One of the potential big new trends for this summer is canned wine. In the USA canned wine has seen huge growth – admittedly from a very low base – in the past few years, much of it on the back on the craft beer movement, and there are now some fairly high quality producers putting wine in cans.
I can see the appeal – great for picnics or outdoor events without the issue of breakages, but is there going to be an image problem?
It reminds me a little of the rise of screw caps – or to give them their correct and seldom-used name, Stelvin closures. There was a perception that wine in screw capped bottles was cheap and probably poor quality.
But, under £10, I would pick a screw capped wine every time and, if you look at New Zealand, it’s almost impossible to find a bottle with a cork in it now.
So can (excuse the pun) canned wine become an accepted part of our wine aisles? By the looks of things the supermarkets are certainly going to give it a good crack.
I’ve not tasted all the canned wines currently available – in fact, some I have actively avoided – but these are the wines I would certainly be happy to drink.
Forward thinking Provence producer Mirabeau has just launched Pret-a-Porter Rosé, IGP Méditerranée (Waitrose £3.49 250ml) and this does exactly what is says it does on the tin.
Although this isn’t strictly Provence rosé, it’s really very good and absolutely spot on for a picnic hamper. It’s pale pink in colour, but does that matter if you are drinking it straight from the can?
There are some soft summer red fruits and citrus on the nose, followed by a zesty palate and a dry, fresh finish. For me this is the perfect example of what can be achieved with a canned wine.
Maris Organic Rosé, Vin de France (Waitrose £3.49 250ml) is not quite in the same league but it still works very well and it has the added bonus that it is organic. The nose has some nice red berry fruits, followed by a dry, fresh palate.
There is also a red in the range, Maris Organic Shiraz, Vin de France (Waitrose £3.49 250ml) which does lead me back to my question about drinking straight from the can. It feels a little stranger with red than it does for white and rosé.
However, this is the best of the canned reds I’ve tasted, it has some nice dark fruits on the nose, followed by some juicy, ripe fruits on the palate. Ideal for a barbecue on the beach.
The Uncommon Bubbly White, England (Waitrose £3.99 250ml on offer from £4.99 until June 11) gets my nod for one of my favourite labels of the year, whether in a can or a bottle, and how brilliant is it to see an English fizz innovating like this?
Made from bacchus, this is lots of fun with its crisp elderflower and green apple fruit. It’s relatively low in alcohol – 11.5 per cent – and according to the back label ‘pairs perfectly with the 17.01 from Waterloo’. Brilliant.