Summer is upon us, as well as a lightened curfew and more daylight time for activities. What better way to celebrate this newfound freedom than with some wine in a can?
From picnics, hikes and even music festivals, they are perfect for your on-the-go adventure. They are easy to transport, a perfect portion size for one or to share, quick to chill, recyclable and the design is aesthetically pleasing enough to fit into any photo op. This is truly where convenience and quality meet.
The 9Lives team reviewed some of the most popular wine in a can options currently available.
Tessa: Black Elephant Vintners & Co
This one I was extremely excited to taste. I’ve only heard of the “Rebels of the vines” but I’ve never had the chance to taste their wine. The range includes a Pinot Noir, Rosé and a Sauvignon Blanc. Compared to some of the other cans they lack a bit in design and probably won’t be the first one I pick in a lineup. But the sleek, minimalistic look might appeal to someone else.
Red wine in a can has never sounded too appealing, but their Pinot Noir is surprisingly good. I would recommend keeping the cans cooled and maybe decanting them into glasses, as the slight taste of metal might throw you off. The Rosé has quite a strong taste, but it is definitely one of my favourites of all the Rosé’s. The Sauvignon Blanc on the other hand was one of my least favourites and was a bit too sweet for my liking (although there’s nothing that lots of ice can’t fix).
R399 for 12, www.cancan.wine
I was initially attracted to CanCan Wines’ very aesthetically pleasing design, with the colours and visuals corresponding to the wine sort. When I learned the story behind the brand, I forgot some of my earlier misgivings about wine in a can:
“CanCan wines pay homage to the French cabaret dance characterized by freedom from propriety and enthusiastic abandon. Similarly we present you wine in a can.”
CanCan Wines, to me, speaks to the initial excitement of the slow easing of a very long, tiresome lockdown (without alcohol) and finally being able to see friends and family again, albeit only a few at a time. With summer around the corner, these cans are also perfectly beach or poolside drinking companions and while the taste takes some getting used to, it’s the refreshing concept and ease of drinking that gets my vote.
The CanCan Satine, a rosé wine, is light and fruity, but quite sweet, while the CanCan La Goulue, a Chenin Blanc, is slightly easier to drink but still not near the robustness of a traditional Chenin. I look forward to tasting the La Mélinite, a sparkling wine, next.
Ansumi: Kleine Wijn Gezelschap Bubbly Pinot Noir Rosé
From R129 (4 pack) – R790 (24 pack), winecan.co.za
It is such an interesting thing. I remember a few years back chatting with my mates we said “imagine if they were to put wine in a can someday”, and probably thought what a long shot that would be. Well, that someday has arrived. Drinking wine from a can sounded very exciting and extremely convenient, and for the most part it was exactly that.
The Kleine Wijn Gezelschap Bubbly Pinot Noir Rosé is a fierce wine, with a combination of bitter and sweet notes. I am someone that can enjoy both bitter and sweet, but for me personally this Pinot just tickled my bitter taste buds a little bit too much. When served extremely cold on a warm day, it is a refreshing beverage to have. Compared to other canned wines, this wasn’t the one to stand out to me. I think because in my mind I expect something in a can to be more easy drinking, this Pinot came across a little harsh. Wine in a can may be very convenient going on a picnic, but for me, I still want it in a nice wine glass.
R249 for 6 cans, uncanny.co.za
I have to admit, wine in a can isn’t something I would have picked in a liquor store if it was surrounded by my usual go-to drinks. But, luckily for me, I have very curious colleagues and the opportunity soon presented itself to taste these unusually packaged wines.
The Uncanny wine range was South Africa’s first wine in a can, and it might be the one you recognise first in the line-up. The name is as catchy to the ear as the design is to the eyes. But in the end it’s about what’s inside that makes us come back for more, right?
I started the tasting with their Chenin Blanc 2019 before moving on to the Merlot 2018. I was a bit sceptical at first, but I think it’s because I’m used to that familiar ‘tss’ when you open a fizzy drink. Something that stood out for me, is that I didn’t get the usual tinny taste that you get from a beer or a soda in a can. The Chenin was light and easy-drinking, although I would recommend that you drink this one ice cold.
While I might give the white-wine-in-a-can concept a thumbs-up, the red wine was a bit hard to get used to. I have to admit that I’m not a big Merlot fan to begin with, so I might have stepped into this situation a bit biased. I like my red wine at room temperature and mostly in winter, which I would much rather enjoy out of a decent wine glass.
Overall, these cans are so much easier to pack for a picnic or to find a spot in the fridge, than to carry a bottle of wine with you to your next social gathering.
Heloïse: Chateau Del Rei
Available at most bottle stores
Chateau Del Rei has a range of three canned wines that include the Sparkling Semi-Sweet Rosé Perle Wine, the Sparkling Sweet Perle Wine, and the Sparkling Dry White Perle Wine. One enchanted me, the other was “nice” and the last one is drinkable – which is which? Continue reading to find your perfect wine in a can, suited for a king.
Sparkling Dry White Perle Wine
Third-in-line to the throne is the Sparkling Dry White Perle Wine. Giving it a four out of 10 is a bit harsh probably. Pour it into a glass and you might confuse it for an average dry bubbly wine, however, when drunk straight from the can the dryness of the liquid is quite a shocking experience for the palate.
Semi-Sweet Rosé Perle Wine
I should disclaim that I have scored the wines on a totally different scale than I would have a normal corked sparkling wine, as it is something completely different. The Semi-Sweet Rosé Perle Wine is a nice drink to enjoy on a summer day. The taste of the drink and the whole mood of drinking it from a can begs for good times to be had. It is sweet yet dry, so it is not overwhelming, and if served ice cold this could become a favourite.
Sparkling Sweet Perle Wine
I would have given it a 10/10, but that seems a bit ambitious. The Sparkling Sweet Perle Wine from Chateau del Rei takes the crown. This very sweet wine is quite dangerous as it tastes delicious and one could easily mistake it for a soft-drink. When choosing a canned wine, opt for a sweet variant as it just makes much more sense than a dry wine from a can.
All the canned wines from Chateau Del Rei, which is manufactured by Chill Beverages International, contains 7% alcohol. The average price for a six-pack of these is R85.00.
The Spier range includes the Sauvignon Blanc 2020 and Rosé 2020 that both recently won gold at the Michelangelo International Wine & Spirits Awards, and Merlot 2018 which received a Silver. They have been throwing “award winning wine in a can” around so I just needed to make sure that they aren’t just all talk.
The Spier cans were true to their original flavours. I’m a big fan of Spier wine so I might’ve been a bit biased in this process. The Rosé is a perfect fit for a summer beach day, it’s fairly simple and dry. The Sauvignon Blanc was my favourite out of the three, staying true to its original taste and just as good to drink straight from the can. The Merlot is quite dry and bold, so not being my favourite out of all the reds. All in all Spier did a good job in transferring their “award winning” wines into their cans.
Daniël: JC Le Roux
6 for R90, jcleroux.co.za
JC Le Roux’s sparkling wine in a can can live in two places in my mind. Either as a party starter for a big night out, or a fine contribution to any picnic. The fact that it has a refreshing fizz makes it extremely easy to drink, from the can or poured into a glass and any drinker of JC le Roux will know that it is also on the sweet side. This only makes it easier to drink it straight from the can. I should also add that I found white and red wine quite strange to drink from the can, where sparkling wine actually worked quite well.
On what adventure are you taking your wine in can?