Race hots up to launch first Pink Prosecco

November used to be the month when the wine trade braced itself for the clamour to get Beaujolais Nouveau on the shelves.

But this year it’s another new wine that is getting producers, importers and retailers in a lather as they race to get stocks on to the market.

Prosecco rosé was given the all clear for production by the Italian’s sparkling wine region’s ruling body in May and there’s already a deluge of products raining down on the UK off-trade.

The new rules state that wines must be made with a minimum of 85% Glera grapes, with between 10% and 15% Pinot Nero allowed to add the pink colour.

The style sits perfectly with two of the most popular drinks trends of the past few years, pink drinks and affordable fizz, so there’s a lot at stake for all in the supply chain to be ready for the pre-Christmas sales period.

Aldi claimed that it would be the first retailer to release its own pink Prosecco when it arrives on November 2, with a full bottle price of £6.49 and 25cl bottles selling for £2.29.

Julie Ashford, managing director of buying at Aldi UK, said: “Prosecco is one of our best sellers and shoppers can’t seem to get enough of pink wines so far this year, so a Prosecco that’s pink is sure to get the nation popping bottles.”

Within six minutes of Aldi’s announcement, Sainsbury’s had put out its own heralding the arrival of its Taste the Difference Prosecco DOC Rosé Brut, also in November, retailing at £10. It will also be listing Valdo Prosecco Rosé.

Sainsbury’s said it expected the Taste the Difference wine quickly to account for 20% of all its Prosecco sales.

Technical manager and winemaker Lisa Rogerson said: "We are thrilled to be launching rosé Prosecco ahead of the festive period and are confident that this launch will really sparkle.

“The nation’s love of all things rosé has continued to soar this year, and coupled with the continuing popularity of Prosecco, this brand new wine is set to take UK shoppers by storm."

Producers and importers have also been revealing plans for their own launches this week.

Gancia is releasing its Prosecco Rosé in the UK through distributor Paragon Brands, and family-owned Bottega has also entered the fray.

British-owned Prosecco brand The Emissary doesn’t expect to have its Prosecco DOC Rosé Treviso Millesimato 2020 available until January.

The Emissary founder Ed Smith said: “The new industry regulations present a milestone for the Prosecco category and I am honoured to be a Brit at the forefront of this innovation.

“The UK is the world’s biggest Prosecco export market and we’re continuing to see increased demand.

“It is now just as ingrained in British culture as it is in Italy, so I’ve loved developing a brand that resonates with Brits while maintaining the Italian heritage and passion that makes Prosecco so unique.”

Villa Sandi’s rosé Prosecco is is also on its way to the UK and the Adam Handling restaurant group is making it part of a £65 pink-themed afternoon tea (picutred) from November 21 until the end of the year.

The clutch of new releases this week follows earlier confirmation of forthcoming releases from Slim Wines, La Gioiosa via its distributor North South Wines, and Freixenet Copestick’s I Heart brand.