is the first woman to head what we would think of as a commercial empire. CH: And she did this when she was in her 30s. She would go on to live another 50 years. Over her long life, her business had its ups and downs — at times, she even made some decisions that put the company in jeopardy. But by the end of her life, she succeeded in selling champagne to more people, while at the same time, keeping its image of extravagance. Like an early, mass market, luxury item. TM: I think she's probably the biggest single reason that champagne today is something that you and I could go home and drink even though we are not members of royal courts of Europe. CH: Because of these accomplishments, other residents in the Champagne region knew her and her story. In fact, tourists would come and visit the "Grand Dame" where they might meet her and tour the winery, taste her champagne. Maybe even visit the wine cave. Barbe-Nicole was an example for the next generation of wine-making widows. TM: After Barbe-Nicole, who really was the path breaker, we have Louise Pommery, who had gone to boarding school in Britain who thought that the British would buy more sparkling wine if it were less sweet. CH: Widow Pommery turned champagne from the sweet, dessert slushy Barbe-Nicole sold into the dry or "brut" champagne we know today. And I personally want to thank you, Madame Pommery. TM: Barbe-Nicole didn't think that Brut Champagne would sell. Barbe-Nicole always considered that one of her big mistakes as a businesswoman. She had the grace to admit that Louise Pommery was correct. So now, when we see that yellow label of the non-vintage brut Veuve Clicquot, that is the label that was invented late in her life when Barbe-Nicole accepted that Louise Pommery was right, and that you did need to make a brut Champagne for the British market. But Louise Pommery absolutely, I think, saw herself as a kind of second generation champagne widow. CH: Future generations included another widow, Lilly Bollinger, who would take over and run her family's business in the 20th century. TM: One of the things about champagne is that although there are certainly very famous champagne houses run by men, champagne in the wine industry has been a place where women have had outsized roles, right? Bigger roles than they've had in other parts of the wine world. You don't have the same kinds of stories in Burgundy or in Bordeaux. So in some ways, I think because of Barbe-Nicole, women winemakers and the story of women in the Champagne is a really important part of that story. CH: And her legacy continues into the 21st century. Now Widow Clicquot inspires women in an industry, where in the US for example, they only hold about a quarter of leadership positions. JEN PELKA: What's interesting is that there are a lot of young women who are in positions of power in wine bars that are really focused on champagne or champagne bars. CH: Jen Pelka is one of them. She is the founder of The Riddler, a champagne bar in San Francisco and New York. JP: All of our investors at The Riddler are women, almost everybody on our leadership team is also a woman, and we have a lot of female sommeliers on the team.CH: Her business reflects a trend that's happening in France as well. JP: If you look at what is happening in Champagne, women more and more powerful and are a huge part of the community, Veuve Clicquot had a female CEO for many years and now Krug, arguably the most important champagne house in terms of ultra luxury, has a woman who is a CEO as well. CH: Champagne is now a $5.5 billion industry ranging from famous global brands to smaller, boutique bottlings from what are called "grower-producers." And Veuve Clicquot is one of the founding mothers of the modern industry. She is also, I think it's fair to say, an honorary founder of Pelka's champagne bar too. JP: I first learned about riddling when I was at a wine tasting in New York at the Veuve Clicquot headquarters and was learning all about the history of Veuve Clicquot and learned that the Widow Clicquot invented this practice called riddling and I had a lightbulb moment, I said, 'one day, I'm going to open a champagne bar called The Riddler.' And here we are! CH: Here we are! JP: I mean I would love to invite the Widow Clicquot to the Riddler. I wish she were still around, I think she'd like it here. (laugh) CH: All this, however, might have come as a surprise for Barbe-Nicole. While she subverted expectations of what a woman could do outside of the home, in some ways, she was held back by her gender. TM: She couldn't travel because she didn't have a male guardian. So even a widow wouldn't travel alone because there was no male member of her family to travel with her. She never left France. CH: And yet her name... TM: Was known around the world. CH: Even though she defied expectations and conventional behavior, she was still a woman of her time. CH: Would you describe her as someone who was championing the rights of women? TM: That's a more complicated