Pop a cold one

Cans aren't just for beer anymore

Picnics, parades, fireworks, block parties, hiking, biking, barbecues, reading in the shade, lounging in the backyard, or the front porch, or with friend around the pool. These are all things July, and–wow–I have a cool wine concept for you to try. Don’t be judgy. Free your mind.

Canned wine.

Yes, wine out of a can. And it’s good. It’s summertime wine. It’s a diminutive little can you can throw into a pool tote, a backpack, a cooler or your bike bag. Someone may even throw it into her purse and sneak it into a movie, though I don’t know who that would be. You can take it on a hike if you want. It’s like a can of soda or a beer, but smaller. No heavy bottles to lug around, and depending on what brand you purchase, one can is about equal to a glass, so no waste. And, no, it’s not like a wine cooler. Or Zima (if you are old enough to remember Zima).

While canned wine may be the hot thing to drink this summer, the trend actually stretches way back to 2004, when unorthodox winemakers Niebaum Coppola put its Sofia Blanc de Blancs in cans. The winery made the decision after Francis Ford Coppola admired the soda packaging in Japanese vending machines and decided to replicate it. Ball Manufacturing, which makes those ubiquitous glass canning jars, assisted Niebaum Coppola and now does a brisk business in manufacturing single-serve wine cans for a number of other wineries.

Trader Joe’s just launched a can wine called Simpler Wines. It’s sold in a box of four, with white and rosé varietals available. The grocery store notes that the white varietal is slightly sweet and offers hints of honeydew, while the rosé has mineral notes with a light, red fruit flavor.

I’ve tasted and liked Backpack, a dry white served in a 250ml can. It’s very simple, but perfect for what it is: medium dry and easy-to-drink. I’ve also tried Infinite Monkey Theorem‘s red wine and moscato. Their tag line is “Back alley wine at its finest. Ridiculously good.” I’m not sure about ridiculously good, but I did like it. The red was slighty sparkling with a dry finish and tasted of red fruits. The moscato was slightly sweet and floral, a real crowd pleaser.

There’s a long list of the benefits of canned wine. They chill fast and are easily transportable (noted earlier by a movie-going friend). Wine makers actually like cans because there is no fear of cork taint in the wine–it’s coming out of the can exactly as they put it into the can (by the way, they have similar feelings about screw caps). You don’t need a corkscrew or even a glass. You can open a huge variety of wines for people and not worry about any waste!

I dare you to try it! And have fun this summer!


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