A few weeks ago, I had this idea. Step one: Buy a can of every wine they would sell a single can of at Safeway. Step two: have some people over (initially just Liam and myself, thankfully expanded to six by tasting day) to try them all. Step 3: See which, if any, we could recommend as being good, as being wine we would happily drink and encourage others to drink.
We ended up with 24 cans of wine. We consumed all of these in a 4 hour period. Most of them were from Safeway, three were from Decant in San Francisco, one was from Trader Joe’s and one was from the fridge in a friend’s office.
If you’re asking “why would I do this”, you’re not alone. Wine has a lot of social baggage wrapped up around who drinks it, how it sold, how it’s drunk, and what’s “high brow” or “low brow”. Canned wine isn’t necessarily sneered at, because it’s often not even considered as something worth study. It’s dismissed as “quaffing wine” or “jug wine”, and not subjected to scrutiny.
I think this attitude is a mistake. The wine industry is changing, consumer tastes are changing, even the preferred format is changing. Many of the people I talk to who want to enjoy wine, or who already do enjoy wine, want to enjoy wine a glass or two a night. Some of them have partners or friends who don’t drink, or who are allergic to alcohol. Yes, our wine preservation technology grows by leaps and bounds every year, but the 750ml format is still a hindrance more than a help to a vast number of aficionados.
So let’s take canned wine seriously enough to appreciate it, or at least judge it on its own merits, and encourage our friends to buy the wines worth drinking. By doing so, we’ll hopefully encourage producers to adopt and expand canned wine as a consumer-friendly alternative to the traditional bottle.
– Philip James, EiC