Stigma is an unfortunate thing here, as there’s a strong fight for wine in a can, and I would venture to say we’re going to be seeing a lot more of it in the future.
Pros of canned wine:
- Aluminum does not have any detrimental effect on wine… and protects from light exposure. Most wine cans are lined with an additional layer to prevent any potential flavor transfer anyhow.
- No of cork means no oxygen exposure. Yes, this may risk a reductive environment, but for young, ‘drink now” wines, it’s a safe vessel.
- Ease of packaging & transport – leads to decrease in cost for both producer & consumer
- Portioned – no risk of going back to that opened bottle a few days later and finding a liquid with little resemblance to the flavor of your wine of 2 days ago.
- Less “breakability”
- Ease of recycling & lesser global impact
- Fits in ‘coozies’
Cons of canned wine:
- Looks, well, less classy. However, if you paid $25 for 4 cans, you didn’t look that classy to begin with. It’s not for fine dining, and that’s O.K.
- In terms of alcohol, wine is a lot stronger than beer, and one can fits about half of a standard 750ml bottle (pro or con? I leave that one for you to decide).
One of the pioneers of canned wine is Union Wine Co., based in Oregon. For their ‘Underwood’ line, they’ve moved a portion of the production into can. The Pinot Noir is sold out, if that gives you a general idea for how this plan went over with the market.
Here’s where things are getting even more interesting. In CA, Andrew Jones, who used to work planting vineyards, is now making his own wines, under the label Field Recordings. Amongst his small range of wine is the “Fiction Red”, released in 500 ml cans (basically tall boys). He’s using atypical CA varieties, including Tempranillo, Petite Syrah, Touriga Nacional, Mourvedre, Grenache, & Cincault for this blend, and a combo of new American & French oak. Well-made, well-thought wine moving into can – I’m in!
I came across some at one of my go-to favorite wine stores, Back Label Merchants, here in Flatiron. They only carry solid wines, so this is looking promising.
Would you drink wine from a can? It goes without saying that I would!