For one special weekend each February, celebrity chefs, members of the food and wine media, and culinary rock stars descend upon Miami for the annual South Beach Wine and Food Festival. This year’s Festival welcomed a musical rock star, Jon Bon Jovi, who was the guest of honor at a lavish party celebrating the launch of his very own rosé wine, Diving into Hampton Water. A collaboration among Bon Jovi, his son Jesse Bongiovi, and famed French winemaker Gérard Bertrand, the wine was the focal point of the evening—and of course, The Salonniere was there to fête Bon Jovi as he, once again, hit all the right “notes.”
The setting for the soirée—The Villa Casa Casuarina, formerly the Versace Mansion—was significant for Bon Jovi. He and Versace were close friends, and during a live acoustic set Bon Jovi shared stories about their friendship and the many grand parties he’d attended at the Mansion. Bon Jovi was emotional when speaking about the late fashion designer: “I loved Gianni. It still breaks my heart when I think about what happened to him. But I have beautiful memories of him and his family. I feel Gianni here, and I’m sure he would have loved this wine and even hosted this party. He would have done it his way.”
Indeed, the party decor and entertainment were as bold, extravagant, and glamorous as Versace himself. While guests dined on oysters and king crab and sipped Diving into Hampton Water rosé, a group of women performed an entertaining water ballet—a fun nod to the wine’s name and chic label design, which features a woman in a swimsuit and cap diving into water.
Bon Jovi told us that he and Jesse had always wanted to create a rosé that would pay tribute to the Hamptons lifestyle their family has enjoyed for years. Rosé, a popular drink for the Bongiovis, had initially been dubbed “pink juice” by Bon Jovi until Jesse and a friend began calling it “Hampton Water”, and an idea was born. Once Jon and Jesse solidified their plan, they tapped acclaimed winemaker Gérard Bertrand from the South of France’s Languedoc-Rousillion to guide them through the process.
As for the wine, we’re delighted to report that, like its maker, it hits all the right notes. A classic French Mediterranean blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Mourvèdre, Diving Into Hampton Water ($25) is dry, lively, and refreshing. With floral aromatics, flavors of wild strawberry and white peach, and plenty of crisp minerality in the finish, it’s perfect for sipping poolside or enjoying with fresh seafood. Salut!
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Photos: Diving into Hampton Water, Getty
Click here to read about Sarah Tracy, this story’s author.