Following up in our discussion on wine trends, especially as we enjoy beachside summertime sunsets, we look to the continually growing category of wines in cans. More and more wines are finding their new home enveloped in an aluminum home.
Photo courtesy of the winery
My first introduction to canned wines was in 2014 when consulting for my dear friend Chef Joanne Bondy and “Stocks and Bondy” for their wine selection with Underwood, the entry-level brand for Willamette Valley’s Union Wine Company dedicated to producing everyday, quality wines Oregonians would be proud of, at a reasonable price. Though Francis Ford Coppola has been making the “Sofia” mini sparkling wines for years, the first still wine in a can for me was Underwood Oregon Pinot Noir. Inexpensive, retailing for around $6 a can, with each serving the equivalent of half a bottle, it is an incredible deal for the quality. And there is quality there. Marketed as an every day, easy drinking Oregon Pinot, the wine is fresh, leading with fruit-filled strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. The wine isn’t the most complex, but it is also more than palatable and quite enjoyable.
Shortly after Underwood debuted, the canned wine market began to pop and has not looked back, creating a $69 million industry last year. Today wines are being crafted solely for production in cans, and dozens of everyday wine are finding a home on retailers shelves in both the bottled wine and canned wine areas. These are everyday wines, meant to be enjoyed over barbecues and sunsets. For all of them, Underwood is still a reliable brand in the market.
Also highlighting the convenience of canned wine packaging, Oregon’s Wine By Joe produces white, red and rose options in 375ml cans from the same fruit they use for their affordable bottled options, as they say, “really good wine from really good fruit.” Started by Joe Dobbes, of Dobbes Family Estate, the vineyards are farmed sustainably, with Mother Earth in mind, creating approachable everyday wines.
Many Willamette Valley wineries have jumped into the canned wine marketplace including favorite Stoller Wine Group with their recently introduced “Canned Oregon” wines. With the hook that they deliver “premium wine in a modern vessel” the selections, including Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir, along with a white bubbly and rose bubbly. The wines are uncomplicated, nicely balanced, and refreshing, making true to their motto. And, for about $7 a can/$14 for two, the equivalent of a 750ml bottle of wine, it makes for a tasty Pinot Noir for under $20.
As someone with ten different jobs, I love the idea behind Day Owl Rose. Designed to celebrate the women who get things done, creating their destinies, focusing their success on the hard work they put in every day, Day Owl Rose is crisp, lively, and highly refreshing either in the classic 750ml bottle, sold under screw cap, or the grab-and-go 375ml cans, perfect for throwing in your beach bag on your coveted days off. Produced from Barbera fruit, with high acidity, the wine layers strawberry, cherry, and wildflowers.
Crafted by another dynamic woman with something to say, Dark Horse Wines deliver the hope of Winemaker Beth Liston to make an affordable, highly drinkable wine that would please any wine lover. The wines are easy, straightforward, and accessible with their lighter selections finding their way into 375ml cans, including Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, and two sparkling choices, all for about $7 a can.
Of course, any of these can be used as the base for a quick summer cocktail. However, if you aren’t in the mood to mix, one of the original wine coolers is back, hitting stores shelves will a bang. The original Bartles and Jaymes Wine Coolers have relaunched, this time in a can, using nothing artificial with fresh blends like watermelon and mint, and my pick, ginger and lemon, perfect for a sweet picnic cocktail on a budget as each can retails for $1.99.
If you need to keep your wine cool while boating, beaching or barbecuing, I found a fabulous insulated wine bag from Built NY. Their IceTec freezable insulated wine and Champagne bag keeps drinks (in bottles or cans) cold for up to ten hours, with a zipper to keep everything in. We have two of these, and use them anytime we head down for sunset, each sold for about $16 via Amazon.
For me, I do prefer to drink the wine out of a cup vs. a can. I find I drink anything in a can far too fast, i.e., when cracking open a beer by the pool on a hot summer day, or the first sip of a cold Coca-Cola that turns into drinking the majority of the can. So, I pour my canned wine into a cup, usually a GoVino when at the beach or pool. If you do sip your canned wine straight from the vessel, remember to sip slowly as the alcohol level is often over double that of your everyday beer.