Will 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.
• 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.