Why We'll Be Drinking Canned Wine All Summer Long

Anna Lewis
·5-min read

From Delish

Canned wine is going to be big this summer. Huge in fact. Forget canned cocktails - canned wine is what we'll be drinking in the parks, at BBQs and just about anywhere and everywhere, tbh (always drink responsibly, of course) when we're allowed out to meet friends and family again.

But what is the deal with canned wine, and why has it because such a big deal recently? We spoke to wine presenter, drinks expert and co-founder of Glass Half Full Drinks, Tom Surgey, and he explained just why wine in a can is so genius.

Why have canned wines become so popular recently?

Canned wines are booming because they offer us convenience (easy to throw in a bag when heading to a friend's house or the park), smaller serve sizes (you don’t have to commit to drinking a full bottle) and they have a positive environmental benefit too. All really important factors as conscious consumers in our purchasing decisions for 2021 and beyond.

They are also fantastic at breaking down the pomp and complexity that wine can be perceived to carry, which can be a barrier to lots of people. They have the potential to be a brilliant open door to bringing wine into more people’s everyday life.

To be honest, the UK is far behind the USA in terms of its canned wine scene, so expect further developments. More and more premium wineries will begin to use cans as one of the formats their wines are sold in. It isn’t just grab-and-go everyday wine. Check out the Larkans for example - that's certainly more than your everyday wine.

What are the benefits of canned wine?

The benefits of canned wine are the convenience and the small serves – if you just fancy the one glass, you can grab a can from the fridge and you’re off. Also, sustainability, as cans are recyclable and crucially much lighter in weight than glass bottles, so the fossil fuels burned transporting them is far lower. Which, of course, is great.

What are the negatives of canned wine?

They are totally fine and suitable for young wines, meant to be drunk immediately. But, their shelf-life is often around a year, so unsuitable for ageing wine. In addition, the development of the wine you get over time in a bottle, through the cork, isn’t possible in the airtight confines of a can. So, they’re only for easy drinking, young wines.

As ever though, demand drives innovation, so it’s likely shelf-life will extend in years to come.

There is also no denying that a big part of the magic and experience of wine is sharing a bottle between friends, for me, that’s a really key factor – wine is a social drink. A bottle is a perfect size to share an experience over. Cans don’t give you that same experience. That said, you could crack open a six-pack with your mates...

Why do some people turn their nose up at canned wine?

Unfortunately, loads of people turn their noses up at canned wine. As with any development and evolution, there are plenty of people who prefer the classic way. But, I’d say, the vast majority of people I spend time with in the drinks trade really see the opportunity for canned wine, albeit with specific wine styles. There are a time and a place for cans, and a time and a place for bottles, they don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

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Does canned wine have to be made any differently to bottled wine?

The wine itself no. The canning process requires specialist equipment that is different from bottling lines, of course. But intrinsically, no.

An interesting personal point is that in the majority of cases, canned wine can benefit from a little bit of spritz and carbonation, just a tiny bit to give it some lift – drinking anything out of a can that’s totally flat, I find to be a bit odd! The exception is the high-end wine in a can that is intended to be poured into a glass.

Should you drink canned wine from the can, or pour it into a glass?

This is always asked – the short answer is, do whatever you want to do. Most canned wines in the UK at the moment are fresh, spritzy styles that taste great from the can but as more premium wines begin to be sold in cans I think we’ll start pouring them into glasses as we do with a bottled wine more and more. The rule of thumb is, if you’ve paid lots of money for your can then you probably want to get it in a glass and stick your nose in it a bit to get the full character and experience of the wine.

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Are there any particular types of wine that suit being canned more than others?

Yes. Young, fresh, fruity, aromatic wines. White, red or rosé. The best wine for cans is light, juicy, fruity styles. Uplifting and easy drinking.

What’s the best way to store canned wine?

As with any drinks, a cool spot out of direct sunlight. Get a few in the fridge for sure, just in case – they’re made for convenience, make sure they’re conveniently chilled and ready for action!

How long does canned wine last?

About a year, in most of the examples I’ve tried.

Great examples of canned wine

I really like Larkan wines. I think they’re a great example of high-end wines in a modern format.

I also really like the new Curator wines in a can from AA Badenhorst. Both the white and the red would get a solid recommendation from me for easy drinking, genuinely exciting wines in a can.

Also, check out The Copper Crew wines in can, they’re great too.

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