Friday, October 30, 2009

Disappointment in a can

We could not be more excited about wine in cans. Putting wine in cans is great for convenience, for the environment, and for quality. We've talked about wine in cans before, but to briefly re-cap, cans come in more appropriate sizes, and are lighter and easier to carry than glass bottles. They do not require a cork screw, and there is no cork to possibly affect the wine's taste. And they are easy to smuggle into movie theaters.

Consumers tend to view new packaging types with suspicion, assuming that only inferior wine would be placed in a bag-in-box, TetraPak, or can. It is important to prove such customers wrong by having very good wine in these new packages. If a skeptical consumer musters up the courage to try a canned wine, and the product disappoints, they are unlikely to try wine in a can again.

When we learned of  Barokes' Australian wines in cans, we eagerly requested samples. We received four wines: a Chardonnay, a Shiraz, and  two sparklers. Unfortunately, we did not like any of the wines. Both whites, the Chardonnay and the blanc de blanc sparkler, tasted flat and oxidized. The Shiraz was simple and sweet, and the residual sugar in the wine grew so cloying that we were unable to finish the 250-mL can. The red sparkler, mysteriously called blanc de noirs, was particularly disappointing because we have very much enjoyed sparkling Shiraz in the past. This wine (a blend of Shiraz, Cabernet and Merlot) had good bubbles and ample tannin but lacked the fruit to match.

We hope Barokes reconsiders their strategy and improves the quality of the wines in their lineup. Meanwhile, keep a lookout for Wild Pelican canned wines, and please let us know if you see or hear of any others.

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