question. Probably, probably not. CH: As Barbe-Nicole's company grew, she brought in professional businessmen to help her run it. She helped usher in a new era of work, one where businesses thought like companies, not families. And that new structure actually shut the door to the untrained women who had been a part of the family businesses in the past. TM: She certainly didn't want her own daughter going into business. Part of it is also that she was born in that moment of a kind of counter-cultural revolution and the aftermath of the French Revolution. You know you're talking about it over the course of a very long life, 90 years or so. And as the century went on, the culture became more conservative in its views of women and not less. CH: How did the rivalry with Moët end? TM: (laughs) I don't know what Barbe-Nicole would feel about this. The rivalry ends by the fact that in the late 20th century, Veuve Clicquot is purchased by LVMH, which is Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy, which also happens to be the large luxury business that owns Moët. CH: After years competing against one another, Moët and Clicquot's champagnes are now owned by the same company, though they are run separately. Moët & Chandon is the world's largest selling champagne brand. Veuve Clicquot is right behind them . The rivalry lives on. Barbe-Nicole lived to almost 90 and despite that very long life, as I mentioned earlier, she left behind very few personal letters or notes that give you a sense of her inner life. But there is one letter that survives that she wrote to her great-granddaughter near the end of her life. LETTER: My dear, I am going to tell you a secret. You more than anyone resemble me, you who have such audacity. It is a precious quality that has been very useful to me in the course of my long life...to dare things before others...I am called today the Grand Lady of Champagne! Look around you, this chateau, these unfaltering hills, I can be bolder than you realize. The world is in perpetual motion, and we must invent the things of tomorrow. TM: "One must go before others, be determined and exacting, and let your intelligence direct your life. Act with audacity. Perhaps you too will be famous…!!" I think she does a good job capturing her own spirit. (laughs) It's my favorite letter. One of the few where her own voice comes through, and I think the fact that she waited so long to put it into words is probably part of why it's so succinct and perfect. CH: Barbe-Nicole Clicquot led a remarkable life. But as the years passed, her story receded into the background and what remained for most people was just a name: "Veuve Clicquot." Tilar spent years bringing The Widow's story back to life. And in doing so, she also learned some important lessons for her own. TM: I live on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. And I own a winery. CH: How's that going? TM: Well, one must act with audacity, (laughs) and be exacting and unfaltering. Winemaking is a tough business. We got a lot of rain, it was a hard year. But no, it's an amazing, amazing adventure. CH: Tilar, thank you so much. TM: Thank you. CH: Tilar Mazzeo is the author of the book The Widow Clicquot, The Story of a Champagne Empire and the Woman Who Ruled It. CREDITS CH: This episode was produced by Julia Press with Sarah Wyman and me, Charlie Herman. Special thanks to William Antonelli, Adam Burakowski, Christian Nguyen, Jessica Orwig, and Betsy Stark. Also thanks to Jen Pelka and the folks at The Riddler — the champagne was fantastic — and to Isabelle Pierre, the Heritage Manager at Veuve Clicquot Krug. We also want to thank Tilar for letting us borrow her title. Bill Moss is our sound engineer. Music from Audio Network. Casey Holford and John DeLore composed our theme. Our editor is Carolyn Dubol. Sarah Wyman is our showrunner. Brought to you by... is a production of Insider Audio. JP: Cheers. CH: Oh my god this is like a test. (laughs) JP: It's not! CH: I get bread and cream. There's a little bit of lemon. JP: Yeah, you're hired! (laughs)Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why thoroughbred horse semen is the world's most expensive liquid
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Summary List Placement Online wine stores are the place to shop if you want to stock...Summary List Placement Online wine stores are the place to shop if you want to stock up without the hassle of transporting all of those bottles to your desired destination. The best places to buy wine online include NakedWines.com for unique bottles from small winemakers, ReserveBar for its premium and limited-edition wines, and Drizly for its convenient one-hour delivery. You must be 21 years or older to order from these sites and receive your package. Keep in mind any additional shipping fees and state restrictions on alcohol delivery. Due to concerns over the coronavirus, some companies are changing delivery standards to minimize social contact, while others may have limited stock. See detailed updates from the individual services below. Sign up for Insider Reviews' weekly newsletter for more buying advice and great deals. This content is intended for readers 21+. Please drink responsibly. If you or anyone you know is dealing with alcohol abuse, get help. