Canned wine sales were $39 million in 2017, up close to 70% from the prior year. Boxed wine sales were $1.28 billion in 2017. All of this data is from Nielsen Sales Data. There was even a piece on CNBC recently about canned wine:
So canned wine is increasing in popularity, but is it any good? We set out to at least partially answer this question for ourselves with a blind tasting of six wines, half from a bottle and half from a can. We drink a lot of Rosé. It is light, crisp and made for enjoyment verses being too serious. We thought those characteristics were a good place to start with canned wine.
- Backpack Cheeky Rose – 250ml can for $4.49 (price per ml: 1.8¢)
- House Wine Rose – 375ml can for $4.99 from Total Wine (pp ml: 1.3¢)
- Jacqueline Leonne Rose – 4 pack of 187ml cans for $13.99 (pp ml: 1.9¢)
- Mascota Vineyards La Mascota Rose 2016 – 750ml bottle for $9.99 (pp ml: 1.3¢)
- Kim Crawford Rose 2017 – 750ml bottle for $14.99 (pp ml: 2.0¢)
- Domaine Loubejac Rose Willamette 2016 – 750ml bottle for $12.99 (pp ml: 1.7¢)
INTERESTING OBSERVATIONS AND TASTING DETAILS
- None of the canned wines had a vintage on them
- We did not drink the canned wines from the can, you’ll be glad to know we also did not drink the bottled wines from the bottle. We used nice stemware.
- Visually, you could not tell canned from bottled. They were all six different shades of pink or pink with orange.
- One of the canned wines turned out to be effervescent. Luckily it was only slightly bubbly and we did not notice it in the clear cups the wines were presented in.
- Again, the tasting was blind. We went through each wine individually taking notes and scoring the wine 0-10 and trying to capture things that stood out.
- If you do the math using the price per millilitre (ml) above, the average price per ml was the exact same for the cans and bottles, 1.66¢. Not planned. All the wines were purchased from Total Wine.
#1 Mascota Vineyards La Mascota Rose (BOTTLE) – Jana and I both rated this #1. Not a can, but the least expensive wine in the tasting. With the 6 bottle discount our true cost of this wine was $8.99. This is made from Malbec from Mendoza Argentina.
Our Tasting Notes: The lightest wine in color, just barely tinted, bright fruit smell, flint, light strawberry, medium plus acid.
#2 Tie – Kim Crawford Rose (BOTTLE) – Jana and I both rated this #3. From New Zealand, Kim Crawford is known for their Sauvignon Blanc, but this Rose is another success. I can’t find the grape varietal anywhere.
Our Tasting Notes: The darkest wine in color, honeysuckle, berry, strawberry, rock, lime. More body than the other wines.
#2 Tie – Jacqueline Leonne Rose (CAN) – #2 from John and #4 from Jana. This wine had the slight effervescence and it had just a slight touch of sugar or sweetness. This was enjoyable for sure. Add the convenience of the can and I understand why canned wine sales are up 60-70%. We travel a fair amount for soccer tournament weekends and this will find its way into the cooler going forward. The only bad news, this wine ends up the most expensive of the six when you factor in the 6 bottle discount for the Kim Crawford. This wine is sold in bottle as well. The grape is Pinot Noir.
Our Tasting Notes: Slightly sweet, light pink, strawberry, refreshing, would drink again.
#4 – Backpack Cheeky Rose (CAN) – John’s least favorite and Jana’s second favorite. We were pretty far apart on this one. This is a blend we can’t ID and the grapes are from Washington.
Our Tasting Notes: light orange/pink in color, salmon color, honeysuckle, fruit, don’t like the nose, bitter lime.
#5 Housewine Rose (CAN) – #5 from Jana and #4 from John. This wine is from Columbia Valley in Washington State and made from a blend of Grenache, Mourvedre, Lemberger, Roussane, and Sangiovese.
Our Tasting Notes: pretty light pink, some bubbles, smells acidic, mineral nose, light on acid, strawberry, fruity, slightly sweet.
#6 Domaine Loubejac Rose Willamette 2016 (BOTTLE) – #6 from Jana and #5 from John. A bit surprising to us, maybe because we tend to enjoy so many wines from Willamette Valley, Oregon. Made from a blend we were not able to identify.
Our Tasting Notes: peach color, light color and clear, acidic, not much fruit, watermelon, cough syrup, light fruit, touch bitter.
Summary and What We Learned
Overall, our blind tasting results revealed we prefer bottle wine to the cans. However, the cans showed better than we expected. We are excited to try other canned wines, especially in the rosé and lighter white wine space. It is hard to envision popping the top on a big red Cabernet blend with balance, finesse and complexity. A lot of resources tend to go into those wines and I’m usually not looking for convenience when I take time to enjoy them.
We borrowed the beautiful featured photo from Food & Wine online. Here is a link to their article on the 9 Best Canned Wines.