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If you feel like a swig of pale rosé or bubbly English wine while on a hike, at a muddy festival, or sitting on the train down to Penzance this summer, don’t be surprised if you find yourself reaching for a can. Yes, wine in a can is now a thing: sales have grown by 263% over the last three years and they are set to get much bigger as a new generation of wine cans becomes more widely available.

Once, cans were the anti-glamour: receptacles for bunker food like baked beans, Spam and cheap beer. The new wine cans are a different beast. Sometimes beautiful to look at and often filled with wine you’d happily order by the glass in a swish bar or at home, wine cans also hit a number of other contemporary markers.

Sustainability? Tick. They’re made from recyclable aluminium. Convenience? Tick. They’re light to carry, require no glass and the slim 250ml styles slip easily into a bag. Instant gratification? Tick. A thin metal can cools quickly and is easy to open.

As with the craft beer movement and the resurgence of small-batch distilling, canned wine is a trend that started in the States. ‘I lived in America for seven years and on the west coast canned wine was getting big,’ says Henry Connell, co-founder of a new brand of carbonated English wine in a can that launched last year. ‘Then I moved back to England, which had just started to become famous for good sparkling and aromatic whites. I thought: ‘Why not combine the two?’ There’s a younger, open-minded drinker out there and I felt there wasn’t anything to appeal to them.’

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This year, the original The Uncommon Bubbly White (a sharp, nettley white that is reminiscent of hedgerows and gently carbonated) is joined by a pink version, The Uncommon Bubbly Rosé (made from pinot noir). At £4.99- £5.99 per 25cl can, and available in-store at Waitrose & Partners and Selfridges, they’re not cheap, but this reflects the style ambitions of the new canned wine.

Another new kid on the block this year is Nice Drinks, a company founded by millennial food and drink consultants Lucy Wright and Jeremy May, ‘after Lucy stumbled on wine in a can while scrolling through Instagram.’ Wright and May started with the easy-drinking Nice sauvignon blanc and rosé (both sold in Sainsbury’s at £2.65) ‘because we felt that wine in a can would be something you’d want to drink chilled,’ though they are considering adding a red to the range.

There are many other canned wines around, including a sparkling Italian white called Gigglewater, Chateau Maris, and wines from the Most Wanted range. My favourite of all, though, is Mirabeau Pret-a-Porter (£3.49, Waitrose), a dry rosé made from syrah and grenache, grown around the French Med. You may already know Mirabeau’s bottled rosé, and the Pret-a-Porter does not disappoint. It’s rosé to go, and a good size for the times when you want just the one glass at home.

Read more articles by Victoria...

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Victoria Moore is an award-winning wine columnist and author. Her most recent book is the The Wine Dine Dictionary (£20, Granta).


All prices correct as of June 2019.

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