the newly engaged author, Victoria James, and illustrator, Lyle Railsback
illustration by Lyle Railsback
the stylish little pink book
on the pink carpet at the book release party with author, Victoria James, at Piora restaurant in NYC
top three photos courtesy of Victoria James
Drinking Pink and in Love
Hi Friends, it’s been awhile! I’ve been thinking about starting up my blog again these last few months, keeping a running list in my head of topics I’d like to feature, but it wasn’t until the launch of my friend sommelier Victoria James’ new book, Drink Pink: A Celebration of Rosé, that seriously made me consider blogging again. I can’t think of a topic more fitting to restart my blog than a book dedicated to my favorite go-to drink. I’ve posted before about how my love of rosé and all things pink and gold led me to name this blog, “or et rosé.” So thank you Victoria for sparking the writing bug in me!
As a designer, I was immediately enamored by the little pink book with it’s charming illustrations. It makes for the perfect gift bundled with a bottle of your favorite rosé. As a wine enthusiast, I really enjoyed that it was easy to understand and how she clearly explains the pink wine’s history, production and regional differences. Who would ever expect to encounter cameo appearances from the likes of Jimmy Hendrix, Earnest Hemingway to the Queen of England in a book on the pink drink? And as someone who is venturing to learn more about rosés outside of Provence, I love that Victoria also details her favorite winemakers from regions worldwide. My favorite part though is DRINK PINK is also a love story! Victoria just got engaged to the illustrator, who also happens to make and sell wine, Lyle Railsback while on their book tour out west. It can’t get cuter or rosier than that!
Victoria graciously offered to answer a few of my questions:
I adore the design of the book — it is one that I will always show off on my coffee table. How did you decide that you wanted to have it illustrated and how did you end up teaming up with your now fiancé Lyle Railsback?
So last year I collaborated on an article for NY Mag The CUT on rosé, a literary agent came across the piece and did some research on me. She approached me to write a book on rosé as the topic is timely and she felt the movement needed not only a spokesperson but one with a background and education in wine. At first, I was wary. I didn’t want to be pigeonholed as the “rosé girl,” as it is already so difficult to be taken seriously in this industry as a young female. I went home and talked to my boyfriend (now fiancé!) about the offer. He encouraged me to write the book and stand up for what I love, “Yes you are a woman and yes you like rosé, own it!” So I started writing a book proposal last summer and my agent mentioned that I should throw in some illustrations, she said to get a friend to just throw something together. The idea was to show publishers that it was a visual and design book, not something stuffy or super dry, educational. Lyle was the first person that came to mind, finally using his art degree! When the book went to auction so many publishers loved it. Eventually we chose HarperCollins who also wanted to bring Lyle on as the illustrator as his pieces are so unique and breathed life into the words.
While writing your book, what was the most surprising thing you learned about rosé?
The quality of so many rosé wines that are prevalent in the market. I won’t name names but big brands pushed me to include their labels in the book, offering me lucrative ‘incentives’ in return. However when I dug deeper I realized so many of these products were factory swill- designed in a laboratory to taste a certain way, using many chemicals and ingredients besides grapes and yeast! Due to big budgets and clever marketing campaigns, their brands are seen everywhere, despite the quality. In DRINK PINK I advocate for only quality pink wine, based on the principles of “lutte raisonnée,” which in French means “don’t add shit unless you have to!”
Though most associate rosé with summer, I love to drink it year round as I know you do too! As we are nearing the end of summer, how would you suggest transitioning into the fall when selecting pink wines? Are there any favorites that you would recommend?
Yes! I love that you support rosé all year! I suggest trying more structured rosé as dishes get richer and the months colder. Cerasuolo from Italy, Tavel from France or a Spanish rosado. Of course there is always rosé champagne which is incredibly versatile!
For meals like Thanksgiving, rosé can be the best option as no other wine is as versatile. It can hold up to bigger dishes but also not overpower those a bit more delicate.
I love that you included an entire section of recipes starring/accompanying the pink juice, is there a favorite you could share with us here?
My favorite are some of the simplest.. radishes with butter and anchovies on toast. Both of these take two seconds to make and are just the perfect pairing with rosé. Instantly you are transported to the Mediterranean. Such brilliant yet simple flavors is what I love about rosé as well as great dishes.
August 29, 2017
Design / NYC / Or et Rose / Wine + Dine