March 03, 2021

Canned Wine -- It’s All The Rage: Why Bother and What Do You Need to Know?

Look out Spring...we are coming for you and we are bringing a can of wine with us! If you are looking for some good wines ($25 and lower), cans just might be up your alley.

Things tend to change slowly, then all at once. And boy oh boy has this been true for wine. For years the big change in wine was bottling with a screw cap. Then BOOM! Wine in kegs, wine in aluminum bottles and most recently...wine in cans of all different sizes. There are seriously some great things about this new trend and then there are definitely some drawbacks worth mentioning. Let’s take a closer look!

Pros of canned wine:

You can take it almost anywhere

One of the downsides of hiking in with a bottle of wine is you have to hike it back out again. This suuucks! Trust me. We’ve done it. With canned wine, once you finish it off, you can easily (if you’re us) crush it on your head and stick it in your back pocket. When trying to perform this feat with a giant glass bottle...let’s just say it tends to go poorly. 

Single serve option

Have you ever wanted a glass of wine, opened a bottle and only had a glass or two? Then you feel like you’ve wasted your money and just generally feel wasteful when that wine goes bad? What can be even worse (or not), is you finish the whole bottle to NOT waste it, but the result is you ARE wasted! Cans allow you to pop a single glass of wine while also saving you from your own shame.  

Easier to toss

Kind of kidding here, but also, kind of not. Imagine for a sec that you drop a whole dang bottle of wine on the floor- That’s gotta be the worst feeling, like ever. Not only did you lose the whole bottle, but now you have a boatload of glass to pick up. A shattered bottle and a shattered heart is very much correlated in this situation. A can full of wine? Pfff...even if it gets a leak, we’ll still drink it- like a dog drinking out of a firehose!

Quality

Now that the canned segment has started to prove itself, more wineries are embracing the medium resulting in an increased quality of canned wine. You will probably never see a $100 bottle of wine in a can - there is a point of diminishing return. Our gut says we will not see the price of wine in a can go much higher than $25/bottle. That is to say, if you buy three 250ml cans that equals one regular bottle of wine. If you add the cost of those three cans together, they will not exceed the cost of the 750ml (regular bottle size). But who knows! We’ve been wrong before - just once :)

Cons of canned wine:

Reduction AKA stinky wine

Wine has a slight issue that can arise during fermentation when not enough oxygen is present (it gets stinky or reduced). This can also occur or intensify when you put wine under a screw cap or in a can. There is less oxygen in these two packages compared to a wine closed by a cork. Oftentimes, this comes down to diligent winemaking. *Nervous cough*

Cans don’t replace a bottle

History is a big factor. People who first see wine in a can might snicker a little because it seems lowbrow. We get it. We are lowbrow. It’s hard to imagine the pop of a cork being traded for the cracking open of a can at a fancy dinner - cans just need to accept that they belong out in the wild more than they belong at a candle lit dinner.

Short shelf life - not meant for aging

Unfortunately, like beer, canned wine isn’t as ageable as wine in a bottle - especially a traditional cork. Shelf life for a can is about one year. (Wine type and the method the cans are stored will affect this.) More heat equals lower lifespan. This goes for wine in general, but especially canned. People have gotten used to this fact. Remember Budweiser’s “Born on Dating”? People started to realize that beer starts to degrade over time. As a result, many breweries moved from bottles to cans because they do a better job of keeping the beer fresh.

Romance vs. bromance 

Similar to what was said above, wine in a can is just not as romantic. It’s a thing. Cans can be crushed on your head when finished or put in your back-pocket and hiked out, but they just don’t have the same cache as a bottle. You get it. Check out this link to see our friend, The Reverse Wine Snob, write up some of the gems he has found on the canned wine front.

Serving size

We love wine. However, when you feel like you have to finish the whole bottle it can come back to burn you. Cans help remedy that with smaller serving sizes. There are cans that border on too big, but as of 2021, the TTB (the regulators of wine packaging) made changes making it easier to can wine in smaller sizes. We started canning wine and were attracted to the 250ml size (think RedBull sized). It just makes sense…3 cans = 1 bottle.

Sustainability

Last, but not least, aluminum cans are the most recycled container around. More on that statistic here . Recyclable is a great trait. On top of that, cans are much lighter (~65%) than bottles requiring less energy to ship from place to place. Also, perhaps this fits in the “convenience” category because they also chill faster. This saves on cooling costs AND helps with impatient wine drinkers. Chill, yo!


Long story short, wine in a can has it’s obvious drawbacks but there are a ton of benefits. It’s very much about time and place. After all, you don’t curse in front of your grandma and you don’t drink wine from a can on Valentine’s Day…unless you're us. Enjoy! Canned or not.

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Links:

Reverse Wine Snob-

The Best Canned Wines - The 2021 Reverse Wine Snob Picks!

Millennium Waste Inc.-

Aluminum | Recycling | News (millenniumwasteinc.com)


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