By Emily Saladino
Welcome to the Blush Age. Thanks to America’s increased taste for high-quality vino – we recently surpassed France in wine consumption, oh la la – rosé is on the rise.
Last summer, Wine Enthusiast reported: “White Zinfandel sales have been shrinking for years, but premium dry rosé is catching fire, with rosés in the over-$12 category up 33.6 percent off-premise over last year according to the Nielsen report. Provence makes more rosé in this style than any other region in the world, and exports to the U.S. grew 41 percent in 2012 alone, according to the Provence Wine Council.”
Domestic producers are getting their blush on, too. Gabriella Macari, a winemaker on Long Island’s North Fork, reports that her family-run vineyard has increased rosé production by 60% over the past three years.
“It’s very exciting to hear customers ask us for a dry rosé,” Macari says. “In the past, many people were asking for sweet versions – mistaking the pink color for a sugary white zinfandel.” Quelle horreur.
Next month, the rosé revolution hits New York City. Wine entrepreneur Pierrick Bouquet will inaugurate La Nuit en Rosé, America’s first large-scale rosé event, on June 13 and 14.
“The market for wine-buying in the United States has matured,” explains Bouquet. “Better quality wines are being brought in from all over the world… and rosé is a perfect example.”
At La Nuit en Rosé, nearly 60 wineries will pour 85 bottles of blush, spanning established Provencal labels like Chateau d’Esclans, as well as emerging global markets such as Lebanon, Corsica and Argentina. The event will be comprised of four distinct, four-hour sessions, held on a hybrid yacht docked on the west side of Manhattan.
Arguably the world’s most elegant booze cruise, each session will culminate in a 90-minute sailing on the Hudson River. Guests will pair their pinks with charcuterie from Vin Sur Vingt, bivalves from Brooklyn Oyster Party and rosé-infused ice cream from Tipsy Parson.
“We don’t want it to be a boring, walk-around tasting,” explains Bouquet. “We want to create a party-style atmosphere.” Shine on, you crazy wine man.
For those who like their glasses chilled and their bottles ranked, La Nuit en Rosé will also include a rosé competition, judged by such illustrious local beverage stars as Le Cirque’s Paul Altuna, AJ Ojeda-Pons of the Lambs Club, and Chad Walsh of The Dutch.
And if your boat shoes can’t make it to Manhattan next month, don’t despair. Event partner Zachys, a wine retailer based in Scarsdale, N.Y., is developing a post-mailing so that rosé fans across America can order the wines poured at La Nuit en Rosé. Talk about a taste of the future.