I’ve written about rosé here before--rather recently, in fact, in one of my lead-up-to-the-holiday blogs--so the timing of yesterday’s story on the Wine Spectator’s web site is perfect. They report that “A new study by the Nielsen Company released by the Provence Wine Council shows a 28 percent jump in imported rosé sales in the United States in the past year—a category led by France (with 28 percent of the world's rosé production) and specifically, Provence. The growth in imported rosé sales is nearly eight times faster than the overall growth of wine sales in the U.S., and according to Nielsen, it's part of a trend that's been accelerating for the five years the company has measured rosé consumption.”
Wine journalists and other professionals have been lauding the uptick in rosé’s popularity for years. Once the warm weather rolls around, all of the magazines and blogs will surely run their annual reports on just that. And, surely, readers of this blog will find themselves at a café that first sunny day in April or May surrounded by sweat-beaded glasses of pink wine.
But what makes this article so interesting is both the timing (in the dead of winter--certainly not rosé-reporting season) and the content (hard numbers that back up what we’ve all suspected for years).
So where is all of this going? My prediction is that, while affordable, quaffable rosé will continue to grow in popularity and consumption, we will see a contemporaneous market arise for pricey, so-called “serious” bottlings. Whether this will prove to be a positive development remains to be seen. Rosé, after all, has traditionally been about food-friendly, easy-drinking, affordable wines, not bottles that demand a lot of money and time in the cellar (they really need none of the latter).
Predictions aside, though, this growth in the rosé market is a great thing for the wine business itself and for consumers. The more rosé available, after all--and the more that consumers all over the world are willing to try and fall in love with something new to them (like rosé)--the better it is for all of us. A more diverse wine world, after all, is a far more interesting one.