Life is a spectacular lesson in random chance. Of course, the onus is upon you to embrace which path to take when opportunities arise. I was ten when my father, a detective at Scotland Yard, asked me if I wanted to go to the south of France to meet another kid to learn French while he learned English.
As he presented this to me in our suburban London garden, my mind raced with a choice of cycling around the streets with my buddies over the summer school holidays, or feasting my eyes on half-naked ladies on the beach. It wasn’t much of a competition.
Next thing you know I was on a plane to Nice airport on the Côte d’Azur which was then a tiny, tin-pot airport with just one terminal. As I jetted over France from London with James Bond (Roger Moore) and Charlie Croker (Michael Caine), I smiled and pondered what great things would come.
The kid and I didn’t get along at all. He liked blowing things up while I was the studious type. But I did get on splendidly with his parents, especially his father who effectively ran the French FBI for the south of France.
I spent every summer after that hanging out with what became my surrogate French family, learning about wine, food, and French culture while my pen friend went on holiday elsewhere. When I look back through rosé tinted glasses, it was only decades later that I would realize what a charmed life I had landed in by simply saying “yes.”
While still visiting regularly, I earned three law degrees, and worked as an attorney in London and New York. In 2003, I started a bespoke atelier and luxury brand, duncan quinn famous for its iconic smoking skull logo and fulfilling the whims of global clients’ wishes.
In 2012 a U.S.-based character asked me to put together a curated trip to Monaco for the Grand Prix. His family was in the car business and he loved cars and racing. But had no idea how to approach the annual pirate convention that is the Grand Prix de Monaco. For make no mistake, this is not a Formula One race. This is global wealth writ large descending to party, with all the collateral service providers both legal and illegal in tow.
So began the annual Duncan Quinn pilgrimage to Monaco for the Grand Prix on a beautiful classic sailing yacht, complete with curated dinners, Krug Champagne, and fantastic wines from estates such as Chateau Palmer, Cos D’Estournel and their peers.
And into the mix for this initial trip was a small production of Quinn Rosé, made in Provence exactly where rosé had been made for thousands of years. And precisely what I had been sampling since I had first arrived in the south of France back in 1982 (let’s just say the French view of kids and wine consumption was far more liberal than in the USA, especially at private dinners in the 1980s…)
The attendees of our first Monaco Grand Prix event asked if they could find Quinn Rosé in the USA upon their return, so we began importing a modest number of cases. Then over the years the volume kept growing to a significant amount. Today Quinn Rosé is distributed in 10 states and served at some of the finest restaurants, hotels and bars in the country. It is also available at retail stores and direct from us at drinkquinn.com.
So why should you drink Quinn Rosé I hear you ask?
Well, the main reason is simple – it is the genuine article and tastes amazing. An authentic and true representation of what you would drink were you to teleport to a beach club on the Côte d’Azur in France tomorrow. The good stuff they have been drinking forever as their tipple of choice.
We make it a short drive north of the famous beaches of St Tropez, harvested from small parcels of local grapes, then vinified separately by an award winning winemaker before being blended into our special cuvee. The grape varietals used have been grown in Provence for thousands of years – Cinsault, Carignan and Grenache mostly – and give that distinctive fruity yet dry taste.
We also received the coveted HVE3 sustainability certification this year (the highest certification of sustainability in France) as we care about the planet around us as much as you do.
But get it because it is the good stuff that transports you to Provence with every sip. And because behind the smoking skull label is the story of a ten year old boy with dreams who took a shot for the moon.