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) provides a free, confidential, 24/7, treatment referral, and information service. Hosting large gatherings may be out of the question right now, but sometimes having a quiet night in is enough of an occasion to break out a bottle of wine — and even better if you don't have to leave the house to get it. Online options require minimal energy but deliver on all the perks. Just remember to read the fine print and plan on having someone 21 or older to sign for the package. If you're looking for an ongoing delivery service, check out our guide to the best wine subscriptions. Otherwise, you'll find a list below of the best places that will deliver wine straight to your door. Here are 12 solid options for delivering wine to your door: NakedWines.com Product Embed: Product Name: Nakedwines.com Napa Valley Discovery 6-Pack Card Type: small https://produktor.businessinsider.com/productCardService?id=5f777333ce3d6917cf0cb194&type=small&live=true Width: 100% Height: 150% NakedWines.com is like a "Shark Tank" for independent wines, and it has an "Angel" membership program that crowd-funds independent wine labels across the globe. Angel members get up to 60% off listed prices among other perks — just for depositing $40 a month into a wine "bank account" they can use whenever they want. NakedWines.com also gives out $100 vouchers often. You can get one just by taking a 30-second quiz on the site. Currently, you can grab a $100 voucher to be used on six bottles of wine. Choose from a case of reds, whites, or a mix of both. Shipping: NakedWines.com charges $10 in shipping fees for orders under $100. For orders $100 and more, delivery is free — except for Hawaii (+$70) and Alaska (+$130). Wines will be delivered Monday-Friday or Tuesday-Saturday during regular working hours, but make sure that there is someone over 21 years old who can sign for the package. For a full list of where it delivers, head over here. Note: Nakedwines.com was previously experiencing increased demand and delayed shipments due to the coronavirus. Operations are back to normal now, but you may still want to account for any unexpected delivery delays with your order. What to buy: Napa Valley Discovery 6-Pack, $139.99 The Goldilocks Case (12 bottles), $167.88 Everyday Luxury Case (12 bottles), $206.88 Read our full review of Nakedwines.com here. ReserveBar Product Embed: Product Name: Perrier-Jouët Belle Epoque Rosé Vintage Card Type: small https://produktor.businessinsider.com/productCardService?id=5f21a569a6f0e131d448a46a&type=small&live=true Width: 100% Height: 150% ReserveBar is an online premium wine and spirits store with prices to match. It carries everything from scotch, gin, and wine to moonshine, cocktail mixers, and Perrier-Jouët Blason Rosé that arrives with Waterford flutes. The company has a luxury collection, limited edition bottles, and top trending gifts to skim through. It also offers high-end gift packaging and custom engraving, perfect for those looking to gift a really good bottle of liquor with a personalized message. High-brow options aside, ReserveBar also has plenty of wine for less than $50. Currently, you can use the code "SHIP99" at checkout to get free shipping off orders $99+. New email subscribers can also get $10 off your purchase of $100+. Shipping: Shipping fees depend on your state and the weight of your order, but the base costs are $15.97 for ground shipping, $34.97 for two-day express, and $67.97 for overnight express. All shipments must be signed for by a 21-year-old adult. Products have a "ship to" section that shows which states allow delivery of that particular liquor or wine. Select cities can use ReserveBar Express and get fine spirits and Champagne delivered to their door the same day. Note: ReserveBar was previously experiencing increased demand and delayed shipments due to the coronavirus. Operations are back to normal now, but you may still want to account for any unexpected delivery delays with your order. What to buy: Perrier-Jouet Belle Epoque Rosé Vintage, $370 Cakebread Cellars Chardonnay, $44 Whispering Angel Rose, $25 Read our full review of ReserveBar here. Wine.com Product Embed: Product Name: Moet & Chandon Imperial Brut with Red Velvet Gift Bag Card Type: small https://produktor.businessinsider.com/productCardService?id=5f77743f0afbe7099456030b&type=small&live=true Width: 100% Height: 150% Wine.com boasts the world's largest online wine selection, plus the convenience of home delivery or pick-up from convenient local stores (like Walgreens) that may be open late or on weekends. It's a good place to find old favorites, discover new wines, and shop collectible and boutique wines. As an additional