A Dandy Idea

This is just a dandy idea, don’t you think?

Outside of Port (which seems more associated with the Brits), the Portuguese really haven’t put their flag in the ground around any particular style of wine or varietal. Their Vinho Verde, a superb summer wine when dry and cold, but which doesn’t show up much in the states, is about all they’ve really got in terms of recognition.

The idea of converting over to making more Rose is a splendid idea because it allows them to market to a specific product, something that is much easier to do than marketing to a region. Add to this Rose’s rising visibility and all we need now is some killer examples of Portuguese Dry Rose to hit our shores and a small but focused marketing campaign.

I’d target it at the restaurants first in the West and Southwest and Texas, rolling out some killer labels with a price point of $6.99 around May.

The fact that Portugal and very quickly get their production of Rose up to 5% from nothing in just 5 years demonstrates the kind of advantages that secondary wine regions have in today’s market where consumers appear more than ever willing to experiment. It also doesn’t hurt that Portugal appears to have some new, young, progressive winemakers taking the helm:

"The growing interest in making rosé confirms how this region is
changing. We have increasing numbers of younger winemakers approaching
viticulture in a different way, eager to respond to trends and try new
things,’ Antonio Cerdeira, spokesman for the Vinho Verde commission in
Porto said."

If you look around, around the globe, it’s hard not to notice that it’s a pretty exciting time for new products in the wine business.

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9 Responses

  1. ryan - June 25, 2008

    Thing is Portugal always has had great Rose’s. The region of Vinho Verde though, while making GREAT white wines at great prices, has always made CRAP red wine, that is barely drinkable. So the move to rose, though framed as strategic, is more a move towards making the red production sell better! 🙂
    Check out Croft’s new Pink Port and to the Dao, and other regions further south to see that this is not a new idea for Portugal, just Vinho Verde.
    Oh and never mind the fact that Lancers and Mateus are two of the biggest pink wine producers in the world.

  2. Fredric Koeppel - June 25, 2008

    The problem is that by next summer we’ll be saturated with rose wines because EVERYBODY is making them now, trying to capitalize on an American market that’s still pretty tentative. I talk to plenty of people who refuse to drink roses because they think the wines are sweet and wimpy. There needs to be a lot more education of the public, i.e., tastings and marketing, so someone will drink all these pink wines. I can’t do it myself.

  3. Steve Heimoff - June 25, 2008

    I get the feeling that the rose “boom” was manufactured by the media and winery PR people. Tom, do you have any hard #s that rose sales are up?

  4. Tim Vandergrift - June 25, 2008

    As long as focus groups and less-able marketing types don’t drive the surge-to-market and make it into sweetified crap, I’m all for it. I just spent a couple of fairly intense weeks drinking my way across Portugal, and the new winemakers and thinkers coming up there startled the heck out of me. Everywhere I turned there were young turks remaking traditions and old dogs demonstrating new tricks.
    What I found most encouraging was how cranky and opinionated I found all of the winemakers. I don’t know how deep it runs (two weeks and most of the time I was off my head with drink) but that kind of climate ensures a healthy froth of new thinking.

  5. Jack at F&B - June 25, 2008

    I think rosé sales are up just because so many US wineries are making it now, and, of course, in a dry style.
    But is there really a demand for the second coming of Mateus rosé?

  6. genevelyn - June 26, 2008

    “Wines and Vines” released an industry statistic for US rose growth in April. They are up 53% (though if the number is small in the first place, this is easy to do)
    Here is a link to the report:

  7. Marco - June 26, 2008

    Their red Douro’s are making noise. Watch out once they gather steam.

  8. Dan Cochran - June 26, 2008

    So far, the only interesting roses are from Provence, France. I’ll be curious to see what the Portuguese have to offer.

  9. Craig Camp - June 26, 2008

    Rose was all Portugal was selling when I got into wine in the 70’s – Lancer’s and Mateus. We bought them for nice dates and kept the bottle to hold candles and incense. They were selling millions of cases in those days.
    What goes around comes around.

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