There's more to pink wine than meets the eye...
Rosé isn’t what it used to be. Years of having a choice of either sweet New World blush or dry Provence rosé have left consumers confused about what’s available and what to expect when they open a bottle of pink wine.
The growing popularity of rosé wine doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Today, one in every ten bottles of wine sold is rosé, and as the majority of its consumers are aged 20-35, the market is set to grow as they age. Market predictions are that by 2035 both production and consumption will have risen to 25 million hectolitres*.
With all this in mind, how do you keep your rosé portfolio at the forefront of this trend, while maintaining the quality and affordability consumers expect?
Most people expect nothing more than bright fruit and zippy acidity from a rosé, something to sip in the sunshine on a warm day with friends. But it doesn’t always have to be that simple. Rosés with enough acidity and fruit concentration can keep for a few years in cellar (and the very best can keep for hundreds of years, but who has the time?) developing intriguingly complex savoury notes and a gentler acidity. ‘Younger’ doesn’t always necessarily mean ‘better’!
Expect the unexpected
Just because the White Zinfandel boom in the 1980’s was predicated on sweet wines, that doesn’t mean that, as many consumers believe, all New World rosé is sweet. In fact, as tastes move towards drier styles, many New World producers are experimenting, with fantastic results.
Of course, it’s not the just contents of the wine bottle that have undergone a dramatic change: packaging is always evolving! Cans are lightweight, fully recyclable and come in large or small ‘single serve’ sizes, making them perfect for both the environmentally aware and the health-conscious consumer. Current can designs are modern and bright, but as quality improves and the initial snobbery towards this format fades we will no doubt see more prestigious wines canned, requiring more traditional labelling. BIBs (bag-in-box) are ahead in this arena, with the quality having been proven and anything from entry-level blends to varietal appellation wines being sold in this packaging.
It’s not all about Provence…
‘Provence and dry rosé’ go together like ‘fish and chips’, but in much the same way as the traditional English supper, that doesn’t mean it’s the be-all and end-all of pink wine. Current levels of supply and demand of Provence rosé have bumped up the costs, leaving the average consumer short. The good news is that other, more affordable regions are now making wines in a similar style, both in terms of wine and packaging, so consumers can continue to live the Riviera lifestyle without the price tag.
*Statistics and figures taken from The Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de Provence and Wine Intelligence.