It’s interesting that I was already planning a post on “pink wine” when I read this in the New York Times food pages this week. Wine with lipstick-red labels? Corks that say “It’s my natural color”? Can someone pass me the spit bucket? Because I think I’m gonna hurl.

Then there’s the Mad Housewife wine label that bears the line “Somewhere near the cool shadows of the laundry room. Past the litter box and between the plastic yard toys. This is your time.” Sorry but to me? That makes it sound like Mad Housewife’s “time” is in the garage drinking from a paper bag.

Now “Rosé the Riveter” is a cute name only if the wine is as robust as its namesake. However, considering what Eric Asimov (the Times’ major vino domo) had to say about the White Lie Early Season Chardonnay, I don’t hold out much hope. I’m with Kris Curran, who is quoted at the end of the article saying that she finds the idea of chick wine “demeaning” and that “it’s implying women don’t have as a sophisticated a palate.” Seriously. I’ve never considered wine to be was purely masculine pursuit, too complex for little, weak women to get their heads around unless it’s dolled up in lingeried packaging and corked with “feminine” white lies. Sure, wine can be intimidating, but so is starting a new job, or moving to a new city, or taking comutative algebra. That’s why you do research, ask questions, and suck it up and experience new things. And if you’re too afraid to do that, you just might be too afraid to live life.

Anyway, glad to get that off my chest — on to my original post.

I started my life with wine in a similar way to Fatemah. I embraced the white zin and let the bottle of Beringer be pried out of my poor, unenlightened hands only when it was traded in for a new world of sweet German or Alsatian wines, with Gewürztraminers, Rieslings, and even the odd Liebfraumilch topping the list. After I graduated college, I stayed away from all pink wines for a good many years. Instead, I obsessed over reds, revelling in lovely Gigondas, D’Abruzzo, and anything with “Côte” in the name. Then, while studying the regions of France in culinary school, I discovered Rosé Anjou. That single spicy bottle (and a summer of Peter Mayle) made me see the error of my blush-worthy ways: there’s absolutely nothing wrong with pink wine as long as it’s good pink wine.

I’m currently on a quest to again find the delights I experienced in that pivotal bottle of Rosé Anjou. I thought I might have found it last week when a persuasive and effusive wine guy at the Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant extolled the bottled virtues of Lawson’s Dry Hills Marlborough Pinot Rosé. He was so excited about this $15.00 of New Zealand rosé that I knew there was no way I was leaving the store without it. I could barely restrain myself at work from opening and tasting it right there. But I was good. I was patient. After all, good things come to those who wait, right? Sadly, it wasn’t to be. The wine was refreshing and nice but nothing special. Nothing spicy. And I certainly don’t think it would hold up to red meat the way Wine Guy promised it would. As it barely held its own with an excellent salad Niçoise, I’m thinking grilled lamb chops would clobber it.

So, there you are: I’m a woman. I wear makeup. I get facials. I wear skirts and I occasionally buy an ill-advised pair of ouchy-sexy shoes. However, I drink real wine.

Real Women Drink Real Wine 28 April,2005Stephanie Lucianovic

  • jane

    A reduced alcohol wine is something I had been wishing existed, so I’m thrilled to see [a group of women] making it a reality–I could care less about the tacky marketing campaign or its unfeminist implications. I relish the thought of being able to have a couple of glasses of decent tasting wine without feeling fuzzy. I’m sure the flavor is at least better than the non-alcoholic stuff.

  • Gretchen

    I’ve tasted Mad Housewife Chardonnay and Cabernet, both very enjoyable. I think the label is hysterical. I’m a real women and I like to drink real wine. None of this light stuff for me. You go Girl.


Stephanie Lucianovic

A former picky eater, Stephanie V.W. Lucianovic is a writer, editor, and lapsed cheesemonger in the San Francisco Bay Area. A culinary school grad with an English lit degree, she has written for,, Popular Science, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Boston Globe. Additionally, she has been writing for KQED’s Bay Area Bites since its inception and is the website editor for KQED’s Emmy-award winning show “Check, Please! Bay Area.”

Stephanie was an original recapper at Television Without Pity and worked on a line of cookbooks for William-Sonoma as well as in the back kitchen of a Jacques Pépin cooking show. Her first book, SUFFERING SUCCOTASH: A Picky Eater’s Quest To Understand Why We Hate the Foods We Hate (Perigee Books, 2012) is a non-fiction narrative and a heartfelt and humorous exposé on the inner lives of picky eaters that Scientific American called “hilarious” and “the perfect popular science book for a reader that doesn’t think he or she wants to read a popular science book.”

Stephanie lives in Menlo Park with her husband, three-year-old son, assorted cats, and has been blogging at The Grub Report for over a decade.

Follow her on Twitter at @grubreport

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