CAN IT!

July 10, 2020

For a couple of years now I have been banging on about wines in cans and how they are an integral part of wine’s future. Well it seems that Covid-19 has expedited their “arrival” in the USA, with a 26% increase in canned wine sales in April this year. The availability and range has significantly broadened over the last two to three years so that there is today considerable choice of different premium wines in cans. In 2018 the number of wineries offering wine in a can in the USA rose from 125 to 350 – and still rising. There are even a few of the major brewers now offering wine in a can, having bought up smaller canned wine suppliers. There are now even canned organic wines on the market.

In a similar way, in which over time screwcaps moved from being perceived as being “cheap and nasty”, to being seen as “safe and practical” – this is what is currently occurring with canned wine.

There are several aspects to this rise in popularity, apart from the growing diversity of the offering:

►There is the novelty aspect which has a bearing on younger drinkers as each generation seeks to imbibe differently to their parents. For example, my generation shunned the Brandies, Sherries and aperitifs of our parents. This “difference” aspect is enhanced by the fact that unlike wine bottles which are somewhat limited in what can be printed (labels) on the them, cans can be screen printed right around the can making them significantly more bright, vibrant and appealing to the younger generation.

Unlike in France where younger drinkers are shunning wine for boutique beers and spirits, in most Anglo-Saxon countries (where the wine culture isn’t so deeply embedded) there is the possibility of the youth turning away from conventional wine drinking towards wines in a can. Why? Because it is seen as new, hip, funky and anti-establishment, yet provides the great flavour of wine. That is, it could be considered a “Clayton’s” rebellion, which would be a great outcome for the wine industry, being much better than if they turn to long neck beers and spirits.  

►Then there is the aspect of control, where the volume of wine in the can is a known, measurable quantity as opposed to that of a glass of wine, which is usually topped up before it has been finished and therefore it is significantly more difficult to keep track of one’s actual consumption.

►Also, very importantly for the younger, female drinker, there is the aspect of safety and security. They open their own can, and hang on to it as they go drinking it making it impossible for anybody to tamper with or spike their drink in a crowded club environment.

►Another aspect of the burgeoning success of cans is, as a California wine insider says: “The smaller servings also make it possible for all consumers to try better wines for a lower price.”

Cans have got off to a slow start here in Australia, mainly due to the bigger operators launching predominantly with fizzy stuff in their cans and very few proper, serious wines. However, this has been changing with the charge being led by the Riot Wine Company which has a sensational McLaren Vale Grenache as its can flagship wine, along with a range of other excellent wines in cans, especially its top selling, Rosé. In fact the company has been so successful since start up that last year it was bought out by Carlton Breweries, which has BIG plans for the brand. www.riotwineco.com.au

So, find an opportunity to have a ‘crack’ at some premium still wines in cans and I am sure that you won’t be disappointed.

Cheers and crack a tinny!!!

This Week's Wine Review:

This week it is something completely different the BARONS OF THE BAROSSA GRAND MASTER SHIRAZ 2018.

This is a fascinating wine that has been “assemblaged” from parcels of Shiraz sourced from fifteen of the Barossa’s most awarded winemakers, in order to support the creation and maintenance of “The Barossa Cellar”.

The Barons of the Barossa is a not-for-profit charitable organisation founded in 1975. It is dedicated to promoting the wines and gastronomy of the Barossa and has some of Australia’s finest winemakers as its members – by invitation only. The roll of past and present members reads like a “Who’s Who” of the Australian wine industry. www.baronsofbarossa.com

So now to the wine. Each of the fifteen contributing winemakers made their own wine, oaked it for twelve months before a panel consisting of Louisa Rose, Reid Bosward, Colin Glaetzer and Stephen Henschke did the assemblage. The blend was then left to settle for a while before being bottled.

Beautifully packaged this wine has a gorgeous, deep, inky-purple colour, a complex bouquet of plums, red fruit, with just a hint of spice and dash of fine vanillin oak. The palate is sophisticated, silky-smooth, with lashings of multi-layered, delightful flavours leading to a nice, tight, lingering finish. It is a fairly big Shiraz without being OTT as some of the Barossa Shiraz can be. Rather, it is elegant and delightfully tasty. A real class act that deserves to be either double-decanted at present or served with fairly rich food, be it vegetarian or meat-based. If I had to describe it in one word it would be, BRILLIANT!

Given its provenance, this cracking wine is an absolute bargain at $49.90 a bottle and is exclusively available from Vinomofo – place your order at:  www.vinomofo.com/wines/red-wine/barons-of-barossa-grand-master-shiraz-2018