Wine cans may become the next hip thing
A couple of weeks ago, we decided to check out Total Wine, despite my resolve to stay away from yet another big wine store. I went there mainly to escape the heat that would wither us into immobility in under a minute. (It was reported that wine grapes did shrivel to raisins in Napa. How will that affect the price of wine?)
As I wandered the aisles incuriously looking at the wine selection, I was drawn to a small section with a cluster of wine cans. The picture shows the extent of selection. But that’s not the story. That they were there at all, in one of the newest stores in the neighborhood, and from more than one winery was the story.
Wine out of a can.
Always conservative, I bought a single can of the Tangent rosé wine. On the hot day, the chilled rosé felt good going down. It tasted the same as bottled wine. Pretty darn good.
But something was different. We were imbibing around the kitchen table and I missed the bottle. I missed the action of pouring wine out of a bottle into somebody else’s glass. I’m a diet coke drinker and I couldn’t get the image of that drink out of my head as I splashed some into my glass. It didn’t feel like wine; rather, it felt like just a drink. A good drink. I had to keep telling myself it tasted like wine. So where was the problem? Old habits die hard.
Wine cans for people on the go.
Canned wine, I’m told, is meant for people on the go. At a bar, without fussing over a wine list. Out camping. Instead of opening a can of beer, they reach for a can of wine. No snobbery about the right atmosphere.
That, perhaps, is the main idea behind offering up wine in a can. You don’t need the right stemware nor will you be judged for not knowing which shape of glass to use for a specific varietal. Enjoy the drink, like I did, but drop the baggage. So far, at least, the cans are priced lower than bottles.
I have known about wines in cans for awhile. The first I heard of was Field Recordings, when I did a blog post on an interesting young woman making wine. Their Alloy Wine Works have been going awhile. They even have a wine can club.
Mancan does only cans. Nonvintage and nonvarietal, it is aimed at millennials and soccer dads. Women should try them, too, but that’s how the original idea came about.
I had briefly written about Shelburne Vineyards’s Capsize cans, which came out this past summer.
Tangent offers rosé and sauvignon blanc in cans. Based in Edna Valley, Paso Robles, it also bottles wine.
As does Underwood, based in Oregon. It sells pinot noir, pinot gris and rosé in cans, but the bottles give you a wider range of choices.
Although the market for canned wines has increased in the past couple of years, it is too early to predict the trajectory of this form of packaging. One thing’s for sure: selling wine in boxes and cans will be accepted without a turn of the nose.