The realm of rosé will never be the same. The new brand on the block Notorious Pink is challenging traditional perceptions on rosé and reinventing its reputation for modern-day consumers. Some say a rosé shouldn’t be too pink, that it should have a classic French name and label, and should be very dry, but the folks at Notorious Pink beg to differ. Their wonderfully indulgent creation is a special blush cuvée made from Grenache, the leading grape varietal at Domaine la Colombette in the South of France. Behind the innovative brand is Paul Governale and Gigi Olah, who plan to make the seemingly summer drink a year-round commodity. We sat down with the incredible duo to find out more about their plans for Notorious Pink.
Tell us a little bit about your background in the beverage space. How did you get your start?
Gigi Olah: My passion for wine led me to open Vino Miami Wine Bar & Boutique in the heart of Coconut Grove, Miami and South Beach. After closing my wine bar, I founded Conjure Cognac in 2009 and it was through Conjure that I met my partner Paul Governale. Together we decided to start our own company and formed BH Group USA in 2012 that specializes in the brand building of Wines and Spirits designed around today’s consumer and lifestyle culture.
Paul Governale: During my four years of college studies as a Hospitality Major, I realized the beverage space was the most interesting and fun side of the industry. There is an endless road to be traveled when it comes to brand knowledge, new labels, shifting categories, industry trends and demographic interests. Being part of this ever-changing environment was the basis for my initial and current interest in beverage industry.
What kind of person drinks Notorious Pink? Describe them in detail.
Gigi Olah: Notorious Pink is a sensible luxury that appeals to the palate conscious and playful alike. Whether you are preparing dinner or heading out for one, Notorious Pink is a refreshing, no nonsense wine that will appeal to the lighter side of your temperament.
Paul Governale: A Notorious Pink consumer ranges from the Millennial to the Baby Boomer. Millennials are a very social generation and they like to socialize while consuming products and services. This includes a wide array socializing with each other as well as the brands they enjoy. An interesting fact about Millennials is they surprisingly get along with their parents better than any previous generation. This means that Millennials are strong influencers for the products their friends and parents buy. They are passionate about their beliefs and values and this is another connection between Millennials and the Baby Boomers. Baby Boomers fall into a very similar consumer category due to their social influence. They’re living longer, spending money, technology savvy, social and brand loyal. The Millennials and Boomers are open-minded and eager to try new things. Assuming its “Innovating” which we believe Notorious Pink is, these large consumer groups fit right into our target customer scenario.
Notorious Pink is a French brand, what have you noticed about the landscape for rosé in the US versus in France?
Gigi Olah: Acceptance to the rosé category is growing as the American palate continues to evolve through travel abroad and a greater variety of rosé in U.S. market. In France, rosé has been consumed heavily in the South of France in places such as St.Tropez, Nice, Monte Carlo and Côtes D’Azur which are great tourist destinations. I believe that this has also expanded the popularity of rosé in America, which has contributed to the growth. The consumption has increased especially through the Coastal Regions in the US due to the weather and lifestyle.
Paul Governale: Without getting into too much detail, the rosé category is going through a major expansion worldwide and the US is the main driver at this time. The perception of the category is luxury, happiness, fun, friends, and a celebration of some sort. I am not sure what it is, but red and white wine do not have all of these attributes. Drinking rosé is almost like drinking your favorite champagne, red and white wine all at once. It captures all of the nuances and rolls them up into one great glass of wine.
Rosé has a strong reputation as a summer drink. Are you trying to cross over seasons? If so, how?
Gigi Olah: Yes, the premise of your question is very true. Rosé, especially in most European countries, has traditionally held a reputation as being the celebrated summer wine. However, my feeling is that rosé has had a steady rise in acceptance as the new chic white wine. For as much as White Zinfandel wine is to blame for America’s repugnance toward rosé, it was the gateway wine for many Americans but not a true depiction of rosé.
Paul Governale: Absolutely! The numbers show that rosé is being consumed all year round in many regions of the country. While I do believe there is a weather transition from white to red wine and light spirits to dark spirits seasonally, rosé is casting a much larger consumer net and capturing drinkers all year round.
What do you think we can expect from Notorious Pink and rosé in general in the future?
Gigi Olah: When you think rosé, I want people to think Notorious Pink. My hope for the brand is for it to become synonymous with rosé. Whether you are ordering from a menu or at the bar, when you call the name Notorious Pink you will be served rosé.
Paul Governale: Notorious Pink could be the driver in the rosé category. The combination of elegance, innovation and old-world charm should set the stage for Notorious Pink and the future Notorious brands.