PAGO Rosé Advocacy Dinner (R.A.D.)
Sunday, August 9th at 5:30pm
$45 tasting menu, $40 wine pairings + tax/gratuity
At PAGO, 878 S. 900 E.
There are times when, as members of the service industry, often referred to as the “hospitality” industry, we actually need to remind ourselves to be hospitable. You may immediately think, “Wait, what? That's your entire JOB! Make people feel welcomed, comfortable...invite them in to have an altogether amazing experience while they are in your space. Curate every bit of the scene, but make it seem effortless.” Yeah, yeah, yeah, that's what we do and who many of us are at our core. We normally don't need reminders of that. The part of hospitality I'm talking about is a little more specific. In all honesty, we are sometimes presented with the need to physically hold back our expressions of absolute incredulousness...expressions that might make our guests feel as if we're entirely certain they are out of their crazy minds. Practicing in the mirror helps. Flashcards of diplomatic, subtle, sensitive responses are also advantageous.
From the moment the thermometer crested 75 degrees, PAGO began offering a “Rosé of the Week.” Therefore the frequency of situations that require this sort of preparedness on my own part has increased exponentially. It usually involves a certain phrase uttered by the guest in a sort of surprised disdain, perhaps even in a slightly scoffing manner. It goes something like this: “Rosé? Ha!!!” (The guest at this point breaks eye contact and looks back at the menu as they notice I was serious about offering them pink wine). “Huh. I mean...really?!” (They offer as they scan the dining room and notice other patrons around them, some with pink wine in their glasses).
At this point, I'm summoning all of my resolve to remain 'in character' when all I want to do is exclaim, “WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?! What have you been doing for the last 5-8 years?! Wine drinkers all over the world are going berserk over the stuff. From yachts in the Seychelles to college dorm-room tournaments of “Hungry Hungry Hippos,” people are devouring the stuff! Yes, really! It’s the absolute perfect match for everything you just told me you were interested in ordering! It's the middle of the summer! You're on a patio! No I will not recommend a 16% alcohol, low acid jamfest of a red! You know what? FINE. Get whatever it is you think you wanted. More for us.”
I would never in a million years even think uttering something like that to any of our guests. That simply wouldn't be in the character of a good host. Rather than the above snooty exclamation of disbelief, my response would be something more along the lines of: (In calm, cool, collected, and soothing sommelier voice) “Oh absolutely! I completely understand that just the word 'rosé' comes with a bit of baggage but honestly, the connotation of rosé isn't at all what it used to be. I very much encourage you to revisit the genre as there is a myriad of beautifully well-made examples, most of which are dry, refreshing, and perfectly suited to summertime fare. Salads, shellfish, pork of every cut and cure... rosé is the faultless foil for every one of them. In fact, I would like to personally invite you to our next wine dinner here at Pago. It’s our third annual iteration of something we like to call the R.A.D. It stands for “Rosé Advocacy Dinner” and its coming up soon. It sells out very quickly every year, so if your interest is piqued by the rosé I'm about to pour and you're interested in a little more proof that rosé is awesome, you'd do well to sign up fast.”
Isn't that better? My point about gracious hospitality hints at an overarching ideal, however. We at Pago are not merely hospitable. We are so much more than that. We are “Rosé Advocates,” and as advocates we are charged with evangelizing the gospel of rosé. There is no better manner of turning our potential converts away from our cause than responding in a manner that is anything other than positive and loving. Now you may or may not be in the hospitality industry, but among you are a number of fellow rosé advocates and, to be sure, you've been faced with the same situation. It goes without saying that you too should earn the right to be heard before forcing your message of rosé superiority down others' throats. I know, its difficult...but take the high road. The Rosé Advocacy Dinner (R.A.D) is just around the corner and its the perfect opportunity to share your rosétestimony with someone.
Over the next couple weeks, as you're out to a long lunch with the ladies, or searing a thick cut of something or other on the grill with buddies post bike ride and someone looks sideways at your invigorating pink drink of choice, take a deep breath. Don't let loose on them about being trapped under something heavy for the last decade of the wine drinking timeline. Rather, ask them to join you the evening of Sunday, August 9th at 5:30pm on the Pago patio. As in years past, the selections have been amassed (some still en route) and they represent everything we know about the truth of today's 'blush' from top producers around the globe. Pago Executive Chef Phelix Gardner, Chef de Cuisine Drew Fuller and Sous Chef xxx (also fellow advocates) have crafted a four-course menu, including a fresh Summer Fruit Panzanella, Raviolo Caprese and Jamon-Wrapped Chicken that will simultaneously astound all in attendance and confirm our message for the skeptic. Again, seating is limited so we encourage you to purchase your tickets posthaste. Practice in the mirror or make a few flashcards if you need to. The fixed-price menu and wine pairings are $45 per person/food and $40 per person/wine + tax/ gratuity on Sunday, August 9th at 5:30PM at PAGO, 878 S. 900 E.
Buy your ticket online and join us!
Evan Lewandowski, Sommelier, Pago Restaurant Group
Scott Evans, Owner/Operator, Pago Restaurant Group