There’s something quite inviting overlooking the water with a cool glass of rosé on a warm July night in Newport. Cheers!
In The Wall Street Journal, Lettie Teague discusses the declining sales of rosé but the sustained popularity of certain bottles. She writes:
ARE WE in the middle of rosé malaise? According to the retailers I talked with, the answer is yes…with an asterisk. Thanks to the rise of competing drinks (hard seltzer, canned cocktails), continuing Covid fallout and a boom in production all over the world that helped fuel a rosé glut, rosé sales are definitely less robust than in years past. Yet certain rosés are selling well. Indeed, some wines seem to be veritably malaise-proof.
At Crush Wine & Spirits in New York, I found a dozen or so rosés on display, but, according to Crush wine director Joe Salamone, he had many more just two years ago. “I scaled way back in 2022,” he said. The Covid shutdown curtailed in-store shopping, which put a big dent in rosé sales, and demand has yet to fully rebound. But, Salamone added, some labels still sell well. “Provence still rules,” he said.
Salamone named three Provençal wines as perennial bestsellers: the 2022 Peyrassol Les Commandeurs Côtes de Provence rosé ($25), the 2022 Château Pradeaux Bandol rosé ($27) and the 2022 Domaine du Bagnol Cassis rosé ($27). One non-Provencal pink, the 2022 Bernard Baudry Le Rosé Chinon rosé ($24), from the Loire Valley, is a consistent favorite as well. Another favorite, the Domaine Tempier Bandol rosé, was out of stock.
Jeffrey Wolfe, proprietor of Wolfe’s Wine Shoppe in Coral Gables, Fla., said that the Florida market has been so inundated with rosé “from every planetary system” during the past couple of years that it took some time to sell out. His perennial bestsellers include two from Provence: the 2022 Clos Ste Magdeleine Cassis rosé ($38) and the 2021 Domaine Tempier Bandol rosé ($59). One domestic bottling, too, consistently moves: the 2022 Arnot-Roberts Rosé ($30).
Daniel Posner of Grapes the Wine Company in White Plains, N.Y., still sells a fair amount of rosé “but definitely less than we used to.” By contrast, he added, “Canned cocktails are HOT.” The French pinks that sell well at Grapes include the aforementioned 2022 Peyrassol Les Commandeurs Côtes de Provence rosé and the 2022 Triennes Rosé ($17).
At Metro Wines in Asheville, N.C., rosé sales are down, but France remains the highest in sales in the category, reported co-proprietor Gina Trippi. She shared an analysis of rosé sales that Metro store manager Zach Eidson put together. It attributed reduced rosé sales to worldwide shipping delays. Sales of rosés overall were down by 12% last year, and have dipped similarly this year. Eidson also noted that there has been competing customer interest in skin-contact white wines, whose sales are up a whopping 230% year-over-year in 2023; they were up 140% the year prior. The French rosés that still sell well at Metro include the Domaine Houchart Côtes de Provence rosé ($17) and the 2022 Moulin de Gassac Guilhem rosé ($12 at Metro Wines; I paid $10 in New Jersey, as wine pricing structures vary from state to state), from Languedoc, France.
Gary Fisch—founder and CEO of Gary’s Wine & Marketplace, which has locations in New Jersey and Napa Valley—also noted the delayed shipment of rosés last year: “A lot of ’21s didn’t get here until August.” That meant months of lost sales. Sancerre sales, meanwhile, are “through the roof.” In fact, Sauvignon Blanc from all over the world is hot. One rosé remains a standout: “Whispering Angel, by a large margin, is our number one rosé,” said Fisch. (This wine, from Château d’Esclans, sells for $22 at his stores.)
Whispering Angel isn’t selling so well at Total Wine & More’s 249 stores across the country—nor are rosés from California and Italy—but other French rosés are selling well, said Brian Gelb, vice president of wine merchandising and marketing. He singled out a few consistent sellers, including the 2022 Gérard Bertrand Cote des Roses rosé and the 2021 Rosé D’Anjou from Famille Bougrier ($15), a direct import wine from Total Wine. “We’ve seen double-digit growth on this item.”
Action Line: Come visit Your Survival Guy in Newport this summer. Let’s talk.
Originally posted on Your Survival Guy.