perk, Wine.com sells gift baskets, glassware, and other wine accessories. Currently, new customers can use the code "NEW2020" to get $20 off your first order of $100+. Shipping: Shipping depends on the number of bottles and total size and weight of your order, but can reach $30 per order. If you want to pick it up yourself, there are more than 10,000 participating locations including Walgreens, Duane Reade, and Safeway. If you choose this option at checkout, you'll get an email when your order is ready for pick-up, and you'll have five days to grab it. However, due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, we suggest calling the location beforehand just to double-check that you can pick up. Wine.com also has an annual $49 membership called the StewardShip program that gets you free shipping on every order for a full year with no purchase minimum. Either way, an adult signature is needed to get your package. What to buy: Moet & Chandon Imperial Brut with Red Velvet Gift Bag, $54.97 Avaline Tasting Duo, $38.99 Sun Goddess by Mary J Blige Tasting Set, $38.99 Wine Insiders Product Embed: Product Name: Wine Insiders Sommelier Picks Half-Case Card Type: small https://produktor.businessinsider.com/productCardService?id=5f21a7dbde1e9634e47a2964&type=small&live=true Width: 100% Height: 150% Wine Insiders is essentially an online wine store with both individual bottles and a lot of multi-pack options, including six-bottle cases based on themes like Thanksgiving, Halloween, judge favorites, and staff picks. There's also a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Currently, you can use "SUMMERSIPS30" to get 30% off your order. Shipping: $14.95 shipping on orders of five bottles or less, and free shipping on orders of six bottles or more. Currently, Wine Insiders ship to all states except Alaska, Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Hawaii, Kentucky, Mississippi, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Utah. All shipments must be signed for by an adult over 21 years old, and packages can't be left on your doorstep or delivered to a PO box. Fees may apply if your wine returns to the company as undeliverable. If you work during the day, it's smart to send your box to either a convenient local pick-up location or your business address to ensure delivery. Note: Wine Insiders was previously experiencing increased demand and delayed shipments due to the coronavirus. Operations are back to normal now, but you may still want to account for any unexpected delivery delays with your order. What to buy: Sophisticated Sommelier Picks 6-Pack, $102 Fresh Fall Whites Half-Case, $92.94 L'Arca Natural Wine Quartet, $72 Vinebox Product Embed: Product Name: Vinebox Quarterly Wine Subscription Card Type: small https://produktor.businessinsider.com/productCardService?id=5db1ba75dee019115f383ee2&type=small&live=true Width: 100% Height: 150% Vinebox immediately stands out for its unique vials of wine, which gives individual pours but still maintains the full flavor and mouthfeel of the wine. Every three months, Vinebox sends you a box of nine of these "glasses." They contain seasonal varieties, wines you should be drinking right now, and other fun picks. With each box, you'll also receive up to $30 in credits to buy the full-size versions. Shipping: Shipping is free. Currently, Vinebox ships everywhere in the US except Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Hawaii, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia. You can also ship to any UPS Store or FedEx Office location and pick up your box there. What to buy: The Quarterly Wine Club, $79 Read our full review of Vinebox here. Dry Farm Wines Product Embed: Product Name: Dry Farm Wines Friends of the Farm Wine & Social Club Card Type: small https://produktor.businessinsider.com/productCardService?id=5eac2889204ad375452d36b2&type=small&live=true Width: 100% Height: 150% Dry Farm Wines' focus is on sustainably grown, natural wines. That means they're free of additives and sugar, they have lower alcohol content, and they're lab-tested for purity. According to Dry Farm, the government approves of the use of 76 additives, and since wine bottles are not required to have contents labels, you don't get the full picture of what you're drinking. The company imports all of its natural wines from small family farmers around the world, but mostly from Europe. Shipping: All ground shipping is free, while expedited shipping has a small fee. Dry Farm Wines only ships to the US, but it does offer helpful advice for how to find natural wines if you're located elsewhere. It takes 3-6 business days for orders to arrive on the West Coast, and 5-7 business days on the East Coast. Currently, delivery requires an ID check, but no signature. What to buy: Friends of the Farm Wine & Social Club, $159 The Rosé Membership, $159 The Sparkling Membership, $94 We're currently testing Dry Farm Wines and will report back with our experiences soon. Winc Product Embed: Product Name: