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Rosé wine trend taking off in US

US retailers have been reporting record sales of rosé wine, stretching outside summer months and including more diverse styles.

Over the last five years, Washington DC based MacArthur Beverages has seen a tenfold increase in rosé wine sales, to 1,000 cases in 2014. This year is likely to be at the same level as last year, store representative Joe Kluchinsky told Decanter.com.

His comments come in the week that Australian wine producer Treasury Wine Estates also talked up a trend for rosé wine in the US. Several market observers have also said rosé wine is becoming increasingly popular with men, earning it the ‘brosé’ nickname in some circles.

‘It reflects an increasing maturity of wine culture in the US,’ Kluchinsky said. ‘We are seeing customers enjoying rosé throughout the year, not just in the summer, although summer months dominate.’

The trend is nationwide, according to a manager for Total Wine, the largest independent US wine retailer that operates in over 15 states across the country.

‘Sales are better than ever before,’ said Greg Tuttle, senior manager, social business for Total Wine, established in 1991. ‘And purchases are more diverse as well, going beyond established brands or the obvious fruity styled rosé wines.’

A recent industry analysis for the US reflects what retailers are reporting.

Marketing group Vins de Provence – which represents Provence, the French wine region specialising in AOP rosé wine – reported in its market analysis published earlier this year that the US wine industry no longer groups dry rosé wines together with sweet blush wines. ‘This mistaken notion appears to be on the decline as dry rosé grows in popularity,’ it said.

In September 2014, figures showed that so-called blush wines saw their volume share of wine sales had fallen over the previous 12 months;  White Zinfandel was down 10.5%.

But, dry rosé wines increased volume share by 5.1% in the same period, according to Vins de Provence. It added that retail sales of premium imported rosé wine (at or above $12 a bottle) grew by 52% in dollar value and by 41% in volume in 2014.

By comparison, total table wine sales grew by 3.3% in value and 1% in volume in the US. The average bottle price of premium rosé in the US was $16.83 in 2014.

Edited by Chris Mercer

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