It was only a matter of time before I tried drinking wine out of an aluminum can and, quite frankly, I survived. That doesn’t mean I enjoyed the experience. I didn’t. Lifting the cold can to my lips to get a sip of wine was frustrating. The liquid rushed out as I tilted the can. There was no fragrant nose to smell except for what went up my nose. I guess I could have used a straw but couldn’t find one in the house. I started over. Slower. Patiently. But this was not my bag. I love wine in a suitable glass, where I can see it, smell it, swirl it, sip it and savor it. Drinking out of a can left me more cantankerous than canty.
So … I poured the wine from the 350-milliliter can (11.8 ounces) into a Chardonnay glass and drank it. It wasn’t bad. In fact, the wine – Blanc by California’s Brick and Mortar winery – had a zesty, grapefruit and lime kick to it, complete with frizzy bubbles. It was 12.5 alcohol by volume, which is stiff when compared to a 750-milliliter bottle (25 ounces) with the same alcohol level. (Note: Carbon dioxide in sparkling wines sends alcohol to the brain quicker than in still wines.)
My biggest disappointment, however, was the lack of varietal information on the can. Neither did the Brick and Mortar website disclose details of grapes used to make the white wine. Trust me, it’s definitely a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling, with maybe a trace of Chardonnay. (B&M also has a canned rose on the market.)
Blanc costs $5.99 a can. If you equate it to buying a glass of wine at a restaurant, it’s probably a decent deal. Blanc will provide two glasses at an average cost of $3, whereas a full 5-ounce glass at a restaurant would cost $6-$7 for this type of wine. Each can is sold individually, and that’s where the problem is. I would not pay $24 for four cans of Blanc. However, a discounted four-pack, at say $19.99, would be enticing to beachgoers, patio-sippers, and party animals.
Canned wines are a matter of convenience. Wine producers are ramping up their portfolios to meet the lifestyle demand of millennials who make up 32 percent of America’s wine-buying public. According to Business Insider, canned wine sales in the U.S. topped $14.5 million in 2018 – a whopping 126 percent increase over the previous year. To date, canned wines have been limited to white and sparkling wines, including Sangria, but that will soon change. Several California producers are considering putting Cabernet Sauvignon and red blends in a can this year, including Lodi’s Michael David Winery which crafts the popular Freakshow Cab.
The bottom line is canned wines are here to stay and they will proliferate. But Chateau Margaux in an aluminum cap-snapper? If I live to see the day, I hope I’m 150!