WINE ENTHUSIAST- Celebrity Wine Roundtable – Friday Jones & Whispering Angel

What happens when an actress, a rock star, a Broadway producer and a star tattoo artist convene for a blind tasting of wines as distinctive and eclectic as they are?
By Susan Kostrzewa
Friday Jones, Celebrity Tattoo Artist
Jones, an acclaimed New York City-based tattoo artist, has worked on such stars as Angelina Jolie, Robbie Williams, Kid Rock and Penélope Cruz. She apprenticed at the renowned Inksmith & Rogers studios in Florida while simultaneously pursuing a Bachelor of Science in philosophy and art at Jacksonville University.

W.E.: How did you first get into wine?
FJ: My father was a fighter pilot, and we managed to get stationed in the Central Valley of California when I was young. The whole area from the Central Coast north is fraught with vineyards. That was one of the best things about being remotely stationed—the exposure to the wine culture.

W.E.: How has your work exposed you to great wine?
FJ: My client base is pretty cultured and sophisticated. I was with [actress] Angie Harmon in Beverly Hills last month, and we polished off a couple bottles of really great Pinot Noir. We were discussing politics, and by the end, she convinced me she should be president.

W.E.: What are your favorite wine regions to visit?
FJ: The south of France is one of my favorite places to go, and my ultimate dream is to have a studio in Monaco. All through the region, and Burgundy coming down, is just fascinating. Tuscany, too, is one of my favorite areas for wine.

W.E.: Are you usually in these regions for work?
FJ: Yes, and then that usually segues into a client saying, “Hey, I have a Tuscan villa,” and then we celebrate after the tattoo is done and sometimes headaches follow. But the whole time, we drink wonderful wine.

W.E.: Do you have a favorite wine-and-food pairing? What wines are you drinking now?
FJ: I’m trying to bring back the rosés. There’s something in me…call it my inner porn star… that loves a good pink rosé. It has only been recent. I was snobby about rosé for the last 20 years. (Get Jones’s rosé and salmon recipe below.)

W.E.: Do you consider winemaking an art?
FJ: Absolutely. My old mentor, Spider Web, who is still a tattoo guy in New York, always said that “gastronomy and oenology are the highest arts.” It’s ephemeral, you know—it’s satisfying and then it’s gone. It’s the beauty of the human condition that we can experience a moment like that.

Jones’s favorite wine of the tasting: Château d’Esclans 2011 Whispering Angel Rosé (Côtes de Provence)