The New York Post has made a habit of simultaneously celebrating and mocking what seems to be an annual summertime shortage of rosé wine in the Hamptons. Last summer, as Labor Day neared, the Post reported the supply of rosé was running “dangerously low” in the posh playground of the rich. Recently, the Post breathlessly noted the likelihood of “another devastating rosé wine shortage” coming this fall, and perhaps as soon as this Labor Day weekend.
Suffice it to say that a shortage of rosé—recently described as “a symbol of all that is good about summertime” in a Vanity Fair story tracking the trendy wine’s rising popularity—is “devastating” only in an extremely ironic “air quotes” sort of way. Such a matter isn’t merely a first world problem, but a problem only for a niche corner of the first world’s 1%.
That’s if, in fact, there really have been shortages. When you look closely into the matter, the only “shortages” pertain to one or two specific brands of rosé (sometimes very small brands) rather than the wine category in general. And the shortage only seems to affect the Hamptons, not, say, Milwaukee or Cleveland. What’s more, it’s very convenient that the supply always seems to run low around Labor Day, the official end of the summer season in the Hamptons, after which demand for rosé falls off a cliff.
Many consumers think the word “shortage” means that an item will be impossible to buy, or be available in extremely limited quantities. In most cases, however, the shortage refers to a temporary decrease in supply, and the result isn’t the complete disappearance of an item from stores but a rise in prices—generally a small, short-lived rise at that. In other words, it’s not that big of a deal, and certainly not a reason to irrationally hoard groceries like shoppers do when the weather forecast calls for a blizzard.
In any event, rosé is hardly the only food and drink item that’s been affected by a headline-grabbing “shortage” that’s really not worth worrying about. Here are 7 more.