Over the last couple of years, the increase in rosé sales has been so astronomical that wineries you’d never imagine making a rosé are making one. (Harlan and Screaming Eagle are still holding out).
The obvious question is why and why now? What’s driving the pink tsunami?
Intellectual comfort for one thing. You don’t have to know a single thing about wine to order a rosé. With white and red wine, at the very least, you have to know the varietal you want. Not with rosé. In fact, so few people seem concerned about the grapes in the bottle that wineries often don’t list them on the label at all. (Pinot noir producers are an exception).
How and when to drink a rosé is also pretty hassle-free. You don’t have to let it breathe or use special glasses or think for a minute about the “right” food pairing. “Chill and drink” is as fussy as it gets.
Back in the day, rosé owned summer. It was a way of imagining that one was hanging out in cafés in St. Tropez perhaps. But rosé’s easy poise between white wine and red wine means that it’s no longer confined to a season. Check out the expanding rosé category on wine lists year-round.
But what I find most interesting about the rosé phenomenon is its increasing acceptance among men. In fact, more than acceptance. Men now appear to embrace rosé in a way no one could have predicted. That, I think is an aspect of our overall “evolving” culture. (See my video, “Maybe We’re All Just Evolved,” on this). Just as wearing a pink shirt is no longer taboo for a large swath of men, ordering a glass of dry pink wine is also no big deal. Would a group of four men going out for a business dinner order white wines?
Today, I think it’s more likely they’d order a bottle of rosé.
Photo by Rocky Tschappat