From race cars to rosé, Danica Patrick has become an expert in it all. The former professional race car driver turned wine connoisseur and podcast host has expanded her talents into the rosé-making space with her newest brand, Danica Rosé—a premium wine flavor made in Provence, France that encompasses the taste of a classically made rosé with that of a more modern flair.
While the rosé boasts French roots, it also has special ties to the Valley—much like its athlete founder. Tarbell’s Wine Store—a local spot from beloved Valley chef Mark Tarbell—is now the exclusive retailer for Danica Rosé in Arizona.
In celebration of the partnership, Fabulous Arizona had the chance to chat with Patrick about her Danica Rosé brand, her relationship with Chef Tarbell and how her racing travels have influenced her wine palate.
To begin—with so many different celebrity rosés that are currently available on the market, what made you really want to produce your own? And how would you say yours is different from what’s already out there?
For me, authenticity is everything. And there’s nothing more authentic than rosé from Provence. I was lucky to have a really good team behind me, and we came up with a beautiful plan. Everything from the bottle to the vineyard to the wine itself and even the production, the photos—it’s just all done really well. So, what makes it different than other wine is that it’s something that’s a true passion of mine, and that the quality of the wine is really of the utmost importance. It’s not about how do we make the most money possible or how do we have the best-looking bottle, but then sacrificing flavors in the process. I wanted people to truly love the wine and then let everything else take care of itself. So, I just really felt like this rosé was a home run with everything from top to bottom.
You can certainly taste and see the quality of the product. For you, what was your process like of selecting which producer you wanted to work with?
I don’t necessarily make a lot of those decisions, but I was the driving force for what kind of wine I wanted it to be. So, there was an extensive 30-bottle tasting that we did with all kinds of different rosés and identifying everything from the bottle and the shape and the texture of the bottle and everything—but it came down to, of course, the most important part being the flavor. So the team basically sat around and drank a whole bunch of wine one day—it was a really rough workday [LAUGHS]. But we identified what kind of wine we really wanted and then were able to let that drive our sourcing from there.
Your work as a professional racecar driver really seemed to take you all across the country and world. Did your travels and having that opportunity to taste so many different wines influence how you wanted to create your own?
It definitely developed my palate! I remember my most memorable bottle of wine was drinking this bottle of Chablis in Belgium. I was racing there and … I remember one dinner in particular—it was like wild boar and some potato and then this Chablis. I just remember it was the first real bottle of wine that was really more crisp that I had because before that I was always drinking sweet white wine. That kind of made me fall in love with the drier versions of wine, and then from there it was onto the reds. I enjoy them all now but my palate definitely became more developed based off of wherever I was living and racing.
I understand that Tarbell’s Wine Store is the exclusive retailer for Danica Rosé here in Arizona. I’m curious—how did that relationship come about? And how special has it been getting to partner with someone as steeped in the Valley’s culinary space as Mark Tarbell?
Right—and well even with wine, too. Mark’s wine list has always been amazing, so between the food and the wine, I think it just speaks to the quality of the rosé and the kind of atmosphere and vibe I like—which is all about quality products across the board. At the end of the day, whether it’s the Somnium that you’re drinking or Danica Rosé, it’s all about community and coming together around the wine. What is most important to me about both wine projects is that they bring people together and people can set their phones aside and just connect with each over one too many drinks every now and again.
I wanted to talk design as well, because I feel like the Danica Rosé glass bottle, in particular, is so elegant and unique. Did you have that design in mind even before creating the product? And what did the process look like for actually putting this bottle together?
Well, we knew we wanted to have texture on the bottle. Rosé bottles tend to be very unique and you can get away with a lot more creativity. We [our team] all loved the bottles that had texture to them—so we knew that that was going to be a big part of the design. Then we kind of identified that we didn’t want it to be too tall or too wide—I wanted the bottle to fit with every other wine, but I also still wanted it to have a unique shape. And then the roses on the bottle came from the vineyard that we sourced our wine from that actually sponsored a car back in the day. Those were the roses that they used in their design—so it plays off of that. Then the star on the front that’s embossed as well is one that we’ve trademarked as the morning star because my name means morning star. So, it’s kind of like an ode to my name.
As a final question for you, how would you really like to see this wine brand grow? And is there any desire to introduce other blends in the future?
That’s a good question. I think at this point in time, it’s a pretty good standalone rosé project. So, I’m happy with it just being rosé right now. We have some diversity in my Napa Valley wine portfolio, but with the Danica Rosé, I think it’s good the way it is right now. I would really just love to see it across stores all over the place. It’s a very price-friendly bottle—and you get a lot of bang for your buck with the beauty of the bottle, as well as with what the quality of the wine is.