Everything You Need To Know About Canned Wine

It's not just you, and it's not just rosé – Americans are drinking more and more wine these days. While the amount of wine Americans drink on the whole has continued to increase year over year, millennials are consuming the most. A 2016 study from Wine Spectator found that people between 21 and 38 are consuming nearly half of all wine in the U.S. — 42%.
As we drink more and more wine, we're also becoming more and more casual about how, when, and why we drink it. Increasingly, that means wine from a can. To learn more about the trend, we talked to two experts: Brett Vankoski, the wine director at Lila, and Marian Leitner, the founder of Archer Roose, both producers of canned wines.
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"A decade or so ago, wine was considered a formal beverage for formal occasions that only certain people would choose to consume," explains Vankoski. Now, that's no longer the case — we're just as likely to open a bottle of wine because it's 5 p.m. on a Tuesday as we are to celebrate a graduation or promotion. That budding casual relationship with wine has also meant that the market for canned wine is also exploding. But while canned wine might seem like a bad substitute for bottled wine, that's actually far from the case. Here are five reasons you should be drinking canned wine all summer long.
1. It's Perfect For On-The-Go
Canned wine is a lot easier to tote around than bottled. No need to lug along a heavy bottle (or a corkscrew, or wine glasses) — the can is pre-portioned, easy to pack, and doesn't require additional accessories to enjoy. It's also a great way for one or two people to share some wine without having to open an entire bottle.
2. It's Great For The Wines You Already Love In The Summer
Easy-drinking (and inexpensive) wines that you already love in hot weather are perfect for cans. Once in a can, wine is only good for a little over a year, making it ideal for light, refreshing wines that aren't meant to age, like rosé and Prosecco, says Vankoski. Those wines — especially the ones that are chilled — just happen to be exactly what we crave during the hot summer months.
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3. Europeans Have Been Doing It For Years
The idea of wine as something that can only be consumed out of a bottle is relatively new. "People have been drinking wine for millennia, and traditionally it was in whatever format best fit the wine and the drinkers lifestyle," explains Leitner. Over time, that's meant wine from clay, animal skins, barrels, the list goes on. Cans are just one of the latest iterations, that, liked boxed wine, has long been popular in Europe before making inroads stateside.
4. You Can Still Expect Great Quality
Many canned wine producers work hard to source wine that stacks up to wine being sold more traditionally in bottles. " All our wines are single estate sourced and sustainably produced — with no unnecessary additives," Leitner tells us. Similarly, Lila sources its sparking from Italy and rosé from Provence.
5. It's A Great Value
It's no secret we love cheap wine, but In the U.S., consumers are often paying as much for shipping as they are for the wine itself, Leitner says. Wine bottled in lighter, more compact packaging (like cans and boxes) is cheaper to put on shelves — and those savings can be passed on to the consumer. If you're not sure where to start, the same rules we use for buying cheap bottled wine also apply here. When it doubt, don't hesitate to ask for a recommendation at your local wine store.
But There's One Catch...
Canned wine's one drawback? It might just be a little too good. In a canned format, it can be easy to knock back a few cans without even realizing it, and that can go to your head, literally. Both Lila and Archer Roose come in 250 ml cans that look pretty small — until you realize that's about a third of a regular bottle of wine. And those cans are actually on the smaller side. Underwood, another popular canned wine brand, has 375 ml a can, or half a bottle. That's a lot more wine per serving than you'd get from a regular pour of wine, which is around 125 ml, or a sixth a bottle of wine. Even if you consider a pour you'd serve yourself at home to be a little bit larger, at 6 oz, that's still around 177 ml, and less than a typical can.
When compared to a can of beer, that's a lot more alcohol in a tasty little can. Considering that many beers hover around 5% alcohol mark, and even high gravity beers (beers with more alcohol per volume) are around just 8%, the 13% alcohol typical to many canned wines is nothing to take lightly. So crack open a can of wine and toast summer — carefully.
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