Pacificana 2019 Rosé Card Type: small https://produktor.businessinsider.com/productCardService?id=5f21a9d2988ee35dbc092333&type=small&live=true Width: 100% Height: 150% California-based winery Winc, which was co-founded by sommelier Brian Smith, uses an online Palate Profile, along with your own ratings, to recommend and ship wines tailored to your tastes. The wines, which come from winemakers all over the world as well as Winc's own vineyard, start at $13 a bottle. There's no fee or commitment to join, and you can skip a month's shipment any time you want. You can get $20 off if you buy four or more bottles right now. Shipping: Member shipping is $9 if you order three or fewer bottles, and free if you order four or more bottles. Non-member shipping is $15 per order. Shipping typically takes 3-7 business days, but Winc is currently experiencing delays of 5+ business days. Note: Winc was previously experiencing increased demand and delayed shipments due to the coronavirus. Operations are back to normal now, but you may still want to account for any unexpected delivery delays with your order. What to buy: 2019 Pacificana Rosé, $17.99 Wonderful Wine Co. Malvasia Bianca, $17.99 2019 Summer Water Droplet Case (24 bottles), $109.98 Read our full review of Winc here. Firstleaf Product Embed: Product Name: Firstleaf Wine Shipment (6 Bottles) Card Type: small https://produktor.businessinsider.com/productCardService?id=5db1bd0edee01914e4330f05&type=small&live=true Width: 100% Height: 150% When you first sign up for Firstleaf, you'll get six bottles of wine for just $40. Afterward, you'll be automatically subscribed to get another six bottles for $90. Firstleaf prides itself on its custom algorithm that predicts which one of its many award-winning wine options you'll like, and if you don't like a bottle, you'll get a refund. Outside of the subscription, you can also buy individual bottles from its store. Shipping: Shipping is always $9.95 per order and takes about 2-5 days to arrive. Firstleaf ships to all states in the US except Alaska, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Alabama, and Mississippi. Note: Firstleaf was previously experiencing increased demand and delayed shipments due to the coronavirus. Operations are back to normal now, but you may still want to account for any unexpected delivery delays with your order. What to buy: 90+ Points Winners, $149.95 Devil's Advocate 2017 Sauvignon Blanc, $17 Tailored Republic 2018 Pinot Noir, $19 Read our full review of Firstleaf here. Bright Cellars Product Embed: Product Name: Bright Cellars Monthly Wine Subscription Card Type: small https://produktor.businessinsider.com/productCardService?id=5db1bc42dee019179f2c6713&type=small&live=true Width: 100% Height: 150% Two MIT grads are behind the monthly wine club Bright Cellars, which sends four new wines each month for $80. The company has a competitive curation process — it says it only picks one out of every 12 wines it tries for the monthly collections and promises to show you hidden gems from vineyards in Italy, Spain, Portugal, South America, and more. Shipping: Shipping is $8 per order. Bright Cellars ships to the US and you should receive your order in about seven business days. Note: Bright Cellars was previously experiencing increased demand and delayed shipments due to the coronavirus. Operations are back to normal now, but you may still want to account for any unexpected delivery delays with your order. What to buy: Wine picks depend on your quiz results. There is no store where you can buy individual wines. FreshDirect FreshDirect is one of the best grocery delivery services in New York City. It has a limited delivery scope, but it carries pretty much everything (including beer, wine, and liquor) that you'd pick up at your local store. Like a regular store, it also runs weekly deals. Shipping: Check eligibility via zip code. FreshDirect delivers to counties on the East Coast. There's a $30 minimum on orders, and there is a $5.99 delivery fee. For a morning or early afternoon delivery (two-hour time slots), you must place your order by 6 p.m. the day before. For a late afternoon or evening delivery (two-hour time slots), you must place your order by 11 p.m. the day before. Note: FreshDirect was previously experiencing increased demand and limited delivery windows due to the coronavirus. Operations are back to normal now, but you may still want to account for any unexpected delays or limited delivery slots with your order. What to buy: Check your local offerings here Read our full review of FreshDirect here Drizly Like ReserveBar, Drizly offers other kinds of alcohol in addition to wine. Best of all, it delivers the exact wine you need in under an hour, and it doesn't mark up prices. Most of its 3,000+ wine offerings are affordable (less than $20) and nearly half of its stock is red wine. Shipping: For one-hour delivery, the fee is $5 per order. In New York City, most stores offer delivery for free, but some areas may have increased