Who doesn’t love rosé wine? Well, when I started in the wine business over twenty years ago, drinking rosé wine was primarily done by the French or people in the wine business. It was our little secret that we endlessly tried preaching to the rest of America, but most of the time, it fell on deaf ears. No consumer wanted to be caught drinking that pink wine that was synonymous with the wine of the 80’s and 90’s called white zinfandel! It was a wine that was designed and marketed for the unserious wine drinker. It didn’t matter how much we would tell the public that it wasn’t the same. They would just shrug their shoulders and politely say “no.” They didn’t know what they were missing, but we did!
What’s the difference between rosé and white zinfandel?
White Zinfandel is often made with relatively low quality grapes that are blended together into a consistent style that gives it fruit punch style and a sweet finish. A rosé wine, on the other hand, is made from high quality red wine grapes and it can be very nuanced and even complex. It is dry and elegant.
Today it is a very different story. Rosé wines have enjoyed double-digit sales growth for the past consecutive eleven years and I don’t see this trend changing any time soon. As a country, we consume 13% of the world’s rosé, second only to France. Many people have embraced (with the exception of the non-informed) rosé for drinking during the summer months. So much rosé is being sold today, that here at Vintology, I must start reserving and purchasing them as early as January.
Rosé wines are produced in all shades of pink by most wine growing regions around the world. But the shade of pink most requested by the consumers is the classic, light provencal pink hue, much like the pink of a ballet slipper. As its popularity has grown, rosé has begun to shed its seasonal specificity. We have started to see rosé being requested all year long. Sometimes, besides just wanting a refreshing drink, rosés pair with a wider variety of food than either a red or a white wine might.
I believe the appeal for rosé wines comes from its lower overall price point which makes the customer more comfortable casually purchasing and consuming rosé. Rosé, as we like to say, is easy-peasy, and the summer months are a time for just that. It’s a change from the rest of the year, with usually less work and more vacation, and more stress-free living overall.
I guess rosés connection to all the good things in life, and the fact that you really don’t need any experience or necessarily a fat wallet to attain a perceived feeling of luxury, may be the wine’s biggest draw as it continues to thrive throughout the country and at Vintology. Santé!