There was time when licensees looking for a quality celeb-endorsed wine would’ve been ‘Livin’ on a Prayer’.
That’s all changed now thanks to iconic rocker Jon Bon Jovi, who’s teamed up with third-generation winemaker Gerard Bertrand to bring a premium rosé wine to the UK market.
Hampton Water (13% ABV) was created by Bertrand in collaboration with Jon Bon Jovi and his son Jesse. Launched in the US in 2018, the founders now have the UK on-trade squarely in their sights, with all three appearing at a recent promotional event in London.
The premium brand is said to combine the winemaking skills of the South of France with the elegant lifestyle and glamour of the Hamptons, and the grape varieties hail from organic vineyards, where they are grown according to the principles of biodynamics – in harmony with nature.
The wine is described as refreshing, delicate and smooth, perfect for the summer. The main notes are red fruits, citrus and spices, with a long aftertaste. It is recommended to be paired with fresh salads and seafood platters.
Bertrand said the goal when creating the wine ‘was to create a unique blend’.
“In Languedoc we don’t only drink rosé in the summertime,” he said.“We drink rosé all year long. And we can pair this kind of rosé not only with barbecue but with seafood during the fall or during the winter.
“What makes the difference with Hampton Water isn’t the taste, but the aftertaste. It’s the long finish. It’s picked from old wines and small yield.”
Jesse said the wine is versatile enough to suit a wide range of different venues.
“We envisaged places like this, where you could go for a drink after work. Rooftops, pools, anywhere that you’re getting together and having a good time. Wherever that cheeky daytime drink might be happening is where we picture the brand living.
“But we also work very well in some of the highest-end restaurants in America. Michelin Star places. It’s intended to be versatile.”
And he reckoned the future for rosé in on-trade venues is bright.
“The category continues to expand even when wine, particularly in America, is declining,” he said. “Where there was one rosé on the list now there’s three, five, ten. I think consumers continue to get more interested in the diversity of rosé. The future of rosé is bright.”
That was supported by his famous father, who said the team had their work cut out for them when they first launched the product in the US.
“When you would bring rosé back to America people looked at it like a foreign substance,” said Jon.
“So when Jesse hit me with this business I knew there was a long runway ahead of us. I remember walking into stores six years ago and them saying it’s seasonal. And now our message is being heard.”
Hampton Water is available from on-trade wholesalers including Bibendum and Matthew Clark.