Thanks to a growing millennial market, rosés has become the official sip of summer—and beyond.
“Rosé is different [from] reds and whites in the sense that it’s almost become more of a lifestyle brand,” says Paul Chevalier of Château d’Esclans, the winemaker behind such rosés as Garrus, Les Clans, Rock Angel, and Whispering Angel, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. “It’s this world-traveling group that drinks rosé, and now it’s spreading to broader demographics across the US.”
Initially, US audiences shied away from the pink-hued summer sipper because of its reputation for being overly sweet, but no more—as palates have grown more sophisticated, Americans have embraced rosé in all its nuanced forms. “You’ve seen a great growth in the wine business as we’ve developed a stronger food culture in the US,” says Bill Terlato, CEO of Terlato Wines, which has several rosés on its roster from the Belleruche, Sanford, and Il Poggione wineries. “People who are interested in food are driving [the demand for rosé], and to a large extent, those are millennials.”
That same group—which eagerly stocks rosé outside its traditional “season” from Memorial Day through Labor Day—is also spreading its enthusiasm through social media, with hashtags like #RoseAllDay. Says Terlato, “There’s no question that the color is striking, but ultimately, there wouldn’t be that kind of following if the quality wasn’t in the bottle.”