fee zones and higher minimums based on your address. For larger shipments, shipping fees can vary depending on the store you order from, but it will be a flat rate price. You'll see the final shipping cost in your cart when you check out. What to buy: Check your local offerings here Read our comparison of Drizly, Minibar, and Saucy. We're currently testing Drizly and will report back with our experiences soon. Macy's Wine Cellar Product Embed: Product Name: Hacienda de Lluna Moscatel Rosado NV Lively Pink Moscato Card Type: small https://produktor.businessinsider.com/productCardService?id=5f7775050afbe70a5c51d7fa&type=small&live=true Width: 100% Height: 150% Yes, Macy's delivers expertly selected wine to your door. You can buy by the bottle, or by selections of six or 12. You can also shop by alcohol percent, style, and price, among other filters. You can get a lot of wine (15 bottles) for as little as $6 per bottle (plus free shipping), but it's worth noting that those deals are part of the Macy's wine club. Unless you cancel, you'll receive a new case every three months, and you'll be charged for it (and not at the special prices of your first shipment). However, there's no obligation to continue, and you'll get an email reminder before you're charged. Shipping: Unless otherwise stated, shipping is $19.99 for your first case (up to 15 bottles) and $14.99 for any additional cases purchased within the same order. If you regularly shop from Macy's Wine Cellar, there's an option to pay $89 annually for unlimited free shipping on up to five different home addresses. What to buy: Hacienda de Lluna Moscatel Rosado NV, $9.99 Rare Rhône White, $17.99 Check out our other great wine guides The best wine subscriptions No matter how many apps you have on your phone or how many books you've read, buying wine is never an easy process. With so many varietals and vineyards to choose from, it's hard to discover if you'd prefer a Cabernet Franc to Cabernet Sauvignon without taste-testing both. And even then, there are so many regions to choose from. Enter wine subscription clubs. See more: the best wine subscriptions. The best wine glasses The size, shape, construction, and style of a wine glass can dramatically alter how the wine will taste. Find the best overall wine glasses for everyday use and different types of wine in this guide. See more: the best wine glasses. The best wine openers and corkscrews There's nothing like a glass of wine after a long day, but getting into the bottle can be a hassle without a good wine opener or corkscrew. To get that cork out as easily as possible, you should get the best one around. See more: the best wine openers and corkscrews.
Post Malone joined the ranks of male celebs trying to capture the millennial market of rosé drinkers this summer. It all says a lot about the generation's thirst.
Summary List PlacementThe ultimate food and wine pairing is a bottle of rosé with chicken fingers...Summary List PlacementThe ultimate food and wine pairing is a bottle of rosé with chicken fingers and french fries. That's if you're dining with rapper Post Malone, who launched a rosé called Maison No. 9 in June. As he told The Wall Street Journal, the crisp wine "pairs perfect with the sunset" and sometimes with "a nice, hot American chicken strip." Malone is known for his record-breaking hit singles like "Rockstar" and "Psycho." The 25-year-old also has an Instagram following of 22.6 million. He says he has "loved wine for a minute now," but he's just the latest male millennial celeb to join the brosé league. A post shared by @postmalone on Sep 5, 2020 at 11:58am PDT In 2015, Instagram personality Josh Ostrovsky cofounded wine brand Swish Beverages, which has since been rebranded BABE, with the launch of White Girl Rosé. Ostrovsky, now 38, went on to release BABE Rosé in 2016, a canned sparkling rosé, and Pink Party Rosé with Bubbles in 2017, a Champagne rosé. Ostrovsky is more popularly known by his Instagram handle, The Fat Jewish, an offbeat meme account that boasts 10.7 million followers. And last year, Colton Underwood, 28, released 65 Roses Rosé with all proceeds going toward cystic fibrosis research. Underwood, a former NFL player with a 2 million Instagram following, is best known for his season on "The Bachelor." While the move to monetize a feminized drink may seem like a gendered marketing ploy, the brosé launches actually say a lot about millennial culture. As Chloe Wyma wrote for GQ in 2015, "The rosé bro is inaugurating a freer, more egalitarian world of gender-fluid beverage consumption." The allure of the rosé bro The 2015 launch of White Girl Rosé coincided with that year's drink of the summer — rosé. Ostrovsky and his cofounders felt the liquor market was saturated, VinePair's Leslie Price wrote two years later, but they found the rosé market, which was going viral on Instagram, virtually untouched. What they intended to be a cheeky fad turned into long-lasting blush fever. "It was going to be a momentary