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Tuesday, April 30, 2019

It's time to give in to canned wine! (featuring Santa Julia Chardonnay, Malbec Rosé, and Tintillo)

Santa Julia Chardonnay, Malbec Rosé, and Tintillo

Canned wine is becoming a big thing and it completely makes sense. It's undeniably the enclosure that keeps wine that you want to drink fresh the freshest. That's how you want your rosé, right?  That's how you want your Pinot Grigio, right? Fresh? And it keeps it pretty refreshingly cold in a cooler when you want to do some illegal drinking on the beach. I live on Cape Cod so this is a very important benefit to the product.

But what about red wine that you don't want to chill and chug? Well, first of all, remember that you don't have to drink it from the can. You can pour it into a glass like you do from the bottle.

Furthermore, the key word to the phrase "ages like a fine wine" is fine. The vast majority of wine produced in the world is meant to be consumed within the first 3 to 5 years and then it starts to decline. Canned wine is definitely intended to be consumed young and the container keeps the fruit characteristics fresher and more lively than bottles do.

So the can is perfect for New World reds in the average consumer's price range because those are generally all about the fruit. Pinot Noir specifically has shown great results from being contained in a can, but also Merlot blends seem to work well too. I'm about to try a Malbec Bonarda blend that was actually made with the intention to be chilled, so that works out perfectly for the can as well!

It's always the young people who start new innovating trends like this, and in this case the young people are very concerned about the current state and future of the environment. Whelp, aluminum is one of the most, if not the most, recyclable materials on the planet with 100% recyclability. Aluminum is also lighter than glass, and that cuts down on carbon emissions during transport. Yes, the environment is absolutely a factor in the canning trend for both wine and craft beer, both in consumer concern and producer concern.

Older generations have had problems grasping the canned wine concept. They just don't like it. It feels unnatural, just like wine bottles with screw caps once did. But canned wine is here whether you like it or not, and if you're in the business than you better jump on board and get a selection in stock because you're going to get a lot of people asking for it during those busy summer months.

Listen; Spiked Seltzer was hilarious when it was first put on cooler runs and now it's huuuuuge. The iPad was considered useless when it was first released because it didn't have a flash drive. When the Segway PT was announced, it got a slamming of epic proportions. Bicycles. Cheeseburgers. Umbrellas. Yes, UMBRELLAS WERE INITIALLY RIDICULED. It's time to give in to canned wine.

I've got three canned wines from Santa Julia, which in my opinion is an enormously underrated winery. Their introductory Malbec is friggin' killer, guys. And the Cabernet Sauvignon on the same tier is nothing to scoff at, either. So I jumped on the opportunity to try their new canned wines lineup.

While I was writing this I've been drinking the Organic Chardonnay and enjoying it, especially with the brie cheese I've been nibbling on. It's medium bodied with moderate acidity. There's a combination of stone fruit and tropical fruit with peaches, pineapple, banana, and a touch of kiwi and vanilla. After taking my own notes I went looking around on the interwebs to see what everybody else thought, and I saw that Michael Schachner of Wine Enthusiast dropped the aroma descriptor of carrot-juice. That blew my mind because now it's so obvious that I can't believe I didn't get that.

This Chardonnay is varietally correct, it's enjoyable, it's not sugared up or watered down. I truly believe it would impress some people if you told them it was canned after they tried it.

The Organic Malbec Rosé is a summer quaffer. Chill it up and chug it back, man. The strawberry goo in the middle of those strawberry hard candies with the wrapper that looks like a strawberry is all over this thing and it's soooo gooood, but there's also juicy raspberries and a squirt of lime. It's a fuller bodied rosé with a touch of sweetness that leaves a thick coating of lip-smacking fruit and acidity on the finish. Yup. Summer quaffer for sure.

The Tintillo is a Malbec and Bonarda blend that was made specifically to be served chilled. The nose is all about the plums and caramel, but it's on the palate that things really shift into gear. There's black cherries, black pepper, graphite, bay leaf, and lavender. The combination of tight and chalky tannin with a bursting acidity dare you to take another chilled sip. And so you do.

Santa Julia has really hit on something here with the Tintillo. This is a red wine that I would love to pull out of a cooler, ice cold, and drink straight out of a can. I never thought I would say that.

- Joey Casco CSW/CSS
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