In the past, wine only came in glass bottles and with traditional corks. Or, rather, this is the only way they were acceptable. Wines that came in jugs or boxes with spouts on the end were looked at as inferior, with no real purpose but to put quantity over quality with cheap wine inside. Eventually, new alternative forms of packaging emerged like Tetra Paks, kegged wine, pouches, metal bottles, stelvin wine closures and synthetic corks, and more. All of these are practical in the right application and many of them offer great wines. Free Flow Wines, for instance, offers some of your favorite Napa Valley wines in kegs across the country.
Many of these alternative packaging options also offer convenience, which make these wine options popular among the younger wine drinking crowd. One alternative packaging offering was so popular for one small winery that they made it a mainstay in their production lineup. Oregon’s Union Wine Company introduced a canned wine at the Portland’s Feast 2013 Food & Wine event as a promotional idea centered around the “beerificiation of wine” trend. It was such a hit that they decided to bring it to market Spring of 2014.
Union Wine Company offers two wines in 375mL cans from their Underwood lineup; a pinot noir and a pinot gris. I’ve tried both and both are great. What do they taste like? Well, they taste like … wait for it … wine! Cans of any beverage, be it soda, beer, or wine, often get a bad rap for its contents tasting “metallic.” The truth is that aluminum cans have a very thin lining inside that prevents its contents from actually touching the metal, which is important for something like wine that has a good amount of acidity, to prevent any possible reaction from happening inside the can.
For your next picnic, day at the beach, or even nice relaxing dinner at home, give wine outside the confines of a glass bottle a chance and see if it can’t change your mind.