Stella Rosa, an Italian-produced brand of semisweet, semi-sparkling wines which boasts it is the leading imported wine in the country, is dialing up the Scoville scale with its latest release: The Spicy Series.
The brand initially dipped its toes into the spicy waters with the release of Pineapple & Chili earlier in the year, which it claims is the fastest-selling flavored wine to enter the market in 2023. Now Stella Rosa is expanding its spice-tinged flavored wine proposition with the release of two new flavors: Lime & Chili and Mango & Chili.
Each entry in the product line is created by blending Moscato D'Asti grapes and tropical flavors with Italian chili peppers to create a 5% ABV flavored wine balancing sweet and spicy flavors. Packaging design includes a sweet to spicy meter for each of the three wines.
“Our consumers are looking for a wine that is flavorful but also lower in alcohol content,” Stella Rosa Wines President Steve Riboli explained in a statement. "Maybe you're looking for a Taco Tuesday drink but don't necessarily want to break out the Tequila. That's what the Stella Rosa Spicy Series is bringing to the table: an easy and refreshing glass of wine that offers the spice and fizz consumers crave."
The company cited Nielsen data showing the sweet wine category had grown into a billion-dollar industry, and Mintel consumer data finding two in three Americans are interested in sweet and spicy flavors. The catchy “swicy” portmanteau has caught on as a trendy topic on TikTok and other social channels, fueling media coverage and perceptions of a growing trend.
The products also seems designed to counteract other trends which have proved challenging for the wine industry: consumers’ rising preference for ready-to-drink cocktails and lower alcohol options. Riboli’s statement hints at the strategy, with the suggestion that The Spicy Series can appeal to consumers open to taco night alternatives to tacos’ traditional pairing of margaritas. That also hints at another brand strategy and area where Stella Rosa has seen considerable success: bringing in new wine drinkers. According to the brand, more than one in four (27%) of new Stella Rosa drinkers are new to the wine category altogether.