It’s not what’s on the outside, but what’s on the inside that counts. That theory was true in kindergarten and it’s true today. Except this time we’re not talking about classmates; we’re talking about our favorite dinner table staple: wine.
Wine in nontraditional packaging like twist off bottles or boxes (and Tetra Paks) has gotten a bad rap over the years, but vino lovers are finally waking up. And cans in particular can provide some benefits that other vessels can’t. Good things sometimes do come in metal packages.
Good Things Also Come in the Mail
Check out the best wine subscriptions if you can't quite quit bottles.
Canned wine has skyrocketed in popularity of late. According to a 2018 report from Nielsen, canned wine has seen “tremendous dollar growth” as drinkers favor the portable, easy-to-consume beverage at outdoor events. Like your favorite seltzer or beer, canned wine deserves a place in your fridge. Here’s why.
Easy to Carry
One of the best things about cans of wine is how they can easily be toted everywhere—“whether you’re relaxing at the beach, manning the barbecue, picnicking, or tailgating,” says Winc wine director Brooke Matthias. And unlike boxes, which also give you some major bang for your buck, you don’t need any additional equipment to imbibe. “No glasses or corkscrews required,” says Matthias. “A can is also a good choice if your gathering has people with a range of tastes, or if you simply want one glass. You can have rosé while your friend has sparkling wine, without having to crack open two bottles.
Coleman Steel-Belted Portable Cooler, $115.56 on Amazon
Cool your chic canned wine in a chic new cooler!
Good For the Wine
Yes, cans are easy to tote along to the beach or outdoor concert, but they also provide specific benefits to the actual booze. “Cans are great for wine,” says WineClubReviews.net‘s Jessyca Frederick. “Keeping air and light out of wine is the #1 goal of a container in order to prevent oxidation [which can eventually lead to a vinegary taste]. Aluminum is 100 percent UV resistant and cans are, by design, air-tight.” Wine companies see a financial benefit, too, as cans are cheaper to buy, so bottling costs for start-up wineries can be lower when using cans.
Good For the Environment
In addition to their portability, canned wines may have an even bigger benefit: less of an environmental impact. “Cans weigh less than bottles and are more compact,” Frederick says. “The volume of wine being constant, shipping costs associated with wine in a can are lower both because of size and weight of the vessel. This is an environmental boon as fewer trucks are needed to transport the same amount of wine and less fuel is consumed transporting the same volume.” Sounds like all the more reason to pop that top!
Other Ways to Help the Environment
Adopt a can-do attitude about fighting food waste.
What to Buy
The same guidelines for picking a good bottled wine apply to one in a can: drink what you love. “The advice is still the same; try as many wines as you can until you find the ones you like,” Frederick says.
Since canned beverages typically end up in your fridge, it makes sense that some of the best canned wines are served at lower temps. “I love to drink canned wines outside when temperatures are warm,” Matthias says. “I look for whites, rosés, or reds that are lighter bodied and taste great with a slight chill, like sauvignon blanc, pinot noir, and rosé.”
So, what should you avoid? Just say no to anything that has a price that’s too good to be true. “[Avoid] canned wines that are too inexpensive—most likely less care has been taken during the winemaking,” Matthias says. “I’d also recommend avoiding cans without a vintage and/or appellation noted, so that you can make sure you know what wine you’re drinking!”
Related Video: 7 of the Best Box Wine to Serve a Crowd
All featured products are curated independently by our editors. When you buy something through our retail links, we may receive a commission. For more great hand-picked products, check out the Chowhound Shop.
Header image courtesy of House Wine.