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French prefer rosé to red wine

Rosé wine has risen in popularity with the French as young people are beginning to move away from traditional red wines and towards a glass of chilled pink throughout the year.

The news comes as winemakers claim that younger consumers are switching to lighter, less alcoholic wines in France even during the colder winter months.

It comes at the same time that demand for punchy, alcoholic Bordeaux bottles continue to remain in high demand globally with red wine around 40% of annual international consumption.

But demand within the country of origin of these famous wines has halved domestically since the 1990s.

It follows the so-called ‘French paradox’ which saw claims made that red wine was good for your health, and the growth of Bordeaux wines, following the demand created from famous critics such as Robert Parker throughout the past three decades.

However, according to statistics from the Comite National des Interprofessions des Vins a Apellation D’Origine (CNIV), the average wine consumption is now 40 litres per person a year rather than 100 litres in 1975. Around 38m hectolitres of wine are produced in the country each year, with rosés now at 19%, behind

Winemaker Thomas Montagne said that the French were turning to rosé because it is “easier to drink, contain fewer tannins and feels more festive.”

A spokesman for regional winemakers told the Observer that Burgundy vineyards are now producing half as much red wine compared to two decades ago, while white wine production has increased.

They said: “I was surprised to discover it [rose] was being drunk in winter. The drop in the popularity of red wine is due to an erosion of clientele – with people drinking less overall – and because the occasions to do so are disappearing.

“The younger generations are eating less meat and shunning reds in favour of whites or roses.”

It comes as the former president Nicolas Sarkozy, despite his apparent refusal to swallow alcohol, is in the wine trade, co-producing a rose called Roseblood from Château d’Estoublon, the luxury Provencal estate, which was put up for sale in 2020 and is now co-owned by Bruni, Sarkozy, LOV Group founder Stéphane Courbit and the Prats family.

Further reading:

All the medal winners from the Global Rose Masters 2023

Top 10 rosés of 2023

Think Pink – Eight Barbiecore Rosés for Summer 2023

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