Recently, I was sent some cans of wine from Flip Flop.

The very phrase “cans of wine” probably strikes some as distasteful. I posted a pic of the canned wine on Facebook and got many responses, including the following:

  • I bet my granny would say it tastes tinny.
  • I’m intrigued and kinda disgusted at the same time
  • With just an overnote of foetid beach sandal essence…FlipFlop

Carolyn went to Portugal a few years ago and came back raving about the wine sold in cardboard containers, basically: juice boxes. She said the relatively inexpensive wine sold in these rectangular containers was remarkably good. Such a thing, of course, would never pass in the U.S. because juice boxes are kid stuff and the charge could be made that kids might accidentally bring their mom’s chardonnay rather than their apple juice in their brown bags and get inadvertently hammered during school lunch.

But the bigger objection to canned wine is that…it just doesn’t seem right.

Containers matter, and many times the packaging is the product. This principle applies to wine and many other things. Cans, juice boxes and jugs are all considered somewhat utilitarian and low-end vehicles for a high-end drink.

But, obviously, there is no reason why cans, juice boxes and jugs could not be carriers of good wine. Similarly, there is no good reason why screw-top wine bottles could not carry wine that’s every bit as good as wine with a cork. It’s all about perceptions.

As to the concern about a “tinny” taste, it wasn’t there. My guess is the can is lined with something that resists any metallic flavors from creeping into the beverage.

Some of these canned wines are labeled “fizzy,” and seem slightly carbonated.

Great wine?

Not really, but they’re not trying to be.

Like 95% or more of the wines out there, Flip Flop wines are not aiming to get a Parker rating. Though they are recommended by Wine Enthusiast, Flip Flop wines are simply aiming to be pleasant sips – to be enjoyed if not perhaps savored – while you’re chilling, for instance, at the beach, on the deck, camping or otherwise engaging in activities for which flip flops are appropriate footwear.

Nothing wrong with that.

According to a study released this week at Frances Vinexpo, sweeter wines are trending among Millenials, and the Flip Flop wines we had were lighter and carried a sweetness that seems appropriate for a canned beverage.

The can, of course, is an undeniably safe way to transport wine, as opposed to glass, and the cans pack neatly in a backpack or picnic basket.

Would I drink this wine with a tin of Beluga? Of course not! And I’m confident the makers of this wine would consider that a mis-use of their product.

This is the not the kind of wine you do ponder. It’s a wine you quaff. Happy summer.

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David Hammond

David Hammond, a corporate communications consultant and food journalist living in Oak Park, Illinois, is a founder and moderator of LTHForum.com, the 8,500 member Chicago-based culinary chat site. David...