If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you might have heard that I recently got to try wine in a can. I was at Asian Box, a wonderful restaurant in Mountain View, and they had it. At first I thought, “No way. I’m not going to try that.” And then, in the spirit of being a good wine student and having an opportunity to laugh at myself, I ordered the Pinot Gris. To my surprise, I liked it! This experience prompted me to do some research on wine in a can. Here’s what I learned.
Is Wine in a Can Really just a Wine Cooler?
FirstWeFeast says that “while the concept of ‘wine in can’ has previously been relegated to the level of ‘wine cooler,’ the fact is, prominent winemakers are making very good wine and putting it in cans—and with good reason: the cans are lightweight, cheap, recyclable, and well suited for wines that are not meant to age. No one is putting Grand Cru Burgundy in cans (at least not yet).”
Is Canned Wine Good?
Wine Folly says yes. “After tasting 5 different brands of canned wine, we observed good overall quality. Canned wines might not be the ‘crème de la crème’ of wines, but for a wine that you toss in your pack and hike up the mountain with, they are awesome. Also, the best options aren’t impersonal brands but independent family wineries (including Field Recordings, Underwood, and Dancing Coyote).”
According to Forbes, “Sure, you can turn your nose up at wine that comes in a can. But you’d be missing out on a serious growth category within the wine industry.” Canned wine sales grew 125% in one year’s time, with total annual revenue sitting at $16.4 million. Union Wine Co., the OR winery whose Underground wine I tried, posted a 3-year growth of 168%. Wow!
The Target Audience
Union Wine Co., one of the market leaders, is targeting social media-savvy millennials with edgy campaigns like “Wine doesn’t have to be this hard.” I highly recommend checking out this video, along with their other ones. They are very funny.
When I looked at some of other players in this space, I see that they’re targeting a similar audience. Barokes Wines, whose website is wineinacan.com, uses the taglines “Enjoy quality award winning wines anywhere, anytime!” and “Wine, Your Way.”
Sofia Mini by Coppola says “Mini is for the impromptu, impetuous, live-passionately-for-the-moment kind of person. The kind of person who lives like there is no tomorrow!”
Definitely millennials and Gen-Xers.
What Makes Wine in a Can So Attractive?
It’s easy! As Union Wine Co. says, “It’s hard to keep your pinky up when you’re drinking wine from a 375 mL can. These are the most approachable and ready-to-travel anywhere wines we produce. Whether you’re sitting in a hot tub after a good day of riding or heading where other wines dare not travel, we have you covered without sacrificing the craft taste Union is known for.”
Also, the alternative packaging is attractive for environmentally conscious customers, since cans are so easy to recycle.
Geeky Notes From Wine Folly
“If you’re a wine aficionado you will note a few features of canned wines. For one, nearly all the wines we tasted had a small portion of residual sugar. We believe this helps make the canned wine taste fruitier (as drinking from a can mutes the taste). Beyond this, the best performing canned wines all had elevated acidity, which gave the wines a longer tingly finish (almost like carbonation would in a soda).”
- Use a glass – When I tasted the canned wine directly from the can, it didn’t taste as good, probably because the aromas were muted. When I poured it into a glass, it tasted great.
- Chill the wine – According to Wine Folly, even the reds tasted better chilled.
Can Canned Wine Be Aged?
Probably not 🙂
If you’ve tried wine in a can, please share your experiences with us. Thanks. Cheers!
As an independent wine consultant with WineShop At Home, I absolutely enjoy bringing a taste of the Napa wine country home to you one sip at a time. Whether you simply love to drink wine, seek a special personalized wine gift, or are in search of a new wine jobs opportunity as a wine consultant, feel free to contact me for a truly unique wine tasting experience!
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