Kick back and pour the wine— out of a can
by James Selby
This will be hard for some wine drinkers to swallow: Try wine in cans. Not long ago some diners would have sent back a bottle that had a screw cap closure. We’re (pretty much) past that, now. Time to think beyond glass bottles, too.
Canned wine befits a variety of lifestyles. Hiking, camping, picnicking, or poolside, cans hold an obvious advantage over bottles: they’re light and unbreakable, and travel well. Grab ’em and go. Aluminum cans are the most recycled package in the United States; nearly 75 percent of all aluminum ever produced is still in use today. And size matters. A normal bottle of wine contains 750 milliliters (ml)—just over 25 ounces, or roughly five single servings. Do you really want to open a bottle for just one or two glasses tonight, hoping the wine is sound tomorrow? Commonly, cans are packaged in 375ml, 250ml, or 187ml sizes, guaranteeing freshness at a pop. Though unquestionably a wine’s aroma and flavor will improve in a glass, wine, like craft beer, shows no metallic tastes and is enjoyable from a can.
Oregon’s Underwood brand from Union Wine Company is the leader of the canned pack. Their tagline, “Pinkies Down!” suggests a casual approach, but the company produces winning vintage wines, both sparkling and still, including a requisite Pinot Noir.
If running with the bulls in Navarra, Spain, slip a slim can of courage in your pocket. No bull, the region is famous for its rosés, and Ah-So Winery cans a crisp version made from old-vine Garnacha.
Sonoma’s Francis Ford Coppola Winery does several styles under the Sofia label, named for his film-director daughter. Their Blanc de Blancs is a zesty sparkling that’s fine enough to drink from Marie Antoinette’s slipper.
Ramona is another enchantress making a splash. The brainchild of top-flight sommelier Jordan Salcito, this organic Italian wine spritzer made with ruby grapefruit is delicious, refreshing, low in alcohol, and very seductive. Take me, Ramona, I’m yours!