How did 2010 stack up in terms of wine? Despite the economic recession, winemakers, wineries and wine bars came up with more than a few innovations -- making sure we keep our consumption up and our interest high. Here, our picks for notable wine trends.
1. Improvement in the quality of box wines
It used to be that boxed wines were just that -- boxed wines. End of story. Now, however, we are seeing wineries that formerly bottled only in glass switching to Tetra Pak. One such example is Big House Red and Big House White
, both from California. [See our post "Boxed Wines for the Holidays
Packaging in a box is also an eco-friendly move for many reasons, including that the wine lasts up to 3-4 weeks (as opposed to 3-4 days in the bottle) and it costs less to ship paper than it does glass (bringing the cost savings to you). Some steller examples of vino-in-a-box include Black Box Wines
gave the Chardonnay 87 points) and Bota Box
Old Vine Zinfandel earned 95 points and a gold medal at this year's California State Fair.
2. Innovative bottle enclosures
R. Stuart & Co.
, a winery in Oregon, is one of the few wineries that has gone crystal. What, you say? Basically, no cork and no synthetic cork either. Instead, a crystal stopper, much like the ones used for cooking oils, is snug inside the bottle. Classy.
3. Upmarketing from some wine labels
Now before you flash back into your college years where you probably drank a lot of Yellow Tail
, Alice White
(in a jug), hear us out. The famed budget label from the Casella family in Australia (we're talking about Yellow Tail
) unveiled a reserve line this year. It costs a few bucks more but it's worth it. We tried the Shiraz and liked it. Due to increasing economic concerns on behalf of consumers -- coupled with more and more sophisticated palates -- it is very likely that we will see more budget wineries going upper-end with a few of their wines.