Cans of wine have come a very long way. The category was once dismissed as a lowbrow novelty, but its meteoric rise transformed it into an everyday presence in retail stores and restaurant beverage menus across the United States. Even the most skeptical professionals in the industry accept that drinkable, delicious wine is available in cans.
The recent trend towards premium status has left buyers with a confusing influx of labels, making it hard to differentiate between those brands that are worth paying attention to and those that only exist to cash in on a current trend.
SevenFifty Daily surveyed a group of top retailers, sommeliers, and beverage directors recently to find out which cans are high quality that they would be excited to distribute this summer. The results? The result is a radically different spectrum of options, each with its style, aesthetics, grape varieties, and colors. Still, all share one goal: to provide an instant dose or refreshment by simply pulling a tab. All wines are listed along with the price per can in the establishment.
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Left: Artomana Txakolina Xarmant Txakoli (photo courtesy De Maison Selections). Right: Codey, the wine director at Ancona’s Wine and Liquors. (Photo courtesy of Codey).
Artomana Txakolina ‘Xarmant’ Txakoli 2022, Arabako Txakolina, Spain; $6.99
Codey Foster, wine Director, Ancona’s Wine and Liquors. Wilton and Ridgefield in Connecticut
Txakoli is a spritzy, summery staple from Spain’s Basque Country. Codey Foster is the wine director at Ancona Wine and Liquors in Fairfield County, Connecticut. “This is San Sebastian’s house wine, which is served locally with the bounty of the ocean,” he says. He is a long-time lover of this style and was delighted to be able to offer the Artomana Txakolina, an organically grown example in the foothills of the Sierra Salvada mountains. Foster says that the wine has a “subtle prickle,” which makes it a “brilliant aperitif and perfect accompaniment to casual moments, such as fried chicken and popcorn, or poolside and patio.”
Left: Vinca Minor ‘Moonland’ Sparkling Carignan Rose 2022 (photo credit: Lindsey Shea). Right: Adam Dunn and Erica Dunn are the co-owners at Dunn & Sons Wine. (Photo credit: Derrick Zellman).
Vinca Minor ‘Moonland’ Sparkling Carignan Rose 2022, Mendocino, California; $11
Select by Adam Dunn (co-owner), Dunn & Sons wine Yarmouth, Massachusetts
Jason Edward Charles, co-owner at Vinca Minor, says that they love canned wine because many people spend their summers on the boat or beach. Dunn describes it as “salty, zippy, and fresh” with notes of “lemon peel, watermelon and strawberry.”
Left: Djuce Meinklang “Knusprig” Gruner Veltliner (photo by Djuce). Jodie Battles is the beverage director at JK Food Group. Photo courtesy of Jodi Battles.
Djuce Meinklang ‘Knusprig’ Gruner Veltliner 2021, Austria; $12
Selected by Jodie Battles, beverage director, JK Food Group, Boston
Jodie Battles, the beverage director at Bar Pallino – a natural wine bar in a speakeasy-style – focuses on producers who share the same core values of organic farming and low-impact winemaking. This outlook led Battles to discover Djuce – the eco-focused canning wine project that teams up with sustainably-farmed, certified-organic wineries throughout Europe. Their lineup includes the Meinklang Estate, which Battles “regularly supports and showcased in our restaurants throughout the years.”
Right: Licence IV (photo by Licence IV). Kilolo Strabert, owner of Fermented Grapes. (Photo courtesy Kilolo Strabert).
Licence IV NV, Loire Valley, France; $6.99
Select by Kilolo Stobert, owner of Fermented Grapes Brooklyn
Kilolo Strober, owner of Brooklyn’s Fermented Grapes in Brooklyn, believes that the can format is a great alternative for customers asking for half bottles. She says that in the past, it was difficult to meet this request at a reasonable price. She finds that canned wine is now a good option for those who don’t want to drink more than one glass at night.
Right: Broc Cellars “Love Red” 2022 (photo by Trinity White, Starr Gazers). Kevin Born is the wine director at Rich Table, RT Rotisserie, and Rich Table (photo courtesy Rich Table).
Broc Cellars ‘Love Red’ 2022, California; $10
Kevin Born, wine Director at Rich Table Rotisserie and RT Rotisserie in San Francisco, has selected this product.
Kevin Born, wine director, explains that RT Rotisserie, a counter-service restaurant, offers rotisserie sandwiches and salads. Guests can dine at the restaurant, order food to take away or have it delivered. It’s no surprise, then, that Kevin Born has jumped aboard the canning wine bandwagon. He recommends this classic from Broc Cellars in California, which was one of the early pioneers. This classic semi-carbonic wine blend is bright, crunchy, and full of vibrant raspberries. It includes Carignan Syrah Grenache and a hint of Valdiguie. Born says, “It’s California in a jar.”
Right: Bodkin Wines “Where’s Linus?” Orange Piquette NV. (Photo credit: Chris Christensen). Chris Leon is the owner of Leon & Son. (Photo courtesy Chris Leon).
Bodkin Wines Orange Piquette NV California, $7.99
Chris Leon, owner of Leon & Son. Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Brooklyn
This apricot-scented California piquette, produced by Chris Christensen at Bodkin Wines, Sebastopol, is a testament to the diversity of this category. This is a new take on the classic piquette. It’s made from rehydrated Viognier grape skins that Chris Christensen uses to make his Where’s Linus? Orange Wine (created with Jenny & Francois). Chris Leon’s Brooklyn shop is a progressive and unconventional place, so the can’s experimental nature fits perfectly. When he thinks of the growers in his shop, he immediately recalls those small producers who were the first to embrace and take a chance on wine cans. Leon says that he prefers to pair this can with Prospect Park.