SWISH Beverages founders Josh Ostrovsky & David Oliver Cohen talk new “Family Time Is Hard” wine

by | Dec 14, 2016 | Dining

SWISH Beverages, a company founded by Josh Ostrovsky and David Oliver Cohen, is notable on a few levels. First, it is a celebrity-founded company, as Josh and David are very well-known; between the two of them they have over 14 million followers of social media. Second, it is a fast-growing company, as SWISH’s new Pinot Grigio — known as “Family Time Is Hard” — is the company’s third wine offering. Third, well, these are very entertaining people that not only bring a sense of humor to wine, but also have brought quality-oriented wines to the marketplace.

Downtown had the pleasure of conducting Q&A with both Josh and David over e-mail, and both were hilarious as expected. While their love of The Olive Garden is most likely ironic, there is no denying that the two have no shortage of greatness ahead of them. Beyond the SWISH online store, Josh and David can both be followed via Twitter.

How did you two first meet?

David Oliver Cohen: we met in the West Village in a cute little park on Jane Street while we were walking our dogs. It was straight out of a Nancy Meyers film like You’ve Got Mail, or It’s Complicated, or Cape Fear.

Josh Ostrovsky: He was wearing a fleece and leather sandals and looked like a friendly…freelance writer. He didn’t pick up his dog’s poop and we watched a guy slip in it cartoon-style, like when someone slips on a banana peel. We laughed together. A friendship was born.

What was the name of your wine before Family Time Is Hard was chosen?

DOC: Honestly, the name came to us before we knew what kind of wine it would be. We had talked about doing a limited-edition holiday wine, but we didn’t know what varietal made the most sense. We all love Pinot Grigio, and our super cute Italian winemaker, Claudio uses a Pinot Grigio in our rosé blend so we decided to go with it.

JO: I wanted it to be called “My dad is a judgmental dick who wanted me to be a podiatrist but I wanted to follow my dreams IN YOUR FUCKING FACE DUDE I TOTALLY MADE IT, OH AND ALSO I EAT ICE CREAM FOR DINNER SOMETIMES BECAUSE I’M AN ADULT,” but that was too long, so we settled on “Family Time Is Hard.” Because it really is.

Were any members of your family offended by the name of your Pinot Grigio?

DOC: We haven’t spoken to anyone in our families in years.

Is it true that White Girl Rosé came about as a result of a rosé shortage in the Hamptons?

JO: That’s true. Two summers ago rose was running DANGEROUSLY LOW in the Hamptons. I capitalized those words to make it sounds even more dramatic than it was. People were running through the streets, trying to hoard every last drop they could get their hands on. We decided at that moment, that was would never allow such a tragedy to occur again. Not on our watch.

DOC: Not all heroes wear capes.

You now have three wines in stores. Do you have plans for additional varieties? A cabernet,

DOC: We definitely have our hands full at the moment with the Pinot Grigio, the rosé and the can of sparkling rosé. But we are always developing new things, so you never know where we’ll end up.

Where is your wine sourced from?

DOC: Our winery is located in central California. All the products are grown produced and bottled in one location.

JO: The new Gilmore Girls is honestly so good. The fear is obviously that after 10 years it will feel non-congruent, but it eased back into the narrative in a seamless way.

Have you always favored wine? Or is that something you grew into?

DOC: We let our massive audience tell us what they wanted. We have a huge following and we wanted to be able to give them a product that they’d be excited about beyond the books we have written and the social media we do. They wanted rosé.

JO: I was raised by two wealthy gay dads in a sun-drenched loft in SoHo in the ‘90’s, there was A LOT of wine. So yes, I’ve always been into it.

Wine aside, what is coming up for you?

DOC: The White Girl Problems movie, television appearances…

JO: I’m hosting a quinceañera next month…in Mexico City, which is basically all I’ve ever wanted.

Is the name of your wine’s parent company, SWISH, an abbreviation? Or a reference to something in particular?

JO: BOTH, AT THE SAME TIME: Nothing but net.

When not busy with work, how do you like to spend your free time?

DOC: We do a lot of antiquing. And I mean a lot.

JO: Mostly just dealing crippling anxiety. And antiquing!

Do you have a favorite restaurant in New York?

DOC: Probably, The Olive Garden on 22nd Street or the Olive Garden in Times Square.

JO: Probably Nobu — the black cod in Miso with its sweet/savory burnished crust, and flaky, buttery interior is a revelation…Just kidding, The Olive Garden on 22nd Street or the Olive Garden in Times Square.

Finally, any last words for the kids?

DOC: Rosé or die.

Downtown Magazine