A lot of wine consumers still see canned wines as inexpensive wines and a low quality product.
However, is this really true?
Photo from Riot Wine Co's Instagram account
Incredibly, we can see more canned wines around these days, mainly in places such as picnics, the beach or at pool parties. It seems like the younger generation have no problem accepting this new trend, and the category is growing in consumer sales in Australia and overseas, thanks to its versatility, affordability, convenience and due to its reduced impact on the environment.
With the Winederful team, I went to visit the Riot Wine Co cellar door in Adelaide, a well-known brand in Australia for producing canned wines, to see what they are doing and taste their wines. While we were there, we shot an episode, which will be released very soon on our Winederful Youtube Channel.
Riot Wine Co is making wines that have an easy drinking and refreshing style, perfect to be consumed anywhere, anytime, so long as you’re with great company. The size of the can is also ideal for someone who just wants one glass of wine with dinner during the week, like me for example. Hahaha.
The concept comes from Joe Cook and Tom O'Donnell, the founders of Riot Wine Co. They created the Riot brand for their canned wines and the wine-on-tap revolution, in an attempt to solve a problem in many restaurants and pubs, which have high levels of wastage and lost profits due to spoilage when wines sold by the glass do not sell quickly enough, and unfinished bottles oxidize. Other problems they have managed to overcome include losing bottles due to corkage, and flavour inconsistencies.
Photo from Riot Wine Co Instagram
“We launched Riot Wine Co to start a wine revolution in Australia by getting venues and consumers to switch from bottles to steel kegs and aluminium cans. Wine drank this way is fresher and easier plus it’s more sustainable because one keg saves roughly 23,000 bottles from entering the environment. Our kegs prevent wine oxidising and our wine has a fun and fresh taste profile, with less sulphur making it cleaner than traditional wine.”
The aluminum is 100% recyclable and uses only 5% of the energy to create a new 50L aluminum keg - the equivalent in volume to 66.6 x 750mL bottles. Kegs also don’t need labels, closures or even cases for transport, showing a business focusing on environment friendliness and sustainability.
What about the quality?
Most of the fruit comes from Langhorne Creek and McLaren Vale, renowned regions in South Australia for growing great quality grapes. Joe and Tom call their winery a cannery, I could immediately see the investment they had made to produce quality canned wines. They are not only making wine in stainless steel tanks; they make wines in stone eggs as well, which requires a significant extra investment to do as these vessels are expensive. These stones eggs are natural insulators, ideal for fermenting, storing and aging wines.
These vessels are also porous, which allows the wine to be in contact with a small amount of oxygen, resulting in wines with an excellent mouthfeel and the purity of fruit flavours. They make two wines in these vessels, the Chardonnay and the Grenache, which come in cans featuring a premium, modern design on a black label. I have to say that the Grenache in the stones eggs surprised me and was my favourite. The wine displays such lively red fruit flavours, spices and freshness. Everything that I need to enjoy this coming summer in Australia.