"Frivolous and fun." That's how one French wine aficionado described rosé (while swirling and sniffing a $40 glass of merlot, probably).
Well, sorry to offend your tastes, Mr. Fancy Wine Man, but rosé is here to stay. If drinking pink wine makes me frivolous and fun (I think that's the French way of calling someone basic), you can find me on some rooftop taking selfies with my glass, captioning the photos with a requisite #roséallday.
As written in Quartz, rosé sales have been climbing since 2014, and they show no signs of slowing down. Year over year, rosé has shown more growth than all spirits.
But, there's more to it. It's not only about the beverage. Drinking rosé is all about the experience — and sharing that experience so everyone knows how much fun you are having. And considering millennials are a generation known to value experiences over material possessions, it makes sense rosé is our drink of choice.
" ... [R]osé's appeal goes beyond pure aesthetics. The pink wine is deeply attached to a lifestyle, to travel magazines and Instagram," Khushbu Shah, Thrillist's senior food features editor, wrote in 2017. "Just as Natty Light conjures the smells of a stale and sweaty frat house, rosé brings up images of warm weather, luxurious sunny days, and unassailable wealth."
"Honestly, it’s not so much the drink itself," Jordyn Taylor told Refinery29 via Twitter, "as the fact that (at least to me) it represents fun and friendship." Another woman said rosé represents "Girl time! Hanging with your besties, sipping on something delicious and refreshing!"
That is also why there's a market for rosé themed events, like Pinknic, which is a two-day wine, music, and food festival on Governor's Island. Started in 2016 by Derek van Bakergem and Pierrick Bouquet, Pinknic is an off-shoot of La Nuit En Rosé, a yacht cruise around Manhattan dedicated to — you guessed it — rosé. "This festival has been selling out year after year," van Bakergem told Refinery29 about why they wanted to create an event that could not only include more people, but be even more of a cultural moment. "Pinknic is more about the experience of drinking rosé."
Van Bakergem said Pinknic's first year drew 8,000 people (all dressed in pink and white) over the course of two days; this year, they're expecting 16,000 people. "I think that rosé is a type of beverage that goes hand in hand with an outdoor summer environment," van Bakergem said of people's loyalty to the drink. "It’s a wine thats very easy to drink and it’s a young wine that’s very approachable and I think ultimately that’s why people feel comfortable drinking it. And once people started blasting it on [social media], the whole rosé all day culture became a thing."
And clearly, people are willing to pay for the perfect summer experience (and Instagram photo, of course). Regular tickets for the event start at $115; if you want a private cabana for the day and VIP pool access, get ready to shell out $5,000.
Although rosé has ruled the spring and summer season for at leas the past five years, is there a chance that another Instagram-friendly adult beverage will usurp it? (Blue wine tried to become a thing.) Not anytime soon, according to van Bakergem. "I think it’s here to stay," he said. "I definitely think for at least the next five years we’re into this category until someone comes up with a new idea or movement."
So until then, proudly pour yourself a glass of rosé and enjoy the feeling it gives you, be it the buzz from the alcohol or that intangible feeling of easy days and magical nights that are intrinsically linked with summertime.