I can hear the audible gasp of horror from wine snobs at the very thought on wine in a can but actually it's been a thing for a while now, in fact it's been around since 2004 – Francis Ford Coppola (yes, thee FFC, he also owns a winery) introduced "Sofia" a Blanc de Blanc, which is a white sparkling methode traditonelle made entirely from Chardonnay grapes in a can. So canned wine has been around for a while in the US and it's popularity is massive, last year alone sale doubled to $14.5 Million, mostly driven by millennials who much prefer cans with cool designs rather than boxed wine which is considered low rent & bottled wine which is considered alienating. Wine in can isn't going anywhere and now New Zealand, it's coming to us!
Let's be honest, the wines that you get in a can is never the top level, most prestigious wines, but they are the average price, consistently good wines that most people drink, so their popularity makes sense.
From a practical point of view light & air are the two biggest enemies of wine, putting wine in a can automatically this takes away both of those problems, also as most of the cans are either 250mls or 330mls it makes having a "glass or two" much easier as you don't have to open a whole bottle and worry about whether it will keep until the next time you want a glass or two.
The final reason I think canned wine is a good idea is - have you seen an NZ summer? We have such an outdoor and active lifestyle and once the sun shines we spend our time on boats, at the beach, up hills hiking and going camping to name but a few activities. Cans are light, portable, easy to chill down and the rubbish you have to carry with you is a lot lighter than a bottle. This is a vessel made for summer days.
The one downside to a can is you need to have access to the aromas of the wine in order to get the full experience - so I still recommend you put it in a glass (I'm currently crushing on these portable Goverre glasses and hope Santa gets the memo) to get the full aromas etc. When someone comes up with a rip-lid wine can, that would be perfect!
There aren't that many people doing wine in a can in NZ but I have found a few which taste pretty good. Firstly my old friends at Allan Scott, have made a Green Hopped Gooseberry Bomb Sauvignon Blanc and which they call a Craft Wine as it's not just wine but a wine that has had some brewing techniques applied (Winemaker Josh Scott is also a brewer). This wine is a jump out of the glass, grassy, gooseberry Sauvvy, lovers of "typical" Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc will not be disappointed. At $8.99 for 330mls (Just over two glasses of wine or 3.3 standard drinks), this is a great drop and it's also 11.5% so lighter in alcohol which I think is a responsible choice on behalf of the Scott Family as it does appeal to a younger demographic. For now, this is the only one in the range but an Allan Scott Craft Wine Riesling & Pinot Noir are coming soon! Watch this space...
Originally in a bottle Joiy, a sparkling Prosecco style wine in also now available in cans. Joiy is made from a combination of Riesling grapes from Waipara (north Canterbury) and the Clare Valley in South Australia. It's medium sweet and to be honest I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed this wine despite it being sweeter than my usual taste. It's easy drinking with light bubbles & it went down a treat with the snacks I brought to a picnic just last week. It comes in a (rather pretty) slimline 250ml can and is 10% alcohol and $5.99 at Farro stores nationwide
Misty Cove released their wines in a can last year it looked like it was a bit of a struggle for them as the format is so new to this market - but trojans that they are they didn't give up but went back to the drawing board, changed the format and added another varietal, I'm glad they didn't give up as the revised range looks awesome and tastes pretty good too.
There is a Sauvignon Blanc (The Charlatan) and a Chardonnay Sparkling (The Hustler) but one I'm featuring here is the Pinot Noir which they call "The Embezzler". It's a Marlborough Pinot Noir & exactly what you would expect of a mid-range, fruity, easy drinking Pinot. They have JUST canned this a few weeks ago - the cans I got were hot off the press but keep an eye out for this range everywhere you buy alcohol as I expect to see it all over very soon. Also slimline 250ml cans and each for $6.49.
Wine in a can, it's here and it's most definitely here to stay. I predict A LOT more wineries following the suit of these awesome early adopters & hats off to them for being so innovative. It's not easy being the first one to try something new.
The one glaring omission from everyone range is a rosé! Let's have one of those next please wine in a can makers!