Our insatiable love for pink wine created a booming market that helped lay the groundwork for fraud.
Lovers of French wine are suddenly seeing red. Earlier this year, they feared they wouldn’t have enough of their beloved rosé to get them through the summer, because Americans are buying it all. Now it seems much of the vaunted French pink they’ve been consuming the past two years has in fact been cheap Spanish rosado.
France’s consumer fraud authority confirmed July 9 that over the past two years, unscrupulous wine merchants have passed off as many as 70,000 hectoliters — the equivalent of 10 million bottles — of cheap Spanish wine as more-expensive French rosé. That’s shocking news in a country where protesters have been known to stop tanker trucks with imported wines and empty their contents on the road near the border.
That giant sucking sound over the past few years was U.S. consumers discovering they love rosé and buying and drinking as much as they could. Demand soared, and the rosé market boomed, with many more labels appearing on U.S. shelves, and earlier in the year than ever before as brands competed for shelf space. Prices rose, and shippers tried to send as much as they could to take advantage
This kind of story plays well in the media, because it reinforces two popular stereotypes: Those crafty French, and the snooty wine snobs who can’t tell the difference between plonk and the good stuff. Snickering aside, it also highlights basic economics and current trends in the production and marketing of wine [ . . . ]
Continue reading at THE WASHINGTON POST: How could 10 million bottles of cheap Spanish rosé be passed off as French? Blame America. – The Washington Post