Drinking

No Way, Rosé: Seasonal Pink Wines May Come with Sticker Shock

Rosé season is upon us.
Rosé season is upon us. Lauren Drewes Daniels
Two years of pandemic-related supply shortages should ease a little this year as we approach the start of 2022’s rosé season. That's the good news. The bad news? Expect to pay more for your favorite pink wine.

“Looks like new vintage is about two months away — and the prices will be up because of shipping,” says Jimmy’s Food Store wine impresario Paul DiCarlo.

He’s talking about his Italian wines, including the much-beloved glass-corked Scaia rosé (about $12), but that overview should hold true for wine not only from Europe but from the U.S. too. The new rosés will start to trickle in over the next couple of weeks before reaching a crescendo at the end of May, but talk to local retailers, importers and producers, and there’s a sense that even as the supply chain starts to become less congested, it won’t become less congested enough to keep prices down.

“It’s still definitely not normal,” says winemaker Charles Bieler, whose vineyard Beiler Wines, in Washington has rosés Charles and Charles (about $12, available at Total Wine, Spec’s) and the French Bieler et Fils Sabine (about $12, available at Total Wine, Central Market, Sigel’s). “We feel very fortunate that we are ultimately able to get what we planned for, as many aren’t. Shipping remains difficult, slow and expensive.”

In France, Bieler says, spring frosts last year reduced crop size, and almost everyone — regardless of where they are in the world — is having difficulty getting glass for bottles and cardboard for boxes. And it’s just not consumers dealing with these obstacles: my samples of Bieler’s wines have been held up by what a winery spokeswoman called “international shipping issues.”

Bradley Anderson, the co-owner of Veritas Wine Bar, isn’t as pessimistic about availability; he thinks importers and retailers will look for pink wine from elsewhere in the world to make up for any shortages from traditional regions like France and Spain. Though, as always, he says, most of us will be looking for French rosé, which pretty much defines the market. Anderson also sees prices as “steady,” as retailers look for ways to contain increases.

So what should wine drinkers do? The new vintage is 2021, but there are still lots of 2020 rosés on store shelves. One fine choice is the Jolie Folle Rosé (about $15 for a 1-liter bottle, available at Pogo’s), a French wine that offers value and quality – some berry fruity and a little stony.

Also, look for old dependables like France’s Campuget Tradition (about $11, available at Central Market) and La Vielle Ferme (about $8), a supermarket staple. The former is classic French rosé, berryish and dry, and the latter is almost as well made. These wines have been mostly available through the pandemic.

Lastly, find pink wine from regions other than France, like the Santa Julia Innovacion (about $12 for a 1-liter bottle, available at Whole Foods). It’s a little fruitier than a French rosé (strawberries?) but still clean and dry.
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Jeff Siegel, the Wine Curmudgeon, is a Dallas wine writer and critic who specializes in inexpensive wine that most of us drink. He is the author of The Wine Curmudgeon's Guide to Cheap Wine (Vintage Noir Media) and oversees the award-winning Wine Curmudgeon website. He has taught classes on wine, spirits and beer at El Centro College and Cordon Bleu.
Contact: Jeff Siegel