Canned wine at Christmas

Wine in a can—rising fad for a couple of years. It has obvious application to summer picnics, camping adventures, boating excursions.

Now part of the wine can pitch is Christmas. Yes, Christmas. Think “ideal stocking stuffer.” Hey, marketeers gotta do what marketeers gotta do.

Actually, it makes sense. Most wine cans are 250 ml to 375 ml—compared to standard bottle of 750 ml. Hard to get a full bottle in a Christmas stocking even if you have magic Santa Claus powers. On the other hand, 250 ml cans fit nicely.

Smaller quantity is part of the wine can sales pitch. Don’t want to drink a whole bottle? Drink a whole can. Small cans hold about a glass and a half. Larger cans (beer can size) hold about two-and-one half glasses. There is problem when drinkers think about a can of wine as equivalent to a can of beer. A six-pack of 375 ml cans is equivalent to swilling three standard bottles of wine.

What about the wine? For the most part, canned wine is entry-level stuff. Not terrible, drinkable, not special. Convenience, not quality. You also are not buying cans to put down for age. Even wine canners admit aluminum and wine do not play well together. A special liner is needed, and that liner will survive for a year, maybe less.

When you buy wine in a can, buy to drink now. The clock started ticking at the wine cannery, not when you bought it at the store. The important date on canned wine is not the vintage, it is when it was canned.

Canned wines may not wow, but they are not abhorrent. If you get one in your stocking this Christmas, give it a shot. Preferably before New Years.

Tasting notes (quality bottles):

• Cakebread Cellars Pinot Noir Two Creeks Vineyards, Anderson Valley 2017: Solid, concentrated, assertive Mendocino County pinot. $43-55 Link to my review

• Mi Sueño Winery Syrah, Napa Valley 2015: Very impressive effort from an inspiring and impressive winery. Superbly delicious with rich, engaging fruit. $55 Link to my review

• Siduri Pinot Noir Zena Crown Vineyard, Eola–Amity Hills 2016: Outstanding. Zena Crown is world-class pinot noir vineyard, equivalent to what To Kalon is for cabernet sauvignon in Napa. $55-75 Link to my review

• Champagne Delamotte Rosé NV: Rich, delicious, elegant; smooth with vibrant acidity and tangy undercurrent. $83-93 Link to my review

Last round: We did not send Christmas cards this year. We spent money on wine. Buuurp. Yes, sparkling wine. Merry Christmas.