Are you convinced that wine can’t possibly be good unless it comes in a bottle with a cork? If so, this deliciously affordable pinot noir from Oregon will rock your world with its brisk, dry flavors of cranberry and pomegranate. Winemakers have long known that food packaging innovations could bring down wine’s cost and increase its shelf life, but they have been thwarted by an instinctive resistance to change among wine drinkers. Tolerance for high pricing as a luxury good and respect for centuries of wine tradition has largely exempted wine from the market forces that have already changed the way we buy juice and soda and beer. That fine wines can improve with age has also required a certain amount of due diligence in the form of research and aging trials, further slowing the progress of modernization. But, the fact of the matter is that bottles are not ideal vessels for perishable drinks like wine. They are not just heavy and round and fragile, which bulks up transportation costs, but they expose wine to two of its worst enemies – light and air (through the bubble under the cork). Modern cans are lined with non-reactive materials that preserve flavor brilliantly and do a much better job of shielding their contents from light and oxidation. Best of all, cans are lighter, cheaper, more easily recycled and welcome in places where glass is not, like beaches and parks. What’s not to like? Each 12.7-ounce can contains the equivalent of a half bottle of wine, or 2.5 standard glass servings, so it’s perfect for sharing. Or not.
Underwood Pinot Noir, Oregon. $6.99 for a 12.7-ounce can (regularly $7.99; sale price through June 24). PLCB Item #42883.