April 18, 2007

rosé on ice, anyone?


Stormhoek has a new wine out. From wine.co.za:

South African brand Stormhoek this week announced the imminent release of a concept wine in the UK named Couture – a Rosé made by Stormhoek winemaker Graham Knox, in a style intended to be consumed with ice.

[...] Knox credits his wife Dianne for the idea: “I’ve watched my wife drink Rosé for years and the one thing she’s always complained about, was that it tasted watered down when she put ice in it, so I made Couture especially for her!”

“The ongoing popularity of Rosé, the success of Magners Cider ‘over ice’ and a survey we conducted in South Africa, gave us the idea to take Graham’s ‘secret’ and develop it,” says Jason Korman, CEO of Stormhoek Vineyards. “You can serve it many different ways, on ice and even as a mixer - we see it as part of a trend where Rosé can be consumed like a cocktail, making it an even more sophisticated drink.”

What's interesting to me is, this is the first wine that I am aware of that has been specifically made to taste better with ice. That's the secret sauce. That, and the fact that Graham Knox, our head winemaker likes to tinker around.

Ice? In wine??!! The purists will all be having heart attacks, of course. Whatever. We just wanted to do something fun and sexy. Conventional wine brands are generally neither. So we had to ditch convention.

[UPDATE:] Stormhoek Couture will debut in a major UK retailer at the end of June.

[Cross-posted on to the Stormhoek blog etc.]

Posted by hugh macleod at April 18, 2007 11:09 AM | TrackBack

i once asked for ice with a Rosé at a restaurant and never have since. The annoyance of 3 people explaining to me the error of my choice was something truly special. but clearly i can come back out of the ice closet.

Posted by: sue at April 18, 2007 1:08 PM

When we lived in India it was par for the course to add an ice cube to glasses of white wine. In 40+ heat it's real hard to keep a drink cool once it's out of the bottle and ice bucket! Also, though many will deny it, sneaking an ice cube is a regular thing in the hotter parts of Australia, especially when out enjoying some seafood away from air-con and refridgeration.

BTW, a rose made to be drunk with Ice is a stonkingly good idea!!!

Posted by: fernando at April 18, 2007 1:44 PM

Peppermint burgundy anyone...?

Posted by: sb at April 18, 2007 1:53 PM

Would that more brands wanted to do something fun and sexy. Nice label too!

Posted by: B.L. Ochman at April 18, 2007 2:01 PM

Um, Riunite back in the 70s said to serve it with ice; it was their slogan, too (which is pretty close to the Couture tag):

"Riunite on ice, so nice!"

Many low-end wines in the US have followed suit. A lot of great vintage wines in casks have struggled with breaking the "box wine" mentality; this wine would face similar struggles in a lot of people.

Love the look, BTW.

Posted by: Brandon at April 18, 2007 2:30 PM

Good to know, Brandon.

But I wonder if the Reunite wine was specially made for ice [like Couture was], or was their ice schtick just a marketing add-on?

Maybe 30 years ago was too early for this idea... Hopefully this time round will fare better. Thanks for the kind words.

Posted by: hugh macleod at April 18, 2007 2:36 PM

That's very interesting, although in Spain we are used to the idea of ice on wine. Ice is an essential ingredient in "summer red", what we drink May to September: cheap red wine (but not too cheap) and lemonade (preferably of the transparent, not the yellow, variety). It's not just because it's colder with ice: very cold summer red doesn't taste or feel right. It just needs ice on it.

I have made summer red with good wine. Delicious. I wonder if this rosé is anything like good quality summer red. Mmmmmmm.....

Posted by: Nia at April 18, 2007 2:38 PM

In the Netherlands we see white wine coming back inspite of rosé. I have no real explanation. Maybe just as in politics we tend to go to the extremes.

I don't like the aspirational positioning of this rosé. Don't focus to much on that. Search for the intrinsic story(the ice is a good starter)

I like the kind of "blue ocean strategy" label. Stands out. Cuts through assumptions about wine in general.

