The quintessential vessel for wine is the bottle, and this has been true for over 200 years. But ever since the early 1990s, new trends have squeezed their way into the wine market, and a few of them have made quite a splash. Canned wine and kegged wines, in particular, have risen in popularity, both with consumers and the restaurant industry. Read on to find out why wine lovers are choosing new ways to enjoy their favorite beverage.
Why Not the Bottle?
The bottle is the most traditional way to serve wine. Historically, bottles varied in shape based on what city the wine originated. These different shapes give wine bottles their distinct character. The cork on top of the bottle seals in the liquid, which keeps the wine fresh. However, cork is porous enough to allow for the essential aging and oxidization of the wine without compromising freshness.
Though the wine bottle was designed with wine in mind, it’s not ideal for all consumers. Below, we list other methods of distributing wine and talk about their different advantages over the classic wine bottle.
Wine in Cans
In the 1990s, canned wine was frowned upon as a cheap and low-quality alternative to bottled wine. Fine wine consumers stayed far away from the canned version of the beverage. But canned wine offers distinct advantages over bottled wine in some ways, and this has contributed to its boom in popularity over the last decade.
A pack of canned wine is more portable than a bottle of wine. A few cans can easily be packed into a cooler and taken to the beach or a barbecue, just like other alcoholic beverages. Cans are also less likely to break and spill on the way there. If you bring a can of wine to the poolside, you can avoid the risk of shattered glass. Another distinct advantage is that they can be opened without needing a corkscrew.
Canned wine is also a much easier way for wine lovers to sample different flavors and varieties of wine. Bottles can be pricey, especially if the wine is of good quality, so having a cheaper option allows consumers to sample a variety of flavors and find their favorites without breaking the bank.
The final reason to try wine in a can is simply the fact that high-quality wineries have caught on to the trend and are now offering canned versions of their wines. For example, we at RayLen Vineyards are proud to serve three varieties of canned wine: Category 5 Red Wine, Fizzzy Rose, and Fizzzy Bluzberry. Canned wine has increased in quality with wineries like RayLen Vineyards moving into the market, so be on the lookout for more high quality canned wine to come.
It may be strange to think about wine on tap, but it offers the same benefits that kegged beer does for both restaurants and wine lovers. Wineries fill kegs of wine with the same quality drink that they put in their bottles, except kegs can serve around 120 glasses of wine each. This saves restaurateurs a lot of money and time if they offer their most popular wines on tap. Kegs are also less wasteful, as they can replace dozens of bottles every time restaurants choose to purchase a keg.
Are you concerned about taste and quality? Don’t be. Kegs are sealed until the wine needs to be poured, and then they seal once the glass has been filled. This airtight process helps the kegs avoid over-oxidation and prevents wine inside the keg from going bad. Wine in a keg is good until the very last glass, whereas bottled wine might not seal properly and must be disposed of if it faces too much oxidization. Restaurants save more and waste less with kegged wine, and consumers get to enjoy the freshness to boot.
Boxed wine is the champion of college parties. The box method of distributing wine was invented in the 1960s. Alongside canned wine, it has also risen above its original status as the epitome of low-quality wine. Wine distributors and vineyards have started selling their high-quality beverages in boxes, and the market continues to grow. Boxed wine offers another recyclable and sustainable option for both wineries and consumers.
Tetra Paks, or cartons of wine, are on the rise for being lightweight, environmentally friendly, and less prone to breaking and spoiling than traditional wine bottles. Tetra Pak packaging is convenient for consumers and cheaper to produce than thick glass bottles of wine. It isn’t quite as popular as canned or boxed wine, but it would not be surprising if it continued to grow in popularity.
As they continue to experiment with wine packaging and distribution, vineyards are slowly dismantling the idea that non-bottled wine is just a cheap alternative. So next time you’re shopping for wine, consider going outside of the bottle and buying wine a different kind of packaging. Try sampling some wine from RayLen Vineyard’s line of canned wines and seeing what all the fuss is about when it comes to inventive new ways of drinking and storing wine.