When all else fails in naming a new wine, the Auburn Road Stupid Name Department, of which I am Chair, seems to fall back on all things musical. The very first wine we named in such a fashion was Rosalita. It is named after the song by Bruce Springsteen. Being a winery in New Jersey may not have many obvious marketing advantages, but this might be one of them – what else would you name a rosé wine grown in the Garden State? We refer to the wine as “Rosie” for short (as Bruce does in the song). In a weird twist of life imitating art imitating life, a young couple who are frequent guests at the Enoteca had a baby and named her Rosalita after their favorite wine, not the song. I have been asked occasionally whether I thought the name violated a trademark or something that Bruce might sue us for. My response generally is that I don’t think it does and, even if it did, Bruce seems like way too nice a guy. (That said, I am certain that Yoko is coming after me someday for “Give Peach a Chance” but that is a story for another day.)
In fact, Jules and I tried to give Bruce a bottle of Rosie once. A number of years ago, Jules and I were working a wine festival near the North Jersey beaches. On our way from the festival to the hotel, we drove through Asbury Park and had some dinner and a few glasses of wine. On the way out, we passed the Stone Pony. For the uninitiated, the Stone Pony is a music club famous for launching some great musicians, Bruce prime among them. Even now, Bruce has been known to just drop by and jam once in a while. Jules and I looked at each other and laughed and I pulled up to the curb. We had a car full of wine and a little courage from the wine we drank at dinner so we grabbed a bottle of Rosie and walked in. Bruce was not there. No one else was either, I guess it was too early. Except, of course, for the bouncer. A very big bouncer. He was there and he stopped me and looked at the bottle in my hand. I held it up and asked him if he could give this to Bruce for me the next time he sees him. The bouncer didn’t skip a beat, took the bottle and said “No problem, little man!” I turned, went to the bar and bought a black Stone Pony fleece (that I still wear in the vineyard all the time) and Jules and I walked as casually as possible out the door.
I believe that the bouncer gave Bruce the bottle of Rosie because I want to believe it. And I have these great dreams every once in a while that Bruce and I are buddies – that he recognizes me in a crowd and comes over and gives me a hug. I’m not kidding. Sometimes in the dream we jam. And sometimes he mentions that he liked the wine, but that the friggin’ bouncer drank half of it….