New Wine Trends at VINEXPO

Chicago show to premiere new wines and packaging trends. Compiled by staff

Published on: Jun 11, 2004

More than 6,000 products, Including a New French Import from Gallo, will be showcased in Chicago June 20-22 at VINEXPO AMERICAS.

Some 440 wine and spirits producers and companies hailing from 22 countries around the world will uncork 30,000 wine bottles during the three-day trade show. The show attracts between 8,000 and 10,000 North American industry professionals including importers, wholesalers, sommeliers, retailers and professionals from hotels, restaurants, bars, specialty wine and duty-free stores.

According to a recent VINEXPO survey conducted by IWSR/GDR, the U.S. had the world's highest wine sales in 2002, reaching $16 billion and expected to reach $18 billion in 2007. Thirty-one U.S. wine and spirits companies will exhibit at VINEXPO AMERICAS, fourth in the number of exhibitors after France, Spain and Portugal. Thirteen U.S. regions will be represented including, California, Oregon, Washington and New York, among others.

One of the most anticipated new products to be revealed at the show is Red Bicyclette, an imported French wine that Ernest & Julio Gallo will launch in the U.S. this fall. Red Bicyclette will be poured at the Gallo booth. Variations of popular wines for more health-conscious and earth-conscious Americans will also be on display at the show:

* Low-Alcohol Wines - Historically "diet wines" haven't been successful, but recent trends suggest they are about to take off in an ever- growing health-conscious society. Low-alcohol/diet products will be found at Portuguese booths, including the traditionally light Vinhos Verdes made by the Comissao de Viticultura da Regiao dos Vinhos Verdes. Other diet wines come from Israel (Tishbi Estate Winery), France (Plaimont Producteurs), Germany (Mo-Rhe-Na GMBH), Austria (Hafner Austrian Wine Specialties) and America (Great Wines International)

* Organic Wines - Studies show many consumers are growing increasingly interested in organically made wines that reflect their interest in an all-natural diet. About 20 exhibitors will showcase organic wines at their booths. A few to look for are: African Terroir (Switzerland), Alliance Loire (France), Bardinet (France), Domaine Carneros - by Taittinger (USA), Cellar Door Selections LLC (USA), Bodegas Luis Gurpegui Muga (Spain), Maison Hebrard (France), Valckenberg (Germany)

Other new and innovative products that not only respond to modern drinking trends but also incorporate new packaging developments will be exclusively displayed at the show as well:

* Wavy Bottles - French producer Jeanjean (from Languedoc Roussillon) has created six innovative bottles whose strange winding shapes are reminiscent of twisted vine stocks. The bottles feature elegant labels that reflect the style of the bottle. The assortment consists of six varietals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Syrah, Syrah Rose and Sauvignon Blanc.

* Cone-shaped Bottles - Chilean company Vina de Larose SA uses these flattened cone bottles with brightly colored labels for its varietal wines El Toqui Semillon, El Toqui Chardonnay, El Toqui Merlot and El Toqui Cabernet Sauvignon.

* Wine Labels - Labels from the Colmar wine-growing estate in Alsace, France, where famous sculptor Frederic Bartholdi was born, pay tribute to him and his work. Two products that bear these labels and will be on display are the Cuvee Liberty Tokay Pinot Gris with New York's Statue of Liberty, and the Bartholdi Collection Cremant D'Alsace.

* Screw Caps - More exhibitors than ever will showcase screw caps, including Bordeaux wine Duo@ by Chateau Suau (at the Bordeaux 5 Cotes booth). Screw caps have recently been adopted by a large number of wine companies and may be the future of wine packaging due to advantages, including: -- Better preservation of the wine, both before and after opening -- Taste is not in danger of being impaired by a bad cork -- Easier to transport and open bottles on the go.