Wine…in a can?
As unbelievable as the concept may seem to the Italian wine lover, the sale of canned wines has taken of in recent years. This is particularly the case in America, where it has become something of a fashionable trend!
And we can see some of the reasons why!
After all, wine in a can is certainly more convenient than bottled wine. You just take the can out, pop it open and pour. You can even drink straight out of the can, if you so desire. That means you don’t have to worry about choosing the right wine glass or messing around with corks. And seeing as the wine is canned, you’re basically getting a single serving of wine with each can, which takes storage after opening out of the equation.
There’s also the environmental aspect to consider.
While it’s certainly possible to recycle Italian wine bottles, the recycling of cans is a far more efficient and less expensive process. The environmentally-conscious may decide to go down the canned route simply because it offers them an easier way to reduce their carbon footprint.
And on top of this, there are even some who claim that canning wine can help to improve the drinking experience. For example, cans allow white wines to cool much faster than bottles do, which means that somebody can buy some cans, pop them in the fridge, and have them ready to drink in no time at all.
So, there are some benefits to going the canned route.
But would we recommend it to the Italian wine lover?
And here are just a few of the reasons why!
Reason #1 – The Ageing Problem
Perhaps the biggest issue with cans are that they’re not a suitable vessel to enable the ageing of Italian wines. This isn’t much of a problem with wines that are best consumed while young. But for a wine that releases its true qualities with age?
Cans just won’t cut it.
At best, you can leave an Italian wine in a can for about 18 months before it loses everything that makes it special. And during those 18 months, you could argue that the wine isn’t gaining anything in quality. Instead, it’s losing what makes it so special because the vessel just isn’t suitable for the ageing process.
So, if you’re looking for wines that you can store over the long-term, or simply don’t want to feel like you’re being forced to drink your wine almost as soon as you buy it, there’s simply no argument to make for cans being a good choice.
Reason #2 – Lack of Variety
Yes, canned wine is becoming an increasingly popular trend in some parts of the world.
But the term “popular” is relative.
Canned wines are more popular now than they’ve ever been before. But in comparison to bottled wines, the sales of canned wines are far lower, to the point where they’re still barely a blip on the radar.
What does this mean for consumers?
Far less variety.
Unless canned wines explode in popularity to the point where they’re selling in volumes that are anywhere near bottles wines, the top producers simply won’t touch them. There isn’t enough of a market there to justify the different methods of production and storing required, which means canned wine enthusiasts face a very limited selection.
This may change over time, especially if the trend towards canned wines continues. But for the time being, this is still more a novelty product than a mainstream one, which means you’re going to be limited with your buying options if you go the canned route.
Reason #3 – There Are Health Concerns
Cans made for food and drinks are traditionally made using aluminium.
And to prevent the contents from reacting negatively with the metal, producers often used a chemical called bisphenol A (BPA). It’s been in so much of our food since the 1960s. But the problem here is that BPA has links to a range of health issues that you likely don’t want to experience. Research shows that BPA may be a contributing factor in several hormonal and reproductive disorders. There are even some studies that link it to cancer, heart disease, and stunted brain development.
For a wine to survive in a can, BPA may have to be present. And this creates a health risk.
There’s another problem to consider too…
Have you ever tried to look at the contents of a can of soda? Once opened, you can just about see the liquid inside. But you can’t see all that much, which makes it difficult to tell if the contents are expired.
This is an even bigger problem with wine, which tends to take on a vinegary taste when over-oxidized to the point where it’s basically expired. While drinking “out of date” wine won’t necessarily hurt you, it also isn’t a very pleasant experience.
Reason #4 – Portion Issues
The average can of soda contains 330ml of liquid.
That’s a lot more than you might think. And it’s certainly more than you’d normally pour into a regular glass of wine. If you don’t believe us, try pouring a can of soda into a wine glass. You’ll run out of glass before you run out of soda in the majority of cases.
This means that portion control is a problem when it comes to canned wines. And that means you have the choice of drinking more than you’d like to or trying to store an open can for later. With no screw caps for resealing, the latter isn’t really an option. But drinking too much just to have the convenience of the can isn’t the healthiest choice either.
The Final Word
So, will canned wines replace traditional bottled Italian wines.
We’re not exactly going out on a limb when we say no. Canning foods and drinks has existed as a concept for decades and there are plenty of reasons why wine in a can hasn’t ever become a major thing.
We see this as being a fad rather than a consistent trend. And even if canned wines do become more popular, the reasons for sticking with bottled are clear, as you can see above.