Monday, May 18, 2020

Social Distancing-Friendly, (Easily) Portable Wine #Sponsored

This is a sponsored post written by me in conjunction with Winesellers, Ltd.
Wine samples were provided for this post and this page may contain affiliate links.

"Wine in a can?" you ask, perhaps dubiously. 

Definitely! I reply with enthusiasm.

Admittedly, I had never really paid much attention to canned wine before we were given shelter-in-place orders in March. Just over sixty days ago, California's governor, Gavin Newsom, issued guidance for us to stay at home and socially distance to flatten the curve on the spread of the coronavirus. Around that same time I received a package from Winesellers, Ltd.* with a selection of organic wine in cans.

On the gamut of wines, between boxed wine and fancy bottles, falls canned wine. When I opened the package from Winesellers I was immediately struck by the bright, bold designs on the cans. They were downright pretty. Then I set out to test this increasingly popular trend for myself. I am convinced that they have their place. Beautiful. Social distancing-friendly. Easily portable. And most importantly: great wine options.

So, 'social distancing-friendly' and 'easily portable' are two attributes I proved by packing cans into my backpack while we ventured out for long hikes to get some exercise and picked trails where we know most people won't go. Some came with us deep into the Santa Lucia Preserve; others were carried along a hot trail in the Fort Ord National Monument.

The benefits are obvious: Cans are much lighter than bottles and you don't need to remember a corkscrew to open them. Also at 375mL, the cans hold two glasses; so with two wine drinkers on a hike, the cans are empty on the way back! I can't tell you how much I dislike wine sloshing around in my pack with a half-empty 750mL bottle from a picnic in the woods.

As for the 'great wine options', I received wines from Santa Julia and Tiamo, suggested retail price $5.99 and $4.99 per can, respectively.

Santa Julia is built on environmentally-friendly precepts; Julia Zuccardi says, "My family's winery has always had the goal to live in harmony with the land and the people." They farm organically and utilize 100% recycled water for irrigation. The Santa Julia Rosé is a single varietal, made from 100% organically-grown Malbec grapes from the Santa Rosa and Maipu Vineyards in Mendoza, Argentina. Notes of red fruit were strong, but the flavors were more balanced on the palate.

The Tiamo wines are made from organically-farmed vineyards all over Italy. The red wine is a blend of Montepulciano, Nero d'Avola, and Syrah grapes grown in Abruzzo and Sicily. On the palate, this wine was lush with subtle tannins. The heavy red fruit was tempered with an intriguing salinity.

For both of these wines, we paired with a portable picnic of homemade bread, cheese, charcuterie, and some olives and nuts or fruits.

One thing I didn't really like about the canned wine, however, is that I can't see the wine. When I pour wine from a bottle into a glass, I enjoy seeing the color. I feel that I'm missing that entire visual experience with wine in a can.

But, for the ease of carrying wine, I can live without that. Or, I suppose, I could pack some glasses next time though that defeats the purpose of carrying a lighter load.

These cans seem ideal for backyard barbecues, camping trips, day hikes, and picnics. Canned wines have outgrown the reputation of being cheap, mass-market products. The selection of wines I got from Winesellers illustrates that you can get great wine options in cans from small, independent producers. I am a huge fan now. I can't wait to try some of the other canned wines I have such as Tiamo's Pinot Grigio and Santa Julia's Chardonnay. Stay tuned...

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*Disclosure: I received sample wines for recipe development, pairing, and generating social media traction. My opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the organizer and sponsors of this event.

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