The Popularity Growth of Rosé Wine

August 19th, 2014

Posted in Napa, Winery

(Photo by: @shevaung Instagram user)

The popularity of wine has seen a major shift in the past few decades. With new technology and evolving methods, specific wines aren’t limited to one growing region anymore, making certain varietals more accessible and affordable. The old image of a wine snob is falling by the wayside as the mainstream is able to afford several brands from different regions. Until recently, wines from traditional winemaking regions around the world had varying qualities between vintage and varietal, making it difficult for mainstream consumers to participate in the greater wine business and conversation. However, the emergence of more affordable and accessible wines with consistent quality found closer to home have challenged wineries worldwide to set a reliable standard of production.

Rosé has experienced an exceptional boost in popularity in the past two decades. Since it is not made from a specific grape in any specific region, it can be produced wherever red grapes are able to grow. Rosé wines are also considered a bargain since they are relatively inexpensive to produce, using a mixture of red grapes. There is, however, a huge misconception that rosé is made by simply mixing red and white wine together. Instead, after red grapes are crushed, they are left to macerate with their red skins anywhere from a few hours to a few days. The color of wine is simply an indicator of steeping skins. The longer the skin is left in, the darker the wine will be. After maceration, the juice is separated from the “must” (skins, seeds, and other items) and is left to ferment in tanks to become rosé.

The millennial generation is also making its mark on the demand for rosé. They are among the first to support rosé sales around the world. By 2016, U.S. millennials will be between ages 19 and 34, the majority being old enough to legally drink, and will also make up almost half of the U.S. drinking population. With the emerging popularity of prepackaged mixtures of sweet spirits and soft drinks, teenagers prefer appealing color, sweetness, and something that’s easy to appreciate- some of the defining characteristics of rosé wine.

Rosés are extremely flexible. Since they fall between the two extremes of light, sweet whites and dark, tannic reds, the happy medium pairs well with virtually any foods, as long as diners give it time to chill before drinking. Most rosés also mix well for those who prefer wine as part of a cocktail’s flavor profile. Its generally low price gives buyers more freedom to tamper with and can become a great spritzer or cocktail.

Whitehall Lane has pounced on this trend and recently released its Cub Red to wine club members, potentially considering another rosé down the road.  Like all things Whitehall Lane, its rosé is incredibly well-balanced and a nod to the classic rosés that demand a bit of a higher price, but can please the most discerning rosé drinkers. Leaning to the drier side rather than sweet, old school rosé afficianados can swoon over this well-made new school blend.