Wine in a can. It may sound like a joke but it’s a brave new world for thinking outside the bottle. Convenient, accessible and very portable, new packaging methods are now making canned wine very quaffable.
Tinned wine is at the forefront of outdoor entertaining, with wineries investing in canning techniques that keep the wine fresh and keep its flavours intact. One Australian company, Barokes, has come up with the patented “Vinsafe” technology that guarantees the integrity and structure of the wine can be retained for five full years. So, when it comes to the kind of wine that experts suggest is ready-to-drink (as opposed to the “improves- with-age kind), it’s actually ideal.
This method also keeps the price of wine reasonable, since canning is cheaper than bottling and, in general, much friendlier to the environment. It’s also infinitely lighter to carry, makes smaller servings a breeze and forever ends the age-old “I-forgot-the-corkscrew” problem.
Let it Breathe (or not)
Forget some of the “Wine 101” you ‘ve come to hold as gospel (or mellow out a little for the summer).
When it comes to most whites, rosés and sparkling wines, letting it breathe isn’t that important when it comes to fully enjoying your beverage.
For the reds, you can pack a wine glass so you can aerate it — or a red Solo cup will do the trick in a pinch.
It’s time to drop the formality and dive into these great new offerings that come in red, white, pink and fizz varieties.
In Alberta, there’s no shortage of canned red wine on the market, from berry-centric Pinot Noirs from California’s Alloy Wines and Underwood (made by Oregon’s Union Wines) to the Infinite Monkey Theorem Red blend, which prides itself on accessible, unpretentious wine — a pretty easy feat to accomplish once you put it in a can.
Outside of Alberta, Big House’s Cardinal Zin, a potent-bold, light-tobacco, food-friendly wine is available in most provinces for roughly $5 per can. This one gets better if you happen to have a wine glass in which to pour it.
Fans of Australian whites will be happy to learn about Barokes and its popular tinned Chardonnay-Semillon, which has a loyal following and boasts a five-year shelf life—(not that it’s likely to last that long). If you can’t find that at your local outlet, most provincial liquor stores carry another canned Aussie, Jacob’s Creek Moscato, which, while not exactly what you’d call sophisticated, is easy-drinking, aromatic and tastes like a sweet-tart, green-apple, refreshing cooler, eminently suitable for dockside sipping.
The same can be said for the widely-available Big House Birdman Pinot Grigio, a light, crisp and refreshing canned wine from California.
If you can find it, Francis Ford Coppola’s Sofia Brut Rosé is just plain delicious — dry, toasty and lightly effervescent, made in California by the vintner that helped put canned wines on the map with high-quality four-packs, each can with its own straw.
More widely available is the Siren Rosé, a vibrant pink wine from Big House, chock full of big, bold and bright cherry and strawberry flavours.
Sofia Blanc de Blancs is dry, subtle and probably as close to a champagne-style sparkling wine as you’re going to get (available in a four-pack of slender mini-cans for roughly $20 in Alberta, Quebec and Ontario).
On the other end of the spectrum, there’s the Joiy Can, an affordable, eco-friendly, “prosecco-style” New Zealand/Australia sparkling white with a pronounced, sweet, grape flavour that would go down well at the beach ($4.85 apiece at the LCBO).
Made in Canada
Origin Aromatic Sparkling Wine — Ontario’s own sparkling Vidal (the same grape they use to make the ice wine) was born out of a desire to finally solve the age-old problem of how to enjoy a little fizz — if you only want a glass, cracking open a whole bottle is a massive waste. Origin is creamy, sweet and aromatic and sets you back $5.95 per 250 mL can at the LCBO.