The younger section of the market is also driving wineries, marketers, and everyone else in the wine business to go more digital. There are smart-phone applications to find wine, rate wine, and journal your own wine drinking.
Packaging is another area where innovation continues to push the market. Wine is turning up on shelves, particularly value wine, in single servings, all shapes of paper and glass containers, and other new ways to supplant the 750ml bottle.
The other states continue to improve wine quality. It’s hard for Illinois, Michigan, and Indiana to get the world’s attention with its small production of wine. But the quality of the ‘other states’ wines continue to improve. Each year I visit quite a few Indiana wineries, and a few in surrounding states, the quality continues to show considerable improvement. It’s not just the top producers but some of the smaller state wineries have learned to focus on quality.
Wine travel is a great vacation and another industry that just grows and grow. I will be joining that trend in 2014 by leading a boutique-type experience in Oregon’s Willamette Valley in June. Whether it’s a trip you plan yourself or an organized wine adventure, the internet has really made it easy to plan a great wine vacation. Write me at the email address below if you’d like information on the Oregon trip I’m hosting or simply to add your name to my mailing list for future trips.
Happy New Year to all. Thank you for reading Grape Sense!
Howard W. Hewitt, Crawfordsville, In., writes about value wine every other week for 23 Midwestern newspapers. You can write Howard at: email@example.com