Wine in a (peli)can

Last week was the London International Wine Fair and what a fair! I love going to this event. Checking out all the new products, finding new wines, revisting old favorites, talking to producers  or just admiring the sleek bottles, artfully arranged, sparkling under the Excel Center lights. Walking into that place, I felt like a kid in a candy store. Remember that scene in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory when the kids are let loose in the candy garden? I know exactly how those kids felt.  I didn’t know where to turn or which stand to go to first. It really can be a bit heart-stopping.
First stop was a Friui tasting seminar that I’d signed up for earlier in the week. Lately I’ve been really interested in  Italian wines so I thought this would be an interesting seminar. It would have been if the speaker didn’t insist on speaking in a heavily accented dry monotone. The Friulis, from Northern Italy were mostly light and fruity with a striking tone of  minerality that I really enjoyed running thru all the samples we tasted.
The most interesting thing that I came across from the show was the new brand Wild Pelican, wine in a can. According to their website,
…”Our aim was to differentiate from the wine in cans already on the market…by taking a consumer perspective…creating a brand that allows (them) to explore some of the best wines…” in the world.
So far, so good. What’s differentiates this brand from others, is that the wines are still, not sparkling. Caroline, the rep, gave me a couple of cans to take home and try. I have to admit, it’s a bit unsettling to pop open a can of wine but once it’s poured into the glass, you’d never know the difference. These are very well made wines. The first was a chenin blanc from S. Africa. Now, you know I’m not a big fan of S. African wines but this one was clean and clear, a lemon/hay color with a citrusy nose, crisp and fruity. If I didn’t know it came from a can….
The next day I tried the rose. This one was a vin de pays from the Languedoc. A grenache/syrah blend. I really liked this one. A lovely pale pink, light, refreshingly dry with a strawberries and cream nose and hints of redcurrant with a clean finish. I was afraid that it was going to be some sickly sweet strawberry juice but it was fab. I would definitely buy it if I saw it in the supermarket.
The last one was  a tempranillo from Spain and here I was disappointed. This one lived up (or down) to what my expectations of what a wine in a can would taste like. It was slightly sweet, soft, a bit like alcoholic fruit juice. I struggled to finish the wine, even with food it’s still got a long way to go.
Overall, if you see Wild Pelican try it. I think these folks have got it, at least on the white and rose front. One word of advice though. If you do buy it, don’t drink it directly from the can, there’s something about aluminum against your lips while sipping wine that just doesn’t feel right. But that could just be me.

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