The technology has been around for a while. Jacuzzi-side in 1996, innovators from the Australian Barokes Wines recognized the occasional advantage of a safer aluminum packaging for wine than glass, and they conceived of the patented Vinsafe™ system that enables premium quality wine to be canned with stability and longevity.
In 2004, Francis Coppola Winery began packaging, in stylish pink 187 ml cans, their Blanc de Blanc blend named after his daughter Sofia.
Having at times been coined “the new wine in a box,” it may spark some indignance among educated winiacs around the world, but from scrapping the cork to wine kegs and now this, the schools of thought of what’s “correct” regarding the packaging of premium wine continues to shift and sometimes shock.
Wine consumers can also find a variety of inventive shapes for these metal wine “bottles.” Designers Jens Andersson & Jonas Forsman used a contour that nods to the wine bottle and matte black, meant to associate consumers with exclusivity, giving the wine inside merit.
FLASQ Merlot, Chardonnay and Cuvée Blanc are offered in twist-cap aluminum “bottles” that hold roughly two glasses each. These California wines’ flavor is protected from barrel to tongue by a special interior coating that prevents the wine from coming into contact with the aluminum.
Some say the trend of wine in a can was a response to the increase in canned craft beer sales over the last decade, and the hopes to find the same in wine. There are several advantages to canned wine, namely the increased convenience and safety. At pools or picnics, while soaking in a tub or hiking, we can now leave the bottle opener in its drawer, and avoid the fragility of a bottle and glass. Cans can chill five times faster than glass and can reduce the carbon footprint of wine’s production by 35%.
In Colorado, our public parks and pools strictly prohibit the use of glass, and environmental care and outdoor activities are at the forefront of Colorado residents’ interests, so we are seeing no shortage of canned wine here as well.
Ben Parsons, CEO & Winemaker of the urban winery, Infinite Monkey Theorem, is particularly proud of their canned wines. The Back Alley Moscato, boasts fragrant dried fruit and floral notes, and ripe apricot, grapefruit and honeysuckle on the tongue. Their equally summer-perfect Back Alley Rose is comprised of the merlot grape and has plenty of berry, great acid and a hint of residual sugar. Back Alley Red is a deeply rich Syrah bursting with cherries, blackberries and currants and hints of cinnamon toast on the finish. They are all lightly carbonated, in part to avoid being crushed in the canning process.
According to the Denver Business Journal, just a few days ago, Boulder-based Redstone Meadery announced the shipment of 500-ml cans of three of their nectar line flavors to national distributors. David Myers, owner and founder of Redstone Meadery, explains that “Because of the reduced [freight] costs, we're able to offer mead in cans at a lower price per ounce, and we pass that savings on to the consumer.”
It may feel silly pouring these wines from a can to a glass, and even more silly to try it with a straw. But at Wine Dispensary, we’ll do you one better and say, “Bottoms up!”