Raising ros'e coloured glasses at barbecues is sending sales rocketing up
(Western Mail Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge) Sales of rose wine are still growing at an 'exceptional' rate, new research shows.
Shoppers spent pounds 350m on the drink over the past year - up 74% on 2005, according to market analyst Nielsen.
The volume of shop-bought rose wine sales increased by 72% over the same period, compared with red wine which fell by 2% and white, which was down 1%.
The growing popularity of rose is partly due to alcopop drinkers turning to the pink wine, Nielsen said.
The upturn means rose now accounts for 8% of wine bottles sold in UK shops - up from 3% in 2005.
But it still has a long way to go to pose serious competition for red and white wine, which make up 44% and 48% respectively of bottles sold in shops.
Tom Innes, 54, proprietor of Irma Fingal-Rock Wines in Monmouth, said he is 'a big fan of ros' and has sold increasing amounts in his shop.
He said, 'Over the past year or so my sales have doubled. I started off importing just one type of rose, but now I stock four.
'Most people used to drink rose that was slightly sweet and cheap. It's like anything, you get what you pay for.
'But people are beginning to realise that if you pay a little bit more you can get some really good wines.
'The great thing about rose is its versatility. A light rose can be very nice with fish, while a darker rose is as good as a red with steak.'
Mary Seed, co-proprietor of Worthenbury Vineyard, Worthenbury, near Wrexham, said that it is perfectly possible to produce rose wine in the UK.
'We produce a very light red, our pinot grigio, which could also be called a dark rose .
'We have seen a slight increase in sales and I think that is because people are getting used to light wines.
'Pinot isn't to everyone's taste. But, especially in the summer, people usually turn to lighter wines.
'I wouldn't say people are turning from alcopops, but then we don't sell directly to people who would normally buy alcopops.'
The US has the biggest share of the UK's rose wine market at 52%, while France is the leading European producer at 13%.
Sales are set to increase as the weather improves from this month onwards.
Nielsen wine expert Stewart Blunt said, 'At the first bank holidays of the year, drinkers will once again be reaching for a rose to mark the official start of the summer barbecue season.'
Ros wine is also becoming more popular in bars, pubs and restaurants. Sales rose by more than 50% over the past year, with pink wine now accounting for one in 20 bottles sold.
Nielsen's research is based on till sales recorded at 74,000 stores which included all the large supermarket chains plus co-ops, off-licence chains and other corner shops.
Gethin Owen, 31, general manager of the Newbridge restaurant, in Tredunnock near Usk, said, 'We sell three ross but I wouldn't say we've seen a huge increase in sales of rose. Though I have noticed at home my wife drinks more of it.
'Sales of white wines have increased and we have certainly seen higher sales of cider.
'We never really sold alcopops so I can't say people are switching. But with the summer coming I think rose sales will definitely increase.' A few roses to join the current trend: Llanerch Vineyard Cariad Rose, pounds 9.95
Available at: www.llanerch-vineyard.co.uk
An off dry Provencal style full bodied rose made from the Triomphe grape. Masses of soft fruit on the nose and palate - a definite hint of strawberries.
Agramont Garnacha Rose 2005 Navarra
Available at: Sainsburys
A very good wine for not much money, it has a focused, bright nose with a savoury spiciness.
Casillero Del Diablo Shiraz Rose 2006
Available at: Most supermarkets
Distinct plum notes, plenty of breathless berry fruit. The first taste really grips the palate, and a good glug of spice comes through.
Stoneleigh Pinot Noir Marlborough 2004
Available at: Oddbins
The nose has fragrant aromas of raspberry and strawberry fruit, with cherry and boysenberry notes. The palate shows more raspberry and cherry flavours.
Copyright 2007 . Western Mail & Echo Ltd