Wine in a Can?

There has been much discussion about boxed and tetra pak wines, but I was surprised to see canned wines featured in a recent SAQ article on the latest trends.

Available in a 250ml format, it represents 1/3 of a standard bottle, though it advertises two glasses. No need for a corkscrew or even a glass for that matter, it’s a convenient alternative for those who can’t or prefer not to bring glass. A sailor myself, it’s nice to know that there’s an alternative to beers or coolers that we can offer friends at the dock.

Popular in Europe and the U.S., this format is now breaking into the Canadian market. There is a theory that it’s those darn millennials who are driving the trend, but I’m in favour of anything that demystifies wine and makes it more approachable and affordable for all. And at $4.95 a can in Quebec ($3.95 in Ontario), it’s a single serving format whose price is also easy to swallow.

The SAQ (and LCBO for my Ontario friends) is currently stocking two wines, the Big House ‘Cardinal Zin’ Zinfandel and the Big House ‘The Birdman’ Pinot Grigio, so I thought I would try them out.

Big House CanZinfandel, also known as Primitivo, is a varietal that has been popularized by California. This wine is actually a blend of 34% Zinfandel, 33% Petite Syrah and 33% Syrah. On the nose, it presents raspberry and cherry with hints of pepper and sweet spice. It’s fruit forward, medium-bodied with consistent cherry and spice on the palate. It definitely has a crowd pleasing flavour profile. It pairs beautifully with lamb chops or beef kabobs or a tangy BBQ burger! This wine is also available in a 750 ml bottle andBig House Pinot 3L box.

Big House Wine Company’s ‘The Birdman’ Pinot Grigio is also a blend, with 80% Pinot Grigio, 12% Viognier, 4% Chadonnay and 4% Sauvignon Blanc. I picked up citrus, floral and wet stone aromas. On tasting the wine, those shone through, adding pear and flint and maintaining the wine’s balance. This is a nice wine that would appeal to most, whether to sip at the cottage or to pair with a picnic lunch. It would be wonderful with a grilled chicken sandwich or goat cheese salad.

Overall, the experience of drinking wine out of a can was a bit strange. For the traditionalists out there, it will be a challenge: You can’t really pickup the aromas of the wine over the metal can smell. However, if you’re pouring the wine into a glass, you’ll be just fine.

I like the fact that producers like Big House Wine Company are exploring packaging alternatives that reduce their carbon footprint and appeal to people who want to try something new. I hope to see more wine cans very soon!

4 thoughts on “Wine in a Can?

    1. I wanted to fight it too, but we have to recognize that the wine world is constantly changing and you guys in CA are leading the way in many areas! I’m honestly not sure if it will catch on, but it’s fun to see thw evolution. Thanks for the blog as well!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Tried the pinot grigio on the boat one night but couldn’t get past the metallic flavours, even after pouring it into a glass. Which is too bad, since I like the bottled version. Ah well. Will have to risk the potential broken glass on days of spirited sailing!


    1. I found the metal overwhelming while sipping from the can, but it seemed to disappear in the glass for me. Broken glass is just a risk you’ll have to take, unless you find a tetra pak you can recommend 😀


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