Canned wine is the latest trend in wine in the USA at the moment and it looks set to move across the Atlantic and become a firm favourite in the UK market. Canned alcoholic drinks used to be synonymous with dubious quality but that trend has been changing over recent years. Beautifully packaged premium canned lagers are everywhere, as are canned gin and tonics, Pimms and, Diane Abbott’s favourite, the mojito. Cans are considerably more environmentally friendly than bottles, having a far smaller carbon footprint. Lighter and easy to carry they make great sense for picnics or for a mid-week glass of wine when you don’t quite want to open a bottle.
The good news for wine lovers is that premium wines are now moving into cans. The trend started in the USA where the market has grown by 263% in the last three years.
Our Top Tips
We did a two-tier tasting. Half our panel was over 40 however the other half were millennials, my 21 year old daughter and her friends. Millennials are a big part of the canned wine market and so we were keen to have their input.
Ferdinand Albarino 2017 £12.00 for a 375ml can from Bottle Apostle A Californian Albarino this 375ml can is the equivalent of half a bottle of wine. We all this gave this a five-star rating. It is delicious, with real depth, savoury but with hints of lemon and grapefruit. It is lees aged in neutral oak for 8 months before canning giving the wine finesse and a hint of nuttiness. Definitely a premium wine and one to make any wine snobs rethink their take on wine in cans. Popular with all generations. I will be buying this one again.
Mirabeau Pret A Porter £3.49 (25cl can) – Waitrose Mirabeau makes a classic Provencal Rosé which has been selling in bottles in Waitrose for the last few years. The bottled Mirabeau wines are firm family favourites and we were thrilled when we heard it was going into cans for Summer 2019. This typically Provencal Rosé perfectly complements the existing Mirabeau range in terms of quality and style. This was the favourite of the younger generation.
Quello £2.70 (200ml can) A semi-sparkling white wine made from a blend of Trebbiano and Pagadebit Italian grapes. It’s very light and refreshing and as it is not too sweet we think it would make a great alternative to Prosecco. I will definitely be considering using it as a mixer for an Aperol Spritz when there aren’t enough of us drinking it to warrant opening a bottle. Quello’s packaging is really vibrant and appealing. We bought ours at Bottle Apostle but it is also available from CostCo, Borough Wines and Wholefoods.
Battle of the Roses
Our two-generational testing team enjoyed a comparative tasting of three canned Rosés, Mirabeau, Maris and Nice. Nice is a new drinks brand with packaging and advertising aimed to appeal to millennials. Light and refreshing with a slight spritz it was definitely a hit with the younger generation. We ranked it second in our tasting. The favourite across the group was Mirabeau. It is a classic Provencal Rosé, well rounded with an appealing pale pink colour and rose petal aroma. Least popular was the Organic Maris Rosé which tasted quite sharp when sipped from the can. We decided to try putting it into a glass through the aerator and we all felt this improved it bringing out the nose and taste of strawberries.
The younger generation seemed very happy with the idea of the drinking out of a can however I think I might be bringing some glasses along on my picnics and perhaps my Vinturi Aerator as well.
Where to Buy Canned Wine in the UK
So where can you go if you want to buy a can of wine this summer? Quite a few of the major retailers seem to be dipping their toe in the water. This is what we found
Sainsbury stock: Nice ((both the Rose and Sauvignon Blanc) – £2.80 for a 250ml can), I Heart Rose Frizzante (£2.20 for a 200ml can) and Pinot Pinot Pinot Grigio (£2.25 for 200ml)
Marks and Spencer have a good range of Most Wanted Wines, Pinot Grigio Fizz and Pinot Grigio Pink Fizz (200ml cans)
Tesco: Most Wanted Wines, Pinot Grigio Fizz and Pinot Grigio Pink Fizz
Waitrose stock both Mirabeau (£3.95 for a 250ml) and Maris in both Rosé and French Shiraz varieties (£3.49 for a 250ml but currently on special offer; 2 cans for £5)
At Wholefoods we discovered both Quello (200ml cans) and Mirabeau (250m; cans) in the chiller cabinet. Finally, Selfridges are UK stockists for The Uncommon, an English Sparkling Rose (£5.99 for a 250ml or £19.99 for 4 cans).
Can You Help Us Discover More?
It has been great fun discovering the canned wine market over the last few weeks. Smaller wine merchants are behind the curve in embracing this new trend in packaging. However, we did come across a few interesting alternatives to the tin. Our favourite was the range of Bagnum wines by Du Grappin which we found in The Good Wine Shop. The packaging of these Magnums in a bag keeps your wine fresh for weeks. Not only does it keep the oxygen out, it saves both the environment (up to 80% lower carbon emissions than glass packaged wines) and your wallet. Du Grappin comes in three varieties: a Rosé From Nyons in the central Rhône Valley made from juicy fruity Cinsault grapes, a Macon-Village Chardonnay and a Côtes-du-Rhône Grenâche-Syrah.
We plan to keep updating this information so if you discover any canned wine near you or would like to let us know about wines you have tried do get in touch.