For the open-minded wine-drinker: How about wine in a can?
Coyote Moon Vineyards in Clayton is the first winery in the North Country to put their wine in a can. With canned wine, no corkscrew or wine glasses are required. Just throw the wine in a cooler or bag and when you're ready to drink, just pop the top.
Amy Wort, from Governour, says in her experience, when she first introduces people to wine in a can, they're skeptical.
"When I’m at parties people are like what is that? I'm like, it's wine. And they’re like in a can? Yes, try it!” Wort says.
Jay Colesack visibly recoils at the thought of drinking canned wine.
“That’s not natural. It doesn’t even sound good,” Colesack says.
Wort and Colesack are both enjoying a wine tasting at Coyote Moon vineyard. Wort says people are always critical at first but then, like Colesack, they get curious.
"But is it good? It is? It tastes good?"
Since I’m at the winery today anyway, I thought I thought I’d find out if wine in a can actually tastes any different. The woman behind the counter popped open a can and poured me a glass. Then she opened up a bottle of the same wine I was about to drink, Fireboat White. A taste test. I took a sip of the bottled wine first, then the wine from the can. It tasted the same.
“It’s not really the packaging. It’s what’s inside that matters,” says Christina Lapar, the marketing manager at Coyote Moon.
So why put wine in a can?
“It’s fun having a way that you can bring wine with you. Beer’s doing it. Soda’s done it for years. And finally it’s a way you can enjoy wine out of the house and enjoy it on the go.”
Lapar says the winery worked hard to find a can manufacturer that could add a protective coating on the inside of the cans, so that the wine doesn’t get that kind of tinny aluminum taste that would ruin its delicate flavors.
“It’s really the craft beer industry that started putting their beer into cans. They have wonderful flavorful craft beers and put them in a can. I think it took them doing it to make drinking craft beers out of a can acceptable. If they can do that with beer, why not wine?,” Lapar said.
The Thousand Islands is a mecca for creative ways to enjoy your alcohol. There’s the iconic wine slushy from the Thousand Islands Winery. Clayton Distillery has now started selling moonshine slushies. I asked Lapar why she thinks these unusual ways of consuming booze works here, in the Thousand Islands.
“They don’t necessarily have the snobbery with drinking wine and sprits and things like that. We all like adventures, so whatever way we can enjoy our booze and go on an adventure is great,” Lapar said.
So, I decided to go out on my own kind of adventure, you know, for journalism. I bought a four-pack -- canned wine comes in four-packs by the way -- and each can is two glasses of wine. I hid them in my fridge until after dinner and then convinced my boyfriend to walk with me to the edge of the Black River.
When we got there I opened up a can and made him try it. Let's just say when the wine is not extremely cold, it tastes even more sweet. If you're not a fan of wines on the sweet side, you're going to have to wait before you are able to enjoy drinking your wine from a can. The Coyote Moon Winery has only canned their two sweetest – Fireboat Red and Fireboat White. They say in a few months, they'll start canning their semi-sweet.