Unless you live cozily under a rock, you have come across canned beverages. Beer producers have experimented and spearheaded the movement for decades from American classic producers to Mexican brands and even the playful craft beer category.
With the flexibility it offers, it was inevitable for other beverages to jump in. Sake, for instance, has a presence in the United States market with brands like Bushido from Kyoto and Kikusui from Niigata flying off the shelves.
The wine world has also enjoyed a big chunk of the market with Francis Ford Coppola’s Sofia sparkling paving the way.
Cans are playful and convenient, and some wineries are making a huge effort to can some of their prime wines.
Let’s start with the sparkling category, which is highly sought after and turning heads.
A handful of California wine country producers, including Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley, are making magic right on our backyard. Here some of the favorites to seek.
Atlas Wine Company’s Oro Bello Blanc de Blanc, California ($5 180ml) a tropical fruit-driven party in a can with a slight touch of sweetness balanced by a jolt of zippy acidity. In a recent interview winemaker Alex Remi said, “We experimented with many levels of fruit and acid; to take it even further, we kegged two examples and brought them to a summer party. The Oro Bello you taste now was the overall winner.”
Another exciting and bubbly example is West & Wilder White Sparkling, California ($6 180ml) produced with Chennin Blanc, Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris by Matthew Allan and Kenneth Rochford. This wine is perfect for a summer afternoon — white flowers, chamomile and mandarin blossom wrapped around a creamy texture.
On the spritzy side, there’s Lorenza Rose Spritz, California ($6 180ml) produced by mother and daughter team Melinda and Michelle. They capture the spirit of celebration, a wine made for brunch by the pool with pizzazz, watermelon rind and a friendly personality.
For rosè still wine, put on your seatbelts. This highly coveted category with a giant momentum is well populated. One of my favorite examples is the 2018 Brick & Mortar Rosè, California ($8 375ml), a seriously mouth-watering and complex wine with hints of pomegranate, raspberry jolly rancher and a hint of dried herbs that wakes up the palate. This wine is the brainchild of Matt and Alexis Ianconis made with whole cluster Syrah.
A producer that has taken the canned world by the cab is seasoned winemaker Sean Larkin. With a jolly attitude and committed to the highest quality fruit sources, he is delivering an experience one can at the time. The 2018 Larkan Rosè, Napa Valley ($12 375ml) is no exception. A cleansing combination of fresh roses, wild strawberry fields and crushed oyster shells delivers a memorable experience sip after sip making it very easy to crush those cans (pun intended).
How often do you hear of Rutherford Riesling? In a can? Yes, leave it up to Gina Schover and Jack Stover to produce a beautifully balanced example from the McGill Vineyard, which houses some 60-year-old, dry-farmed vines. The 2017 Sans Wine Company McGill Vineyard Riesling Rutherford, Napa Valley ($15 375ml) delivers an experience full of lemon, apple and pears with razor sharp acid and structure. Get it while you can!
If what you seek is a thirst-quenching, porch-pounder Sauvignon Blanc, look no further. 2017 Three Clicks Sauvignon Blanc, Napa Valley ($12 375ml) brings the party. A sharp, aromatic and unapologetic wine that brings white flowers, lime and guava with an electrifying finish. Made by winemaking power couple Bruce Devlin and Danielle Cyrot from ideal Napa Valley sources.
There are no shortages of canned wine examples from around the globe that bring an environmentally friendly and practical way to enjoy this higher tier level of wine.
More restaurants are starting to champion this category that allows for a great option to by-the-glass offerings, in addition to the wine shops and stores that are getting behind the canned wine movement, here to stay!