Look. We’re not saying sommeliers are going to start carrying sixers to your table (at least not yet), but: The can-o-wine is here, it’s not beer, so get used to it.
They’re easy to pack and they don’t break. And since light kills wine, technically the can is a more-than-worthy vessel. Light also skunks beer, and is why some of the best craft brewers opt for ray-blocking aluminum. These same elite brewers—and the winemakers who can their juice—have also figured out a safe way to treat the can, so there’s no metallic taste transferred to you.
If the specs are up to snuff, why then haven’t we seen more cans with better wine on the shelves, like these decent-tasting Underwoods from Oregon’s Union Wine Co.?
First, canning machines aren’t cheap, so a producer needs both the upfront means and the output to justify the cost. (This knocks out a legion of fledgling young-gun winemakers, whose generation is already can-beer crazy.)
The other reason may lie in the fact that, despite its current cachet in the craft beer world, the can still represents more of a stigma to the wine industry. After all, a can in the hand gives its holder a touch of rugged everyman—a vibe not lost on young beer drinkers (insert your favorite Brooklyn joke here). This flies in the face of plenty of traditional oenophiles and wine peddlers who cling to wine’s elitist pedigree and who still consider the can (and even beer) as some cultural dividing line.
In that sense, if the wine in these aluminum soldiers continues to improve, could the can further change wine’s already-shifting image from snobby to approachable and cool? Crack a few and see what happens.