A friend asked me recently where he could buy the slightly sweet, slightly sparkling, rose wines from Portugal with the best known being Mateus and Lancers. I told him they are still sold in the USA and to ask his wine shop to find it for him or check with Total Wine.
Many will remember the pink bubbly from Portugal that launched a whole generation of wine drinkers in the USA in post World War II America. Sales reached their peak in the 1960s-1970s when you could buy the stuff practically anywhere. Their distinct bottles became the candle holders on the tables of blue collar as well as white collar workers and for a time these opposite ends of the cultural spectrum shared a common love, pink wine.
The fad faded but the wine still remains in the market. For many it is an alternative to White Zinfandel which is actually pink. And it continues to hold its small band of followers who prefer its fresh, crispy, slightly sweet bubbly nature, especially during hot weather.
I have written before that the largest single market for wine in the USA is the generic “white wine” served in bars to ladies. For some time this was chablis which was replaced by white chardonnay which about 10 years ago was replaced by pinot grigio usually from Italy. The new twist in this market is the entry of “vinho verde” from Portugal which is a light, slightly sparkling, crisp wine that chills well. It would appear that the largest sector of the wine market, that sold to ladies in bars, is moving back to a light, fresh, crisp, bubbly wine from Portugal.
Who says fads do not repeat themsevles?