Rosé: Not Just for Summer Anymore

That's a lot of rosé... Image: Ekaterina Molchanova / iStock / Getty Images Plus

A recent consumer survey reveals that rosé wine drinkers are stretching the calendar and looking for the pink stuff year round.


It’s no secret that rosé wine sales have gone through the roof over the last few summers. Wine buyers in bars and restaurants have realized that to get enough to last all summer long, they must risk over-ordering when the wines first become available from distributors in the early spring. According to recent reports, rosé is doing even better at retail, and the increase in popularity here in the US is so great that numerous regions are ramping up their production due almost entirely to the American trend.

Now a recent survey conducted by the Wine Market Council indicates consumers are only getting more intrigued by the easy drinking pink. The new survey takes a closer look at the consumer habits behind rosé consumption for its members, but the group released some of the data.

About 60% of respondents indicated they drink rosé consistently throughout the year, while 23% of them reported they drink rosé much more during the warmer months of the year. Only 12% of respondents said they drink rosé infrequently, including every few months or several times a year.

Rosé was shunned in the early part of the century due to the reputation of pink-hued White Zinfandel as an unsophisticated summer beverage. But rosé wines have benefited from the response of Millennials looking to explore unknown styles and regions. Sommeliers, too, have pushed the wines as a perfect seasonal quaff, great with summer’s lighter and sometimes acidic dishes like ceviche, and salads and barbecue. The phenomenon of “brosés” – men who gather to sample various rosés at restaurant bars to start an evening out – has helped break down the misguided notion that these wines are inherently feminine.

Now rosés from Greece, northern Spain and elsewhere are looking to move in on the hegemony of Provence, the key exporter to the US. In 2015, rosé exports from Provence grew 58% by volume and 74% by value. The rise marks the largest increase in Provence rosé wine exports to the US since 2001, as well as the 12th consecutive year of double-digit growth for the segment.

The Wine Market Council survey also found that when respondents were asked what wine they would substitute for rosé if they were in the mood but it wasn't available, participants most often said they would choose Moscato/Muscat (38%), Chardonnay (36%) or Pinot Grigio/Gris (32%). Three in 10 or fewer would choose a red blend, Riesling, white blends, Pinot Noir or Champagne/sparkling. Lagging were Sauvignon/Fumé Blanc (21%) and Gewurztraminer (10%).

Nielsen data shows that rosé has grown 57 percent in sales dollars over the 52 weeks ending June 17, 2017, outpacing the overall wine category which is growing at 3 percent annually,” says Danny Brager, senior vice president of the Beverage Alcohol Practice Area at Nielsen and chair of Wine Market Council’s Research Committee. “This Wine Market Council survey looks at the subject of rosé from the consumer's point of view, providing members with more insight into the experiences, motivations and preferences of rosé drinkers.”

The survey was conducted among respondents sourced from Survey Sample International (SSI). The study polled 838 US adults over the age of 21 who drink wine at least once a week and drink rosé at least occasionally. The complete 2017 Rosé Wine Consumer Survey and all resulting data are now available to Wine Market Council members.

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