And the « instagrammy » award of the wine world goes to…rosé wine. As this category continues its rocketing popularity, analysts try to keep apace to understand its appeal compared to times past when rosé wines garnered little market share and even less respect from wine critics, aside from the occasional nod to Tavel. Today rosés are portrayed as « rupture wines » attracting young consumers who want to drink differently from their parents. Much of the recent growth has indeed been driven by the brave new world of the so-called millennials who swim collectively with the lifestyle tide. A taste for aspirational and shared experience has boosted the amazing climb of rosé wines to a place in the social media sun, with the hotspot being Instagram. Even many wine writers and critics today seem to prefer the instantaneity of the photo-sharing site to in-depth articles in order to pass as hashtag hipsters and make a mark on this millennial generation. A recent masterclass devoted to rosé wine earlier this month at the now annual wine fair Vinisud in Montepellier highlighted the impact of Instagram not only for this wine category in general, but also the advantage on social media held by the French version thanks to the ubiquity of the tag rosé as opposed to pink or rosado wine.
Drinking rosé as a fashionable and hip lifestyle gesture can probably be traced to the success of the Domaines Ott rosés in the 1970s as the symbol of French Riviera chic, with Princess Grace of Monaco serving as unofficial spokeswoman for the brand. In the 1990s an Ott rosé became the preferred party drink during the Cannes Film Festival. Film continues to cling to rosé bottles as a banner of glamour, particularly in the U.S. market as evidenced by the success of Miraval, owned by the soon-to-be-divorced couple known as Brangelina, as well as the Coppola-produced Sofia wine, which has become the top-selling domestic rosé over $12 in that market.
Some observers even attribute a role to Instagram in transforming rosé, once upon a more sexist time dismissed as a libation for ladies, into a drink of choice for the male population. The American media have even slurped up the neologism « brosé » to designate a style of rosé appealing to the market segment of « bros, » an abbreviation of brothers now referring to urban metrosexuals and their partying lifestyle. The term even echos the first name of the film star who has been the driving force behind the breakout performance of the Miraval rosés and a player in the gender transcendance of the category, Brad Pitt.