First Certified Wines in Cans Roll into South Africa

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Wine in a can is not a new thing, as anyone growing-up in Earl’s Court in the 1970’s can attest to – two-pint cans of rough Australian wine was all the rage, and you still had to puncture the pouring holes in yourself with one of those ubiquitous beer openers. Pull-open cans with tabs had yet to be invented, despite Mankind already having made it to the moon.

The trend did not last. Poor quality tin made the wine taste like sweaty pennies after a few months in tin. A lack of science in the wine-making process saw the stuff canned overly sulphured and as unstable as ’70s rock-groupie on bad acid.

But cans are back. And here in South Africa, the Uncanny brand has got it right, with a few USPs. Check out the press-release:

Uncanny Wines are South Africa’s very first certified wines packaged in cans. These premium quality wines in a 250ml package are the proudly South African response to the skyrocketing international trend of canned wine.

“We’ve combined South Africa’s established winemaking traditions with brilliant innovation and great design to create an exclusive, premium quality wine offering in environmentally friendly packaging,” explains Arnold Vlok, co-owner of Uncanny.

The international precedent is set – over the last five years, canned wines have experienced huge growth in the United States, with sales rising by 69% from June 2018 to June 2019. The US market alone is worth over $80 million (R1.2 billion)[1], with England and Australia following suit.

“It’s been said that the South African market could be too conservative for wine in a can, but our lifestyles are a perfect match for this product. Tuck the cans into your picnic basket for summer concerts in the park or afternoons watching sport. Enjoy the no fuss packaging at a braai and by the pool, without having to worry about glass. The possibilities are endless!” adds Ruan Viljoen, Uncanny’s other half.

 Uncanny’s wines are vegan friendly and made without any added sulphur, making them the perfect choice for the health conscious. The significantly lighter packaging also goes a long way towards reducing the product’s carbon footprint. And when we say this is a local product, we mean it! Uncanny Wines are produced and packaged in the Boland.

“The environmental impact of our product is something we take very seriously,” explains Arnold Vlok. “The lightweight, easy-to-stack packaging makes our wine ideal for hiking and camping, while the aluminium cans are 100% recyclable and can be recycled over and over again. Crushed down, they’re very easy to take back home for proper disposal.”

“A common misconception about wine in a can is the possibility of a tinny taste but, as is the case with other canned drinks such as beer and cooldrinks, the wine’s flavour remains pure,” explains Arnold.

Winegoggle put the wines to the test:

The Uncanny No Sulphur Added Chenin Blanc 2019 is a Wine of Origin Swartland vino and is quite serious and complex for a wine in such a perky package. Waxy and viscous, the wine has aromas of hay, white flowers and dried apricots. On the palate it asserts itself with cantaloupe, pear and lime peel, with an alluring finish capturing quince paste and orange-peel zest. This wine will clout many bottled versions in a blind line-up.

The Uncanny No Sulphur Added Merlot 2018 is a bright, succulent and juicy wine – poured over ice in summer, this is the kicker in the Uncanny range. Mulberries and crab-apple converge on a breezy palate singing freshness, clean and brisk red wine with a satisfying tannic tug.

Am I buying? Yes. In a restaurant I’d rather get me a fresh, unopened can of wine than order a glass from one of those half-empty bottles that have been standing next to the taco fryer since last Monday.

The cans are also handy to pack on hikes when one likes to sip a glass of Chenin Blanc while gazing over the setting sun from Lion’s Head or drinking deep from a can of Merlot while watching two Cape Eagle Owls mate on the sturdy branches of a wild olive tree.

Also, you can have wine-tastings in the swimming pool without fearing a glass-break followed by bloody, rosé tinted pool water after a shard has slit the middle-toe of a camel-toed lass standing in the deep-end.

This canned-space is worth watching.

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