Today is the last day of summer 2022, which makes it the perfect day to sip rosé. (Join us tonight at 7pm CT for a taste-testing with Tim Chan on Instagram Live @TexasLifestyleMag!) We’ll wet your whistle for that with this Q&A with the co-founder of So Gay Rosé.
As with many great ideas, So Gay Rosé started after a night of drinking between my friends, Tim Chan of Los Angeles and Josh Campbell of Austin. The two were out tasting a bunch of rosés on a menu and as the night went on, they realized there wasn’t anything they actually really loved. Feeling a little tipsy, Tim started wondering why no one had thought of the name “So Gay Rosé” for a wine brand. That’s when Josh looked at him and said, “Tim, why wait for someone else to do it? WE should start So Gay Rosé.” The next day, the two met up and really talked about what this wine brand would look like and what they would want to do with the brand. They realized that they both had a shared desire to promote acceptance and community within the queer community — Tim, as a gay person and Josh as a straight man who wants to be an ally. They mocked up a few cans and sent them to friends to get their opinions and everyone loved it and thought they should go for it. And so, they did!
“So Gay Rosé” is super fun to say. Tell us more about the brand.
So Gay Rosé was really borne out of a friendship between Josh and I (a straight man and his gay best friend) but also out of a desire to frame the queer community in a fun and positive way. We’re reclaiming the phrase “That’s so gay” (which was often used as a negative growing up) and tell people that being “so gay” is actually “so great!”
Explain the grape selection process, where the grapes are sourced and tasting notes on the rosé — and the (just released) chardonnay, too!
In terms of the wine itself, we found that a majority of rosés were super sweet and light with a weak profile. And with something called So Gay Rosé, people might expect that same time of sugary, frilly rosé. But we wanted to turn that perception on its head and create a strong, dry rosé that’s more on the tart side rather than super fruity and sweet.
In terms of grapes and flavor profile, our rosé is a grenache blend sourced from Oakville, CA (located in the Napa Valley). Dry yet uplifting with slight effervescence, you’ll find notes of bright citrus and fresh floral are balanced with tart grapefruit and ripe berries for a smooth, lingering finish. A 14% ABV makes this a rosé that packs a punch (there’s nothing lightweight here!)
Our chardonnay is light and bright with slight effervescence. A 2020 Napa Valley chard, you get notes of pear, fresh lemon and white peaches are balanced with a green and floral undertone for a wine that’s fresh and lively rather than being weighed down by heavy oak or butter.
Where can Austinites find So Gay Rosé?
Royal Blue Grocery
and you can always buy us 24/7 at sogayrose.com (we’ll ship the wine directly to your door!)
Do a portion of your sales go to a cause?
Rather than picking one generic charity to donate money to, we work with partners in the cities where we are sold to see where and how we can best support their community. In the past, we’ve donated to local organizations like Venice Pride, for example, and national ones like The Trevor Project.
What other wines can we expect from your brand in the future?
There are definitely plans to launch another rosé varietal or product soon and we’re looking forward to offering other varietals in general in the future. Can’t say much more than that yet, but know that So Gay Rosé isn’t a one-time (or once a year) thing. We’re here for the long haul!
Where can our readers connect with you?
Follow us on IG and FB at @sogayrose
Cover photo Tim Chan
Brook Benten Jimenez, M.Ed., is a Texas Lifestyle Magazine contributor, specializing in fitness and wellness lifestyle pieces. Her website, BrookBenten.com, serves to “Help Other Mothers Lift the Motherload.” She loves great stories, great wine, and great company.