Bottle vs Can – an age-old battle
The argument over bottle vs can has raged in the beer industry for many years and intensified 15 years ago, when Oskar Blues Brewery decided to put their pale ale in a can, a first for the craft beer industry. If the current trend of packaging is any indication, it seems cans are clearly in the lead.
This battle has spilled over to the wine industry and can advocates are making many of the same points as my independent brewing friends.
I must admit that when I first saw canned wine in the store, I snickered and thought, “wow canned wine, how good could that be?” Now that I have done some research, I think canned wine would be perfect for a novice wine drinker like myself or an advanced wine lover like my mother who enjoys a glass on the deck, on the beach and even on a boat.
Still not convinced? The following points were taken from a study at Susquehanna University and Texas Tech University of 1,000 people aged 21 to 88.
1. Convenience: The can format lets consumers take wine where it is inconvenient or illegal to take wine in a bottle, such as poolside, camping, the beach, etc. It also offers opening convenience, as it does not require a corkscrew, (a flame or a shoe and a wall) to open or glasses to consume. The individually-sized portion also means consumers don’t need to finish the bottle all at once (you mean you aren’t suppose to finish a bottle in one sitting).
2. Occasion expansion: The can expands the occasions or locations in which wine can be enjoyed—boating, tailgating, and concerts, among them. (This point seems like a redundancy of point one, but it is still valid, wine-to-go.)
3. Sustainability/cost savings: Aluminum is 100% infinitely recyclable, a feature which ranks high in today’s global market. The study claims that aluminum cans are less expensive to fill and ship, are easier to stock and stack, result in less breakage, and are easier to pack in singles or in multipack cases. (All of these points have been proven by the craft beer industry)
4. Quality: Notes the study, wineries say wine in a can maintains quality better, since it prevents light and oxygen egress. And, because it only holds one portion, there’s no risk of leftover wine degrading in quality. (Once again, the beer industry has known that light and oxygen are mortal enemies to sustained quality for years.)
5. Portion control and variety: The can allows waiters and bartenders to more easily measure portions and allows for single-serve consumption. It also lets consumers sample more variety due to its small size versus a large bottle. (This is great news for your next special event, no more half drunk bottles, missing caps or broken corks.)
6. Visual image/branding: Cans can be decorated with 360-deg labels, digital printing, or shrink wrapping, and multipack cases can also be printed with eye-catching branding, making it very “instagrammable.” (Let those hashtags fly.)
Why did I feel it was important to share this information with you? Cans can be found in every liquor store, in every city in the world. This first canned beer in North America was sold in 1935, in Richmond Virginia by the Gottfried Krueger Brewery (Oh Damn, I’m babbling again.)
But wine in a can? If I scoffed at it, I am sure many of you have as well. I felt that bringing forward some facts might open the conversation, reduce your fears and open your horizons.
So stop in and pick up a can or two, so you can take your wine to places you have never dared.
The Well Heeled Libationist