A Colorful Drink for a Colorful Person

Photograph Courtesy of Ben Watts
Photograph Courtesy of Ben Watts

Ben Watts is a man of many talents. The internationally acclaimed photographer was born in London and studied in Australia before finally moving to New York in the ‘90s. Since then, his work has been featured in every magazine from GQ to Condé Nast Traveler. So when Ben decided he wanted to make his own rosé, it was with a very unique approach.

We already know it doesn’t take much to fall in love with pink wine. Ben says his affection developed the same way ours did: by drinking it. The Brit was already on the rosé bandwagon before the trend reached the US and was happy when the adoration made it across the pond.

“Pretty much everyone is cool with drinking rosé. You can bring it into a crowd and the chances are everyone will give it a go,” Ben explains. “It’s not the same thing if you bring a spirit into the crowd. With rosé you’re hitting it across the board.”

So when Wine Awesomeness approached him in 2013 with the idea of creating his own rosé, he saw no reason not to go for it.

“I’m a colorful person and it’s a colorful drink. It seemed like a genuine thing to do.”

Now, Watts Up Rosé is in its third run and is produced in Lodi, California by Watts Winery – which, funnily enough, doesn’t actually share any family relation. It was still enough of a connection for Ben to collaborate with them, though.

“I had the opportunity to create a story with someone who shares the same name as me,” Ben says. “It was a great union and they’re great people.”

The result of this collaboration is a minerally rosé that is delicate with lovely citrus and white floral notes. Due to its daintiness, keep it light when it comes to pairing, with snacks like soft cheeses and cured meats.

Ben’s artistry most shines through on the Watts Up label, the back of which is covered in his signature diamond outline.

“The diamond is a thread of continuity in my projects. I use it for everything I’m involved in,” Ben says – but he makes it clear that he sees his wine as much more than just a branded endorsement. “Once you involve yourself in a brand there has to be a degree of authenticity.”

This is why, when asked if he will be adding more wines to the Watts Up label, Ben says he’d rather not. If you involve yourself with a product and market it, he explains, the product should really mean something to you so people understand why you want to be part of it.

“It’s genuine with rosé,” Ben says simply. With summer here, that means it’s rosé season and as Ben said, everyone loves the pink drink. No matter what you’re doing or where you’re headed, just remember that rosé pairs perfectly with summer.

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