Wine in a Can vs. Wine in a Bottle in Blind Taste Test

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Essentially Geared Wine Company sets out to settle the score in a can vs. bottle showdown

"Cans are actually the perfect wine vessel. They’re durable, lightweight, easy to open, lightproof, and airtight. Aluminum is hands down the most sustainable beverage packaging out there."

Essentially Geared Wine Co., which exclusively makes wine packaged in cans, is addressing the big question that all wine drinkers ask before cracking their first can: how does it compare to traditional wine that comes in a bottle? The answer emerges in a blind taste test where consumers are asked to taste two comparable wines–same varietal, similar price point, equally chilled, served in a traditional wine glass. Captured on video, it quickly becomes clear that, while most people may prefer the taste of Essentially Geared’s rosé, chardonnay, and sauvignon blanc compared to comparable bottled wines, literally not one person can tell that it came from a can.

While a blind wine taste test is nothing new, wine in cans is a new concept to most, and many are skeptical. What’s the quality like? Will it taste like a can? Um, why cans? Essentially Geared decided to take the oldest wine quality measurement tool in the biz–the blind tasting–and test its wines with wine drinkers of all sorts, from novices to industry professionals. They ask each participant to taste wine A, then taste wine B, share their thoughts, and lastly pick a favorite. With reactions ranging from “Whaaat?!,” “In a can?,” to “Can I shotgun this sucker?,” participants are drawn to the new packaging concept and immediately begin answering the “Why cans?” question for themselves:

  • “Convenience.”
  • “You don’t need a corkscrew!”
  • “Bottles are a pain in the a** to deal with.”
  • “It’s just easier to pack a can.”
  • “[Bring it] where you’re not allowed to bring glass.”
  • “So you don’t look hoity-toity when the guys are drinking beer.”
  • “Would anybody even know if I was drinking wine at a park? Just saying.”

So, how does Essentially Geared, a wine company that packages their wine exclusively in cans, answer the “Why cans?” question? “We like our wine like we like our lives: delightful, simple, no pretense,” says co-founder and winemaker Grant Hemingway. “I set out to show the world what I’ve always known about wine: high quality doesn’t have to come with a high level of fuss. When you think about it, cans are actually the perfect wine vessel. They’re durable, lightweight, easy to open, lightproof, and airtight. Aluminum is hands down the most sustainable beverage packaging out there, and that was important to us.”

Weighing in at 1/20th of the weight of glass, each can is made of 70% post-consumer recycled material and is more than twice as likely to be recycled into a new can compared to glass. And the aluminum in a used can will enter the product life cycle again as a new can in just 60 days. Plus, they’re real hard to break. (Try it.)

Wine quality will always be a subjective measurement. That’s why we have things like points and scores and sommeliers and tasting notes to give us guidance in this great big world of fermented grape juice. But the notion that quality is dictated by traditional packaging alone is outdated. Great wine comes in a bottle, true. But great wine also comes in a can. And cans are a lot more convenient.


Essentially Geared is a wine company based in Napa, CA whose motto is to “Seek the Everyday Uncommon.” Founded in 2017, EGWC produces rosé, chardonnay, a red blend, sauvignon blanc, and Bubbles (a chenin blanc-based carbonated wine) exclusively packaged in 375mL and 250mL aluminum cans. Distributed nationwide, their goal is to make great wine in a practical and sustainable package.

Follow the story: @egwineco

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Grant Hemingway
since: 10/2016
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