thing," Ostrovsky told Price. "We were going to sell it to women in the Hamptons that we knew with like, rhinoplasty." But after they had to quadruple their original order of 800 cases, Price wrote, they realized they had a business. In 2019, they sold the company to Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest beermaker. Post Malone's Maison No. 9 has only been around for three months, but it sold 50,000 bottles within two days of launching and 1,000 cases in the first hour alone, reported The Journal, citing online wine marketplace Vivino. The company told The Journal it was the first time they saw a product sell that quickly. A representative for Underwood's 65 Roses did not reply to Business Insider's request for sales data. Popular, but not exquisite The numbers speak to success, but are these wines actually any good? VinePair had sommeliers blind taste White Girl Rosé, which retails for $10.99. The concensus among most was that it was "fine," and likely made for Instagram-loving young adults. Maison No.9, which you can guzzle for $21.99, bills itself as "high-quality" and "accessible." Unlike many celeb-backed booze brands, according to The Journal, Malone was hands-on in his rosé's creation, working with his two cofounders and a winemaker in Provence, France, to perfect the blend and design the glass topper. The editors at The Cut recently took it for a spin, with most deeming it enjoyable but not a stand-out from other rosés. "I would say it's a bit like drinking a pink starburst, which everyone likes, but nobody loves," wrote Sangeeta Singh-Kurtz. As of this article's publication, Business Insider was not able to find any taste test reviews of Underwood's rosé. Everyone loves rosé It seems, then, that these brands have nailed how millennials view rosé: It's a drink predicated more on lifestyle than on taste, and one that evokes a glamorous, faintly exotic association. There's also the matter of the drink's target audience: In the US, rosé consumption is highest among those ages 25 to 34. That puts its drinkers squarely in the millennial generation — a generation that, with their music, Instagram following, and TV audience respectively, Malone, Ostrovsky, and Underwood have already established a strong fan base in. It's also an audience they are well-position to address; between the three of them, they tout an impressive collective social following of more than 35 million. Susan Kostrzewa, editor-in-chief of Wine Enthusiast magazine, told Business Insider that this fan base is a critical point to consider. By nature of their audiences, millennial brosé brands "are likely to reach and appeal to more female than male wine drinkers in their efforts," she said. But since women make over 80% of the household wine purchases in America, she imagines those wines may still end up in the hands of their male partners. On top of that, rosé is a drink that knows no gender: Kostrzewa said the millennial rosé obsession is climbing in the US among both males and females. Kostrzewa told Business Insider that in traditional wine cultures like France, rosé is a non-gendered favorite. Millennial wine drinkers, she said, are less swayed by gendered marketing than previous generations were, and are more attuned to overall lifestyle branding and easy enjoyment. "In the US, its varied and approachable palate profile, as well as the glamorous south of France or coastal lifestyle naturally associated with it, is appealing to millennial wine drinkers across the board," Kostrzewa said. Rosé also offers the "luxury of non-choice" for an indecisive generation in that it combines the freshness of white and boldness of red, GQ's Wyma wrote. A post shared by Colton Underwood (@coltonunderwood) on Feb 13, 2019 at 8:45pm PST Millennial men aren't the only celebs bottling up some pink. Consider men over 40, like John Legend and Brad Pitt, or women, like Sarah Jessica Parker and Kylie Minogue, who all have their own rosé brands. They're all a subset of the increasing number of celeb-backed booze brands such as George Clooney's Casamigos tequila and Snoop Dogg's 19 Crimes wine brand. As celebs venture into the liquor industry, some are turning to rosé because it seems to be showing no signs of slowing in young mainstream culture, Kostrzewa said. As Malone told The Journal, "Everybody loves a good glass of rosé on a hot day."SEE ALSO: White Claw, Aperol Spritz, and canned rosé have all been dubbed the 'drinks of the summer,' and it makes perfect sense with who millennials tell the world they are DON'T MISS: The drink of the spring is anything in a to-go cup Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Why thoroughbred horse semen is the world's most expensive liquid
No one would mistake the Nashik region for California’s Napa Valley, but visitors are rewarded with...No one would mistake the Nashik region for California’s Napa Valley, but visitors are rewarded with winemaker-led tastings, 2,000-year-old cave carvings and a few bottles of delicious wine.