Has the rose craze peaked?

rose crazeWill we be able to enjoy our beloved rose without any of the recent foolishness?

The surge in rose’s popularity, though welcome, has had its downside. Rose deodorant, anyone?

In this, anything that has grown so quickly must eventually stop growing. Are we nearing that point with the rose craze? The Wine Curmudgeon asks this question in light of recent developments, of which rose-scented toiletry is just one example.

Consider that:

A fellow in Sweden has anointed himself King of Rose, which raises any number of questions. Why Sweden? And why do we need a king?

• The Spec’s in Dallas where I shop moved its rose section because the old space was too small. Not enough space for rose? This would have been a joke a couple of years ago.

The Nielsen numbers: Rose sales, measured in cases sold, grew 53 percent over the 52-week period ending in June, compared to just four percent for all of wine. Clearly, that is unsustainable growth.

But the real clue? That the always prescient Ray Isle of Food & Wine, a long-time rose supporter, thinks the end of the boom is in sight, too. This year, in his annual summer wine segment for the On the Money TV show, he didn’t bring a rose.

“I don’t have sales stats on whether rose has peaked, but I am beginning to wonder if at the very least press exhaustion with the topic may have set in,” he told me. “If you write that rose is a cool summer wine discovery, you’ll sound like a loon, since everyone and their dog is drinking it these days.”

That the boom may be over is not bad news. For one thing, it means that everyone who is drinking rose because it’s trendy will move on to something else. And that means no more 15 percent alcohol roses, roses aged in oak, or sweet roses passed off as dry. And no more fights with editors about what constitutes rose.

For another, it means that rose has established itself as a legitimate wine that is OK to drink — which has been a long time coming. Even if sales recede from the current peak, they will almost certainly stay higher than where they were five years ago. And that means there will continue to be cheap, quality rose on store shelves for us to enjoy. And without all of the foolishness.

5 thoughts on “Has the rose craze peaked?

  • By brian burns - Reply

    For me, the rule is still not to spend more than $10 on a bottle of rose.
    I see the attempt at getting more money out of the consumers pocket with $20 – $25 dollar bottles, and I doubt it is really working.
    Rose is just that, a simple and enjoyable warm weather wine.

    • By CGS - Reply

      Obviously, you are not acquainted with Provence, in France. 10.00 isn’t even the Wholesale price and they pretty much originated the Bandol quality Rose zeal in the USA. As in, Chez Panisse, circa 1984 and today sell a lot at $30+.

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  • By Phillip Anderson - Reply

    I think that you could be right about press fatigue with rose’, but I don’t think that customers are tired of it. Rose’ has always been a great summer wine, although I drink it year round. I always think of rose’ as the red wine drinker’s white wine & so it is appealing in the summer. I’m biased of course (hence my blog name https://realmendrinkrose.wordpress.com/). I think that the biggest learning curve still to come on rose’ is about differences in pricing/quality. Like all other wines, there are differences in price & quality based on appellation & quality of wine maker. I tried 2 rose’s from Provence yesterday, 1 from Lake County, & 1 from the Languedoc. They were four completely different wines & they should be. I think understanding the nuance of different rose’s might be the next angle. Anyway, enjoyable article as always.

    • By Wine Curmudgeon - Reply

      Good points and thanks for the kind words. Ray Isle’s thought about media fatigue is important because it has helped boost rose over the past couple of years. That’s why it might be a harbinger of what will come year about this time.

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