It's no secret that the world of wine is largely built on elitism. The age, price, origin, and rarity of a beverage are all worn as badges of honor by wine snobs as they hoard their dust-covered bottles and dissect the complexities of each fermented flavor. Drinking one's vino out of a box—or, God forbid, a can—has traditionally been looked down upon by even the most casual of wine-drinkers.
But despite the bad rap canned wine has been slapped with over the years, things may soon be changing. A new report from Nielson shows that canned wine sales have risen more than 125 percent over the last year, with sales totaling $14.5 million, up from $6.4 million in 2015. And though canned wine still makes up a tiny sliver of the US wine market, a number of higher-quality companies are pushing the product past a simple novelty item, and toward something more legitimate.
Boxed wine—long a staple on college campuses—also increased in popularity by 16.2 percent, though carrying a box of Franzia around isn't nearly as convenient as a can of Underwood pinot gris.
The benefits of canned wine are manifold. According to Nielson's data, 90 percent of drinkers plan to get inebriated outdoors this summer, and aluminum cans are more beach, pool, and festival-friendly than glass bottles. And while most drinkers listed "refreshing" as a key trait in a summer beverage, Nielson found that female consumers also want their drinks to be "fruity, sweet, citrusy, frozen, and bubbly," while men prefer "handcrafted" and "natural" alcohols.
Though wine is not necessarily more refreshing than a cold brew on a hot day, canned vino does contain more than twice as much alcohol as cans of beer.
"[A]s the summer heats up, there’s little doubt that retailers offering a variety of canned craft beers and alternatively packaged wines will be well positioned to quench Americans’ thirsts regardless of where their days take them," the report reads.