Wine trends 2009 | more sustainable, less expensive |

Wine trends 2009 | more sustainable, less expensive

Have a stash of wine corks laying around? Recycle them into fishing rod handles, bulletin boards, flooring, shoe soles and many other materials.

Every New Year offers new trends in the wine industry, and 2009 seems to be brimming with new directions. Some of the trends that should develop in the coming year will occur because of normal marketing trends that the industry follows and adjusts to because of the consumers likes and dislikes. This year the state of our economy will have a tremendous effect on the wine industrys marketing campaigns.The economy has already set forth our buying practices, there is a renewed interest in reasonably priced wines, and more of us are trying new varietals that retail for the $30-and-under price. This coming year we may find some of those higher priced wineries adjusting the prices of new vintages to appeal to the wine buyer in these tough economic times ahead. Dont expect those prized wines on retail shelves and on restaurant lists to go down very much, most of these wines are already in the store or restaurant, and wineries are not about to refund anything to these struggling businesses. In addition to the trends influenced by the economy, wine industry reports also indicate sustainable wine-making practices and distributing methods will rank high in the minds of consumers and wineries in 2009.

In the category of waste, those big, oversized, heavy bottles, used by many wineries to imply a superior wine, but in actuality was a marketing tool, are on the way out, with many of these wineries opting for lightweight bottles, which use fewer natural resources and energy to produce. This year will also show the grape growers and wine-makers continuing efforts to produce wines and grapes by using sustainable, and organic techniques. This trend is a win-win situation for our health and that of our planet.Global warming is of concern to all of us, and this year we should see more and more wineries cutting down their carbon footprints by using more solar energy to run their machinery, and by reducing the packaging materials in both bottle weight and shipping cartons. We, the consumer, should continue in recycling our bottles, and start recycling our corks. Recycled corks are used to produce other materials, like flooring, cork paneling, fishing rod handles, shoe soles, bulletin boards, soil conditioners, and home insulation. Two cork recyclers that will accept real corks sent to them are: Yemm andamp; Hart Ltd., 425 No. Chamber Dr., Fredricktown, MO., 63645. Just pop the corks in an envelope and send them off to another life. Locally, you can bring your corks to Whole Foods in Reno, where Re Cork America has set up a recycling barrel for corks that are sent to Amorim Cork America and re -manufactured. Remember, only natural corks are recyclable.

Another much sought after trend by wine drinkers, is less alcohol in wines. Most drinkers want to enjoy a balanced wine that does not burn the palate, and leave you with a headache in the morning, that offers nice flavors and low acidity. Overly manufactured wines are on the way out as well. Those are wines that are manipulated with additives such as wood chips, tannins, and other chemicals to produce non-interesting, easy drinking wines, with cute names and cute labels. Heres to 2009, where we can look forward to more finely crafted wines at reasonable prices, while protecting the environment.

Janice Jones is a Truckee resident and wine consultant. You may reach her at

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