You've taken your hybrid car out to run some errands. You've stocked up on organic produce and nontoxic cleaning supplies at the supermarket. You've dropped off the recycling. One more stop to make, the wine shop.

Why should wine be any different?

Green has not yet replaced red or white or even pink as the most important color in deciding which wines to buy, but people have started to think about it. Words like organic, biodynamic, natural and sustainable are increasingly resonating with consumers because they are beginning to associate them with great wine.

That's largely because the growing number of producers who practice some form of natural grape growing and winemaking do so not just because they see it as environmentally responsible but because they believe these methods make better wine.

Wine distributors, the essential marketing arm between producers and consumers, are beginning to highlight winemakers who follow environmentally conscious methods. Restaurants are starting to single out these wines on their lists or even devote their lists to them, while wine shops now often call attention to wines made in this fashion. *