The man behind Whispering Angel isn’t done yet
By Bea Isaacson
With three distinct dining experiences ranging from casual to premium, the dining experience at Sydney’s waterside film festival is as attractive as the movies for some. In partnership with Westpac Openair, we speak to Kitchen by Mike chef Mike McEnearney about what delicacies he’s designed for the six-week season.
Whispering Angel is chic, Lichine says / ©Whispering Angel
In the Alps, on a yacht, by a Mediterranean sunset or at a party in LA. Rosé, the drink of summer, the elixir of fun, is one of the great success stories of the 21st century. And it’s all down to one man: the Bordeaux-born, US-educated Sacha Lichine.
The son of Alexis Lichine, an icon of the fine wines and spirits industry, Lichine has established a legacy of his own. Lichine is credited as the driver behind our global obsession with rosé, which he refers to endearingly as ‘pink’, through the unprecedented popularity of his brand Whispering Angel.
“The idea was to tap into the female consumer, who was looking for something lighter to drink,” Lichine tells me. “I was looking around for a new project… And the category of rosé fascinated me.”
With rosé forecast to grow by almost 70% from 2020 to 2024, the drink of choice for sunny days and balmy nights is omnipresent across today’s drinking culture. And yet rosé is a remarkably new phenomenon; rosé, by Lichine’s own admission, even a decade ago, was “really more for grandmothers than it was for anybody else… It wasn’t considered real wine.”
“Champagne rosé was already around,” he continues. “It was English women who put it on the map. It was pretty and pink and was champagne, and they were drinking it quite a bit. So, I figured if champagne rosé could take the stage, why couldn’t still rosé?”
By this point in his career, Lichine was already firmly established within the industry. Having joined the world of wine aged 23, by 27 he was running the winery Château Prieure Lichine, first purchased by his father in 1951.