CAN IT!

Will canned wine ever replace wine in bottles? I doubt that but it sure is a market segment that is growing fast. Forbes recently reported sales of canned wine in the U.S. increased 43 percent from June 2017 to June 2018.

 

And with still some summer left, there is plenty of time for picnics, concerts, festivals, cookouts, camping, parks, and beaches, where wine in cans are most convenient. And they are inexpensive. Yes, many are also cheap wine but there are some that are quite good, like those featured in this column.

 

One of the first and one of the best wineries to champion canned wine in the U.S. is the Denver urban winery The Infinite Monkey Theorem. It sells a red, rosé, and white for $15 for a four-pack of 250 ml (8.45 oz) cans.

 

Now big names in the California value wine category, like Barefoot (250 ml, $2) and Dark Horse (375 ml, $3) are getting into the act. Sofia, a label referencing Sofia Coppola, the daughter of Francis Ford Coppola, offers four packs of Blanc de Blancs and Brut Rosé (375 ml, $20). Bonny Doon Vineyard, the Santa Cruz winery best known as a pioneer of Rhone varieties in California, has just released La Bulle-Moose de Cigare, a dry, fizzy pink wine from a blend of red grapes similar to the winery’s celebrated Vin Gris de Cigare (2017, 375 ml, $8).

 

I have enjoyed a Rosé and Pinot Grigio from AVA Grace (both 375 ml, $5). The California wines in these cans are the same as what they put in their bottles. The Rosé had notes of red berries and watermelon and the Pinot Grigio showed vibrant citrus and pear.

 

And Oregon is getting into the act with Canned Oregon, a new brand from the trustworthy Stoller Family Estate. You should try the White and Rosé bubbles and the Pinot Gris (375 ml, $8).

 

Spain also has found canned wine success in the U.S. with brands like Tinto Amorio, a low-calorie sparkling red wine cocktail with lemon and Ah-So, Spain’s first estate grown, organic canned rosé. I was pleasantly surprised to find out it is produced by Juan Carlos Lopez de LaCalle of the celebrated Artadi winery in Rioja in partnership with Dustin and Carrie Chiappetta, owners of Denver’s Pearl Wine Company.

 

Can or no can, Ah-So is serious rosé. It is 100 percent old-vine garnacha, estate grown in an organically farmed, rosé-specific, high-altitude vineyard in the Navarra region. This crisp, refreshing, wine is packaged as four 250 ml cans ($19) and is notable for its bright cherry and raspberry and clean finish.

 

So, don’t shy away from canned wine. It has its place. Good wine is good wine regardless of its packaging, whether bottled, boxed, on tap or canned. Actually, sales of alternatively packaged wine are increasing, while retail wine sales in the U.S. between June 2017-June 2018 were flat (again according to Forbes).

 

Just keep in mind, those 375 ml cans hold half a bottle of wine. That’s more alcohol than two bottles (or cans) of that craft beer we all love, too.

About Rich

I first became interested in wine while I worked in numerous liquor stores during college in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. In the years following college, I researched, tasted, traveled to vineyards in California and Europe, participated in countless tastings. I began writing about wine in 1995 with a column in Out Front Colorado. For me, wine is more than a drink. It is food. It is a connection to the earth. It is culture. There is just something amazing, even magical, about the transformation of grapes into wine. It is also remarkable how drinking wine with food enhances the taste and enjoyment of both. Appreciation of wine has become an integral part of my approach to life, which emphasizes balance, respect for nature, physical and emotional health, and an appreciation of our nature as social beings. In 2006, I was awarded a fellowship to the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers.