Doing The Can Can
Readers of this blog know that we don’t go ga-ga over canned wine. The beauty of a glass bottle, the whole ritual of popping a cork (or deftly unscrewing a screw closure) and pouring adds to the enjoyment of wine. But as we have discovered lately, there is indeed a time and a place for wine in cans.
For us the major hurdle with canned wines is two-fold. First, the can prevents you from seeing the wine and drinking from a can just isn’t as enjoyable as sipping from a glass. The second issue is what’s in the can. In general it isn’t awesome or crafted with the care of even a $10 bottle of wine. Tangent Wines is determined to adjust the attitude of people like me.
We tasted cans of Tangent wine two ways, first with a dinner of Mahi-Mahi and second chilled down to observe the solar eclipse. What sets Tangent apart from other canned counterparts is that Tangent is a very successful winery in its own right, producing very good bottles of white wine. Located in the Edna Valley AVA in California, it specializes in “alternative whites” such as Viognier, Grenache Blanc and Albariño.
Tangent Wine founder Jack Niven came to San Luis Obispo in the early 1970’s with a vision to plant a vineyard in what was then dairy farmland and bean fields. He went on to petition to establish Edna Valley as an AVA. Today the second and third generation of the Niven family continue his legacy.
We first tried the Sauvignon Blanc with a fish entree. Canned wine typically isn’t vintage wine, but this is – 2016. The grapes come from the Nivens’ Paragon Vineyard.
The can is 375 ML, which is half a standard wine bottle. That means you have about two and a half glasses in each can.
The biggest take-away from our meal is that the canned Tangent wine is good. In fact, if I served this to my wife without telling her it was from a can, she wouldn’t have blinked an eye. There is no tinny flavor, and it is fresh and flavorful. It has nice citrus notes with medium acidity.
Eclipse Pops The Top
Accompanying a fancy dinner really isn’t the strong suit of canned wine – even good canned wine. You’d do better with some of the very nice bottles that Tangent produces. Instead, the forte of canned wine is convenience.
In North Carolina, we were viewers of the solar eclipse, where we enjoyed 96% totality. The Green Dragon harrumphed a bit, but I let her know in no uncertain terms that we were going to chill down wine and enjoy the eclipse watching on the patio – even though it started before 2 in the afternoon.
Joining the Tangent 2016 Sauvignon Blanc in the ice bucket was the 2016 Tangent rosé. The rosé is a cool blend of Albariño, Viognier, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Grenache. I don’t believe we’re ever had that blend in a wine, rosé or otherwise.
As we scurried around with our eclipse glasses and pinhole projector, we popped open some Tangent cans. Chilled Sauvignon Blanc and rosé are always winners in the heat – and it was quite a hot day. The rosé delivered wisps of cherry along with tropical notes.
The cans worked well because, with everyone walking around looking up at the sun, we didn’t have to worry about our good wine glasses shattering on the patio. They also fit nicely in a can cooler, helping to maintain its chill.
The wine was so refreshing that it felt like the temperature dropped 15 degrees. (Actually, it did – but that was the result of the moon almost entirely blocking the sun.)
We liked both these canned Tangent wines. The convenience of cans is growing on us and we can see it for the right occasion – like backpacking or a float trip down the river. The SRP for the cans is $7.99 each. This is good vino – but the price seems a bit high. I’m not sure if customers will want to pay nearly $48 for a six pack of wine cans. For the right situation, though, this could be just the ticket. Tangent is the first canned wine that is SIP-certified (sustainable) and is available nationwide.