Twice this week, rosé has been the wine of choice at events I attended, and it made me think, "How did rosé become the new kale?" There was a time when pink wine was considered laughable, made by Sutter Home or the one in the box. But in 2016, rosé is no laughing matter.
Take for example, this recent rosé story that appeared in Vanity Fair which claims rosé really took off in in the Hamptons about 3 years ago, where it is now known as "Hamptons Gatorade." Others blame social media for rosé's insane rise to fame. Or Miraval, the winery co-owned by Brangelina -- the former Mr. and Mrs. Brad Pitt. Whatever the reason, rosé is the toast of the town and according to Forbes, USA Today, and UK's The Guardian its popularity knows no bounds. Here's an interesting quote from a rosé detractor responding to recent news,
"Or maybe it’s this article from The Guardian that revealed that rosé sales in the UK have doubled, doubled in the last year, mostly through sales of a kind of rosé slushie called frosé. First of all, if a wine trend is driven by slushie sales, that’s a red flag. Also, these are British people—they’re supposed to know better."
The question in my marketer's mind is how does something like a wine varietal or say a common leafy green like kale become the hottest product on the market? It's the concept of The Tipping Point put forth by Malcolm Gladwell in his original bestseller. Even Malcolm Gladwell was at one point the darling of the literary world -- the rosé of storytelling for marketers like me.
This is a subject matter I'm going to be exploring more in depth because I think there's something fascinating about it and most of me thinks it has absolutely nothing to do with marketing skill or dollars. Mostly, it seems to be about blind luck. But I could be wrong.
Perhaps it was the work of astute rosé winemakers in Provence banding together in a secret pact to push their wines to meteoric fame. Or the brosé movement. Surely you've heard of this?
"Last month, Details magazine observed that more male drinkers were 'pounding pink. Rosé is kind of like online dating,' Sam Daly, an actor, told the magazine. 'What was once a faux pas has become the norm. It's become universally accepted among men and women. It's kind of like the beer of wine.'"Like the beer of wine. Now we're getting somewhere. Kale must be the iceberg lettuce of greens. And quinoa is the white rice of weird starch substitutes from the Andes.
I'll keep you posted. And enjoy a glass of rosé as summer comes to a close.
NB: A long time ago, I worked in a newsroom with Malcolm Gladwell. He honestly looked like a junior Republican in the making with short cropped hair wearing blue blazers everyday.