In 2015, chatter around the alcoholic beverage category focused on the craft beer explosion. While that shows no sign of slowing, the Summer of 2016 has been dubbed “The Season of Rosé” in Metro New York. What many operators don’t realize is that wine, particularly rosé, has moved to the forefront in what people desire most when they order drinks out.
Vanity Fair’s Bob Paulinski reports that the Senior Vice President of Wine at BevMo said, “Rosé was a very prominent part of what was being promoted four or five years ago in Europe.” Three years ago BevMo sold just 12 to 15 rosés in their stores, now they offer around 45 to 50. Rosé wine is growing 10 times faster overall than table wine sales, according to cnbc.com.
So why is it catching on now?
Jack Cacciato, Managing Director of Long Island based Grapes & Greens, has over 30-years of unmatched expertise in wine imports and he believes the reason is simple.
“Sometimes it just takes time for the larger public to catch on to trends. French Rosé is really in vogue right now. Rosé’s strong aesthetic appeal – from unique shaped bottles to elegant pink hues – have helped this trend gain momentum. It’s a perfect summer beverage. It’s lighter, which means it pairs great with salads and fresh fish.”
Even men, who traditionally have turned up their noses at “pink wine” now regularly order rosé because of its depth of complexity and lively acidity.
When you heard the word “Rosé” in the past what came to mind was a sweet, light-colored wine. Remember white zinfandel? Rosé today is a much more refined flavor. With fragrances of rose petals and crisp acidity it is a refreshing and stylish choice.
“People are traveling more than ever before, visiting the south of France, and acquiring a palate for these wines,” Cacciato noted. “There are many different profiles, different tastes, but if you go into any hip or trendy restaurant in Manhattan or the Hamptons you’ll find rosé at the top of the wine list.”
Grapes & Greens’ goal is to bring a fine wine selection from around the world to New York Metro area restaurants and fine wine shops. Cacciato works with a team of 14 wine professionals to get the right wines into the right hands. Its featured rosés Château de Brigue and Maison du Chasseur are gaining popularity, especially in Montauk and the Hamptons – two New York summer hot spots.
For the more sophisticated clientelé, Rosés that tend to be pale pink or a light salmon color are favored. Those colors are typically derived from a few different sources. “The pale pink color is a result of the bleeding-off method called Soignée which means to bleed or get the color out of the grape. That’s very typical of French Rosés, but rosés originating from California are usually darker. Their dark pink color is derived from longer skin contact. These darker Californian rosés are for a customer looking for sweeter versions,” said Cacciato when describing the
current rosé market.
Grapes & Greens is a division of J.Kings Foodservice, a Holtsville, Long Island based distributor. “John King, Chief Customer Officer at J.Kings is known as one of the most visionary minds in our industry,” Cacciato explained. “So it was only natural that he saw an opportunity to build an industry-leading wine distribution arm that would facilitate the ability to pair exquisite wines with exquisite food.”
J. Kings recruited Cacciato, who had previously built a highly successful wine-importing firm to lead and build its Grapes & Greens venture.
“We have a team of wine industry professionals that understand our customer’s challenges and work with them to build successful wine programs. Many of the wineries we represent value J.Kings’ experience in food distribution as a big advantage in building our wine business,” Cacciato said.
He noted that Grapes & Greens takes special care of its customers. “Once products are sold to our customers, we follow up with monthly staff training and marketing meetings to ensure their success in selling.
“Customers want good wine choices, good service and valued supply partners. Our selection of world class wines and great values are winning over new customers. When their business grows, our business grows.”
“At Grapes & Greens, we don’t just move boxes, we go above and beyond to make sure our customers and suppliers are set up for success,” the veteran wine executive concluded.