Americans love flavor. And in a world where wine is struggling to attract and retain drinkers, one brand seems to have figured out the flavor hack: Stella Rosa. In 2023, Stella Rosa Pineapple & Chili was the best-selling new wine SKU of the year, capitalizing on the consumer desire for big and bold flavors. And while it’s easy to turn your nose up and declare that it’s “not real wine,” perhaps SKUs like Pineapple & Chili are exactly what the wine world needs right now.

The vast majority of the wine industry has been reluctant to embrace the changes in consumer markets, despite the fact that a meaningful segment of drinkers are drawn to these types of products. Consumers desire recognizable flavors, and with descriptors like “Pineapple and Chili,” it’s much easier to know what to expect from that bottle flavor-wise than vague descriptors like “just slightly under-ripe winter pear” or “day-past ripe melon.”

Plus, as unfortunate as it is, the wine industry is not in a place where it can shun certain brands and their fans for being “non-serious consumers.” Not every producer necessarily needs to have a flavored wine in its portfolio, but these wines serve as a crucial on-ramp for a multitude of drinkers and can potentially lead to them drinking “more serious” wines in the future.

Today on the “VinePair Podcast,” Joanna and Zach discuss the conflict between the American drinking public’s desire for bold, recognizable flavors, and the resistance of the wine industry to meet that demand, in light of the impressive success of Stella Rosa’s new line of spicy wines. Then, the two hosts try some Stella Rosa Pineapple & Chili for themselves. Tune in for more.

Zach is reading: The Real-Life Beer Brewed For On-Screen Enjoyment in ‘The Lord of the Rings’
Joanna is reading: The Top New Wine of 2023 Was… Stella Rosa’s Pineapple & Chili?

Listen Online

Listen on Apple Podcasts

Listen on Spotify