Canned wine

A can, containing a little more than 6 ounces of sparkling Italian white wine, sits between beer and tea in the cooler at The Daily on Thursday, May 11, 2017. Wade Spees/Staff

Meet canned wine

It’s wine. In a can.

Learn the backstory

Canned wine is about as hot as beverage trends come: According to Nielsen data, the category’s sales volume grew 231 percent over the year-long period that ended in April. And The Daily Beast last month quoted a California winemaker saying he knows of as many as three dozen canned wine debuts scheduled for this summer.

The first canned wine to enter the American mainstream was Niebaum Coppola’s Sofia Blanc de Blanc, named for the "Lost in Translation" filmmaker and inspired by soda packaging that her father had spied in Japanese vending machines. But in the 13 years since its introduction, drinkers have grown more comfortable with cans, largely because craft beer producers have tutored them in the format’s advantages. Canned beverages are protected from sunlight, stay cold longer and are easier to handle than glass at the beach or on a mountain trail.

Initially, the canned scene was dominated by one kind of wine: Sparkling and expensive. In 2015, though table wine overtook bubbles, and Trader Joe’s just last month licked the price problem. Its new line of Simpler Wines costs $1 a can.

As with any good trend, there’s action on the upper as well as lower end. “Canned wine is looked down upon by wine snobs,” Lifehacker reported last week in a story entitled “Why canned wine needs to be your go-to BBQ drink this summer.” Yet there’s very little evidence that’s true. Wine Enthusiast earlier this year enthusiastically recommended 11 canned wines, including The Infinite Monkey Theorem White, Alloy Wine Works Every Day Rose and Porch Pounder Red.

Additionally, Frasca’s Food and Wine master sommelier Bobby Stuckey, a frequent visitor to Charleston and presenter at this summer’s BevCon, recently released his Scarpetta Frico Frizzante in can form.

And buy it here

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Reach Hanna Raskin at 843-937-5560 and follow her on Twitter @hannaraskin.