“Its pretty good for the price” the clerk at Saint Paul’s Wine Thief responded as I poked fun at the wine in a can displayed by the register. At 7.99 for a single can of wine covered in a thick coat of dust, I wasn’t ready to commit (and wasn’t confident anyone else had, either).
That was three weeks ago, and I’ve actually been thinking about it a lot since then.
The hip graphics on the can have an edge to it that made an impact on me. It turns out it wasn’t about committing to canned wine, but finding the moment I really needed wine in a can. Fast forward couple weeks as I was prepping for an upcoming backpacking trip, I went back for some. Hauling canned wine on one’s back is the obvious answer to ‘packing light’ (as opposed to hauling a bottle or box – which in extended backpacking situations has been known to occur in our household). Wine Thief had 4 varieties including a red, white and rose. Red seemed to be the obvious answer without refrigeration, so I picked up two cans:
2014 Alloy Wine Works Pinot Noir
2013 Alloy Wine Works Cabernet Sauvignon
The clerk at the Wine Thief informed me that Alloy Wine Works canned wine is produced and packaged by Field Recordings, a wine merchant that has been in the biz for 35 years, and highly recommended a few of their bottled varieties I might be back to try, as well…
Onto the canned wine.
After a 2 mile uphill hike with winding switchbacks I set up camp, got the fire going, and heated up some dinner.
Pairing: Trader Joe’s Punjab Choley and Precooked Brown Rice (yum, for real!)
I’m no wine critic (and mentally I’d set the bar pretty low for ‘canned wine’) but overall I thought it was pretty good. I’ve had experiences with wine in tetra packs picking up an off flavor. In a blind test I don’t think you’d know this wine was from a can, not a bottle.
Drink it straight from the can, or pour in my camping cup and swirl?
Heck yeah, I had it straight up– but the novelty of slugging wine from a can quickly wore off. Maybe it was the wide-mouth opening that killed it for me?
Did it take away some of the experience of drinking wine?
Probably. If I was drinking it at home, I’d probably pour it in a glass… then again, if I was drinking wine at home I would have opened a bottle instead, so it might be a moot point.