Posted by: Raimo van der Klein at April 18, 2007 2:50 PM

Hey, I could not care less about the ice issue. What I care about is, the label is beautiful, the name promises myths and delight and I am sure the wine is a knock-out.

Posted by: Karin at April 18, 2007 2:51 PM

That is a very smart move. And a terrific label. Idea embodied in
product rather than tacked on like Magniers. And feeding off the ideavirus that is the cider fashion.

Moreover, as others have suggested, in many countries the adding of ice or the chilling of red wine is not completely outlandish so there is an existing pedigree of smartness there as well.

One question - what if you drink it without ice - is it stronger than mainstream rose?

Posted by: John Dodds at April 18, 2007 3:10 PM

"Chill it and kill it!"

Free tagline from me to you sir.

Posted by: Joe Raasch at April 18, 2007 3:18 PM

I can't wait to get hold of a bottle.

good luck


Posted by: Asi at April 18, 2007 3:32 PM

Great looking. Well done

Posted by: Andrew at April 18, 2007 3:54 PM

My wife and I always drink red wine over ice...full-bodied australian reds take the ice quite nicely...along with stormhoek pinotage...I know there are winemakers rolling over in their graves, but we like it...read our review of the review of the pinotage (over ice) here...
3 things I love about the shore... ...

Posted by: Jim at April 18, 2007 4:54 PM


Just went back, and I was misremembering Riunite a bit--because I was young, not because I over-imbibed in it. :) "Riunite on ice" was about serving their wines well-chilled. Here's some vintage ads:


I think it was actually Boone's Farm (another low-end wine made with pears) that recommended serving chilled or over ice.

At any rate, I hope it does well--even with the snobs! Nothing would be better on a Hotlanta summer day...

Posted by: Brandon at April 18, 2007 5:55 PM

What a nice husband, that Graham! T

he packaging is brilliant. Note how the glasses almost look like stilleto heels ... you need to stock Miami Beach shelves with this stuff!

I was turned off by rose until I tried some in Navarra, Spain last year. If it's good rose, it's great to enjoy on a hot sultry evening, which is pretty much every night here in Miami.

Posted by: Manola Marketblanik at April 18, 2007 6:05 PM

Was saying just the same thing myself. A Truman show moment.


Posted by: Thomas Otter at April 18, 2007 8:09 PM

I just love, love that label on the bottle. Ice in wine, never tried before, but we all need to try something at different least once. Who knows, I might even like it.

Posted by: Maddison at April 19, 2007 4:23 AM

Those graphics really pop. Love, love, love the look.

Posted by: Kimber at April 19, 2007 1:29 PM

There's always perhaps using the phrase "on the rocks" instead of "on ice", though I guess it would be for debate to see how that wording works with your target audience. As a female and a bartender who likes her rose & white cold...I like the idea of maybe putting "rocks" in there with the graphic & "Couture"...Maybe something like "Tastes best on the rocks" or "Delicious on the Rocks"?...Needless to say I'll be keeping an eye out for this bottle :)

Posted by: Eileen at April 20, 2007 2:28 PM

Mmm. Is there such a thing as 'LEGO' brand creation? Take a pale imitation of Paul Smith branding as your label, swop rose wine for cider to mimic magners success and call it something vapidly aspirational 'couture' rather than 'emporio blah' and do you have anything other than an extremely shallow attempt to boost your rose wine sales? Deserves to bomb, but will probably sell well amongst the herd.

Posted by: DrSnowboard at April 20, 2007 10:01 PM

how about the label reading: "try it over ice" - a softer, more suggestive, permission giving but less pushy tag that gets the point across.

Posted by: nick mcelwee at April 22, 2007 2:53 AM

Tagline: what about 'Drape it over ice' or 'Looks best on ice' to support the 'couture theme.

Posted by: Mona at April 23, 2007 8:00 AM