A recent conversation with the Colorado Wine Board has me breathing easy. Despite the economy, our state wines are selling well, says Doug Caskey, executive director of the board.

Last summer, even with weighty gas prices, more people headed to the tasting rooms in Paonia and Palisade. And across the state, holiday wine sales were up, in some cases 15 to 20 percent, over last year. Even wholesalers, who have seen a general drop in wine sales, report strong purchases of Colorado wine.

Caskey’s not sure whether to attribute the healthy industry to an increased interest in local culinary products (a sentiment furthered by the sloping economy) or a shift in tastes. Either way, this may be one more indication that Colorado’s economy is headed for an upswing.