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Food pairing drives booming UK sales for Provence rosé

Published:  26 February, 2016

Sales of Provence rosé wines rose dramatically in the UK last year, up 37% by volume year on year and 11% by value, according to figures from regional marketing body, the Conseil Interprofessionnel des Vins de Provence.

French wine and spirits export volumes fell back 3.6% over the same period.

The popularity of Provence rosé, sales of which were previously limited to high-end retailers, has attracted the attention of the major UK multiples, driving down average prices.

Stephen Cronk, co-founder of award-winning rosé wine brand Mirabeau en Provence, attributes the wine's success to its food-pairing qualities.

"The popularity of Provence rosé is primarily all about food pairing. That's what's leading the trend.

"Provence rosé is the most flexible wine available: it can be drunk as an aperitif, or to accompany a barbecue, or with Asian food, or a huge range of other cooking styles."

Rosé has overtaken white wine to become the second most popular wine style in France, having some 29% market share last year against white wine's 17%, Cronk said.

Sales of Provence rosé are also growing rapidly in the United States, albeit from a lower base.

Exports to the US were up 58% by volume but 74% by value in 2015.

Jeany Cronk, co-founder of Mirabeau and a member of CIVP's export commission, said: "I am particularly proud that a lot of quality producers have enjoyed a very successful 2015 exporting to the UK. 

"What's even greater to hear is that the UK is not only falling in love with Provence rosé, but that the consumer is becoming more discerning in terms of quality. 

"Wine drinkers are choosing to spend slightly more for the best rosé wines from Provence."

At Mirabeau, which launched in 2013, sales of its Classic 2014 rocketed more than 50% last year, and its top-end cuvée Pure Mirabeau was sold out before the end of the summer. 

Waitrose is Mirabeau's principal retail partner in the UK, and now lists both the Mirabeau Classic and Pure Mirabeau, which carry rrps of £9.79 and £12.99 respectively.

Beaujolais and the Loire also experienced strong UK sales growth in 2015, with Beaujolais up14.4% in volume and 8.9% in value.

Mirabeau is distributed in the UK on-trade by Matthew Clark.