As the holiday season approaches, wine may be on your list to enjoy when celebrating the festivities or to give as a gift. Some trends are emerging in the wine industry that may affect your wine-buying habits this year.
Organic and sustainable winemaking
More winemakers are committing to farming practices that preserve the farmland and keep chemicals out of our wine. Organic wine, made from organically grown grapes, also must not contain any added sulfites. According to The Daily Green, some of the best organic wines are Frog Leap’s stone fruit flavored Sauvignon Blanc at $18 a bottle, Ponzi Vineyards’ pear and fig Pinot Gris for around $17, Frey Vineyards’ Syrah filled with blackberry and plum favors at $12.75 a bottle, Coturri Winery’s ripe berry Zinfandel for $27 a bottle, and Bonterra Vineyards’ crisp white Viognier at $17.99 a bottle.
Buying local has increased in popularity purely because it makes sense. It is a conscious effort to support our local economy and it lessons carbon emissions as products are not transported over long distances. Localharvest.org is a good place to start to find local vineyards or visit your local Farmer’s Market where wineries often set up their own stand.
Cheaper, but not cheap wine
Robert Smiley, director of wine studies at the UC Davis graduate school of management, conducts an annual survey among wine industry insiders. He found that consumers are spending less money on eating out at finer restaurants and because of this, wine sales are increasing. But consumers are spending less on wine and shifting away from the high-end wines in the $50+ range. The economy has pushed the price of wine down and now many good wines are in the $10-$20 range. Most wine drinkers are finding comparable taste at this price range too. In a series of surveys conducted by The Nielsen Company, 28% of consumers initially reported finding good wine at low prices and then the number jumped to 41% by the end of the series. This is great for consumers and beneficial to winemakers already producing wine at the lower price points.
Many wines are now offered in half-bottle sizes. Demand for these smaller sized packages has increased as consumers value producing less waste. It also encourages less intake as the consumer doesn’t feel the need to finish the bottle.
Gina Dallaraon, “Out with the Old, In with the New: Wine Trends of 2009”, WineCountry.com
Kevin McCallum, “Will high-end wine sales rebound?”, The Press Democrat
Karen Berner, “6 Good Organic Wines for Under $25”, The Daily Green