Cheers! Wine Consultants

By Dan & Krista Stockman


It's getting warmer, and the days are getting longer. Surely, summer is on its way.

This summer will be like none other, and not in the ways we usually mean it when we say that. This summer, we will all likely be spending more time at home and less time at the pool, on the beach or gathering with friends and family far away.

Still, for those times when we do

Pop the top on a can full of summer fun

venture out, summer is the perfect time to take advantage of the latest trend in wine – wine in a can.

We first saw wine in cans a few years ago when we picked up the Sophia Mini, a blanc de blanc sparkling wine in a can. Sophia is made by The Francis Ford Coppola Winery, which has been a pioneer in canning wine.

Over time, we've seen a few others pop up. But last summer, the market exploded. On a visit to Meijer in Michigan, we found an entire section of canned wine – most from local wineries. Red wines, white wines, unique blends (we're looking at you, Mimosa in a can) – they had it all.

Of course, we had to try a decent variety to find out if it's worth buying wine in a can. The short answer is: Yes, if having wine in a can is convenient for where you are going to drink it. (Ok, that really wasn't very short, but it's shorter than the long answer.)

Here's just a sampling of what we found: Michael David's Freakshow Cabernet Sauvignon in a tiny, 187 ml. can (about 6 ounces, or one glass), Freeseeker California Rosé, Ste. Chapelle Blood Orange Spritz, Leelanau Cellars Summer Sunset Rosé Bubbly, Round Barn Cherry Spritzer, 14 Hands Hot to Trot Smooth Red Blend, and Pacific Rim's Eufloria, a white blend from Washington state. You can find even more here.

Wine in a can is extremely convenient for the beach or a picnic, or poolside where glass is not allowed. It's easy to grab a couple cans to go over to a non-wine drinking friend's house (If this one applies to you, you may want to rethink your friends list. Why would you willingly hang out with these people? We're kidding. Mostly.) and carries none of the pretension of showing up with a bottle and corkscrew.

The canned wine is typically the same as bottled wine, though canned wines often tend to be sweeter and more chuggable wines, which makes sense because if you're buying canned wine, it's probably not for a formal occasion. There are a few other things you'll want to keep in mind when drinking wine out of a can.

First, one 12-ounce can is equal to two glasses. This is important, because you might think that, just like a beer, one can is one drink. Not so with wine. One can is TWO drinks (unless it's a mini can, like the Freakshow). Be mindful because this form of drinking can sneak up on you quickly.

Another thing to keep in mind: A pull-top can is a one-use container, meaning you either have to finish the can or pour it out, because there's no cork to shove back in to keep the leftovers for another time. That means you need to be able to drink TWO glasses when you open one – something to consider if you need to drive or act like a parent.

Try not to drink out the can. We've done extensive personal experimentation on which type of glass is best out of which to drink wine, and cans are NOT at the top of that list. When you drink from the can, you can taste the can. It is far better to pour it in any other glass, cup, or non-metal drinking apparatus you have nearby. If you don't have anything else, the can will work, but just know that it will affect the taste of the wine.

Finally, and we can't imagine why you might do this, but don't try to age wine in a can. Wine in a can is all about convenience and enjoying it RIGHT NOW. It won't age. Don't try it. (Unless you are into wine experiments, which we can get behind. Let us know how it goes.)

As we go into this unusual summer, find ways to make your own fun. And bring a can of wine.