On July 5, wine guru and master Jancis Robinson tweeted a new post by Cher Lim, MW, a wine writer and owner of a fine-wine sourcing company in Singapore, on her site that delves deeper into why Asians don’t opt for rosé wines.
Lim explains probable reasons are:
– Most Asians (with majority Chinese) have a binary view of wine, it is either white or red. In actual fact, for many new wine drinkers, ‘red wine’ is synonymous with wine.
– It is widely accepted that red wine is the healthier choice of the wine family. Many consumers drink wine for its health benefits, so colour is an important attribute.
– There is no effort on the part of importers to educate the public on rosé. With such a lack of information, consumers automatically conclude that rosé is a diluted form of red wine, therefore it is of poorer quality. A self-fulfilling supply-demand cycle gives no further incentive for importers to bring in more rosé than they can sell.
– Male consumers treat rosé as a girlish drink. Female consumers are mainly attracted to rosé champagne, not rosé still wines.
Although this year’s Vinexpo, the world’s largest international wine and spirit expo for the Asia-Pacific held in Hong Kong on May 25-27, gave Lim reason to pause. It appears the rosé winemakers (88% based in the Provence of France) are just not appealing to Asians.
The campaigns surrounding rosé are focused on yacht lounging and due to their less expensive price tags the winemakers don’t make a strong effort to market internationally.
However Sacha Lichine, owner of Chateau d’Esclans, traveled to Hong Kong to showcase his Whispering Angel Rosé 2008 ($17.99-21.99/€14.35-17.54) at Vinexpo and explained, “it is a wine that is refreshing, easy to drink, one you can imagine drinking on your boat… that is for those of you who have a boat.”
Lim concludes that may be the point, “… if one can get Asian consumers to imagine the idyllic lifestyle of lazing in St Tropez drinking rosé on summer afternoons” then maybe Asians will begin to prefer pink.
Nonetheless the 10th annual World Wine and Spirits Market and Outlook to 2010, a global study of current trends commissioned by Vinexpo, predicted “rosé wine will see continued growth but white wines will be almost static.”