While some would applaud this as “progress advancement away from traditionalism”, others (myself included) call it for what it is: A blatant grab for the “youth market.” The remarkably insightful assumption being that since young people drink cola, if we add cola to Wine, we’ll get a chunk of the youth market.
Not to rain on this haute gamme advertising concept, but it should be noted that the “youth market” also drinks beer, vodka, and most everything else that isn’t wine.
Bottom Line: not a slam-dunk. Will they entice some un-winers into the fold. Undoubtedly. But lets hope that French Wine Cola is not some foreigner’s first taste of World renowed “French Wine.” N’est ce pas?
Alors, enough of my probing analysis! On to the nuts n’ bolts of this “shotgun marriage”(or perhaps the cola bride is willing? ) – from our (we hope) REAL wine drinking pals at timeslive.co:
“While French producers still balk at the unorthodox mixes practiced by some of their foreign counterparts — who mix red and white wine and dare to call the result rosé — a few of their countrymen have concocted phenomenally successful products by employing similar methods, creating an entirely new product range.
According to the latest estimates, 30 million bottles of flavored wine will be sold in France over the course of 2013, double the figure seen in 2012.
Rosé, with a grapefruit twist
This citrusy beverage is the star of the new market in France for flavored wine-based beverages: rosé wine is combined with water, sugar and grapefruit flavoring. Today, grapefruit rosés account for 75% of sales in the sector. Even the jury of the Concours Agricole de Paris, a prestigious French competition for agricultural products, showed its approval, awarding a silver medal to the grapefruit rosé produced by Maison Bigallet.
A wine dealer working with growers in the Bordeaux region, Haussmann Famille set the wine world abuzz with its “rouge cola”: red wine accented by the taste of the famous soft drink. This new product completes the range launched by the company last April under the name of “Sucette” (French for “Lollipop”).
“The result is surprising,” affirms Pauline Lacombe, Haussmann Famille’s marketing director. She adds that the beverage “should be served ice-cold,” and that “the balance between the bitterness of the wine and the sweetness of the cola is perfect.”
The possibilities in the realm of flavored wines are limited only by the imagination of producers, who work hand in hand with flavor laboratories. Haussmann Famille’s first strides in the sector included Rosé Sucette Fruits de la Passion, a rosé wine with passion fruit flavoring. A white version of the passion fruit Sucette soon followed, as rosé wines are not the only ones that lend themselves to flavoring.
“Technically, all colors are likely to be associated with a flavor. One can come up with as many flavors as there are different yogurts,” remarks Olivier Poels, co-author of the reference guide “Les meilleurs vins de France.”
Winning over new wine consumers
Is grapefruit rosé the first chapter in a long-term success story? According to Olivier Poels, it is still too early to tell. The French have shown their discernment in recent years by drinking less wine but selecting better quality products. But they have also shown openness to wines produced by somewhat unorthodox methods. In fact, fans of flavored wines have little to nothing in common with the usual wine enthusiasts.
Producers of this new breed of wine-based beverages are clearly targeting women and young adults, and a focus on refined and colorful packaging makes all the difference.
“Flavored wine gives newcomers an introduction to wine. For younger consumers, these beverages help to make the transition between soft drinks and more mature beverage choices. Our Rosé Sucette Fruits de la Passion, for example, has an alcohol content of just 9% by volume,” explains Pauline Lacombe, of Haussmann Famille.
Read more HERE.