Take a leisurely stroll down the liquor aisle at your local grocery store, and you’re likely to find a novelty.
Canned wines are growing in popularity. The canned wine market grew 80% in 2019, to $90 million. The best canned wines are low tannin, high acid, and fruity. Canned wines may be great for people with sulfite allergies and those with an active lifestyle. Don’t expect the same quality as a fine wine, but canned wines are perfectly drinkable.
Here’s what you need to know about canned wines.
Is canned wine any good?
Don’t expect a Grand Cru quality from your canned wine. While canned wines won’t replace bottles anytime soon, they have certainly earned their place on the liquor store shelf for those times when you’re looking for an on-the-go adult beverage.
In my experience, canned wine has a bit of a flat taste, likely caused by the air-tight seal of the can. That said, I’ve had canned wines that taste just as good or better than some bottled wines.
Who drinks canned wines?
Canned wines appeal to active lifestyles. No glass allowed on the beach? No problem! Outdoor concerts, sunset hikes, and picnics all pair perfectly with canned wines.
Lightweight, single serving, quick chill times, easy to open – these may be the perfect on-the-go adult beverage. And with younger drinkers less attached to tradition, it’s no surprise that the canned wine market is growing.
Canned wines are also good for those who only want a single serving of alcohol at a time.
You don’t have to open an entire bottle and feel like you MUST drink through the entire bottle.
What wines do well in cans?
Cans are an anaerobic environment for wine, meaning no oxygen will come into contact with the liquid inside.
High-tannin wines benefit from the micro-oxidation that comes through a cork, helping to soften wine over the years.
Canned wines are not intended to be complex, ageworth craft beverages. These wines are ready to drink right as soon as they are poured.
The anaerobic conditions also mean that canned wines need less sulfite than bottled wines.
For those who have sulfite allergies, canned wines may offer a way to enjoy wines without side-effects.
As for the wine itself, low-tannin, high acid wines keep their freshness in cans, so you can expect to find fruity whites, roses, sparkling, and light-bodied reds.
Keen-eyed consumers will note that canned wines are smaller than your standard 12 oz beer.
Wine has higher alcohol content than beer, so canned wines conform to certain volume limits.
What Canned Wine Should I Buy?
If you’re ready to explore canned wines, a fun experiment is to do a side-by-side comparison of a wine from the same varietal, so a canned Pinot Grigio and bottled Pinot Grigio, for example.
Trying a canned wine along with a similar wine in bottle will give you a good sense of what canned wines can and can-not offer (pun intended).
Where to Buy Canned Wines?
In the store, canned wines are usually tucked in on a middle shelf in a tidy four-pack, somewhere between the regular bottled wines and the jug wines.
You might miss it, actually, mistaking the jeweled packaging for another run of the mill energy drink. The only giveaway will be that you are, in fact, standing in the liquor aisle.