Wine snobs look away now, because vin-in-a-tin is going to be the spring/summer accessory for 2019.
Already huge in the US, canned wine has been seeping its way into the UK since 2016, but this year the trend looks set to hit the big-time, with sales increasing rapidly and supermarkets all getting in on the action: Sainsbury’s and Tesco are both listing PinotPinot Sparkling Pinot Grigio, and Waitrose launched its Maris organic canned range in the summer of 2018.
But it’s not just supermarket plonk that’s getting the tin treatment, as quality wines are being canned, too. Quello is made of native grapes from Italy’s Emilia-Romagna, picked, blended and naturally fermented. The Uncommon launched the world’s first English wine in a can with its sparkling Bacchus in April 2018, with a rosé arriving this spring, and another newcomer to the scene, Nice wines is launching two still wines this year with its Pale Rosé and Sauvignon Blanc hitting shelves in Sainsbury’s from February and festivals, bars and music venues soon after.
US import and drinks-industry-darling Ramona has been papped in the hands of the wine industry’s most in-the-know. Created by top New York sommelier Jordan Salcito, who has headed up the wine programmes at David Chang’s Momofuku restaurant group and ‘World's Best Restaurant’ Eleven Madison Park in Manhattan, Ramona takes things a step further, reviving the kitsch-but-cool wine spritzers of the 80s and blending fruit flavours with sparkling wine. Hey, if it’s good enough for Salcito, it’s good enough for us, right? And, oh - it’s also a favourite of Rihanna’s. Ruby Grapefruit is available across London wine bars Vinoteca, Bodega Rita’s, Leroy and Sager+Wilde plus others, and the new lemon flavour launches this spring in Harvey Nichols.
Convenience, sustainability and portion control are some of the reasons the trend is going down so well - with no bottle openers required, lighter packaging meaning a lower carbon footprint, and the compact size meaning booze-conscious millennials no longer find themselves burdened with having to drink a full bottle. Packaging tends to be brighter and more appealing to a younger crowd as well - there are no châteaus on these labels.
So; easy to open, easy to transport and very easy to glug, it seems our train journeys, picnics and festivals have just been given a vinous makeover. While obviously not wines to age or save for that special occasion, canned wines make for a fun tipple and a light-hearted sip. After all, we’ve been glugging beers, ciders and gin-in-a-tin for years. Maybe it’s time for Merlot on-the-go?
Our favourite canned wines:
PinotPinot Sparkling Pinot Grigio, £2.00, Tesco. Buy here.
Quello, £2.50, Farmdrop. Buy here.
The Uncommon, £5.25, Hop Burns & Black. Buy here.
Ramona, £4.25, Vinoteca
Nice, £3, coming soon to Sainsbury's