Tavern Time: The Great Canned Wine Hunt

Welcome back to Tavern Time where Christy ( a craft beer connoisseur) and I (a craft beer noob and trash beer drinker) review random craft beers that catch our eye. As we’ve been reviewing beers in order to acquire a taste and figure out what we’d want to serve at Tavern of Tales, we started to realize that we were ignoring the other side of the tavern: wine. And thus we began our hunt for canned wine.

Now you might be saying, “Wine is in bottles. Why are you looking for canned wine? Isn’t bottled wine classier?” And those are fair questions and concerns. We want wine at Tavern of Tales, but also we want to figure out what wines our demographic would like before fully committing. As much as serving bottles would be traditional and, in my opinion, fun, it would be wasteful for us to serve one person one glass of wine and then not have anyone request wine until past expiration. As it stands, cans of wine, which are single servings, seem to be the most efficient means of supplying wine. Also, we just like cans.

But as we’ve looked for canned wines we realized that we truly had no place to start. As much as we understand flavors of wine and are trying to get over certain prejudices, such as my assumption that white wine is trash due to years of being raised by a horde of winos, or how Christy hates chardonnay, figuring out what brands of wine would taste well would be difficult. This case would be especially difficult for me because, once again, raised by winos. Barefoot seems classy to me.

In our hunt we started with something we knew: Trader Joe’s. Though there was no way we’d ever supply Trader Joe’s brand canned wine at Tavern of Tales, it served as a nice baseline for tasting canned wine. And it was awful. Christy didn’t like it. I could barely tolerate it. Nick gained a prejudice against sparkling rose, claiming that it wasn’t real wine.

We went shopping and found other brands, all cans the size of regular beer cans, and found the taste got better. As we tried Underwood we found that we actually liked their chardonnay better than cabernet, but that was mainly because we didn’t like their cabernet at all.

For a moment there was a pause in our hunt, because it seemed as if we wouldn’t find a wine we’d all agree on. But then after talking with a beer & wine rep, we found out about Archer Roose. The can was peculiar, quite slim, resemblant of an energy drink, but we learned that the dimensions were the average size of a perfect pour, a single serving. In Christy’s own words, the cans were, “cute.” And I agree with that. I like the drawn moose and minimalist design. The cans, their shape and size, would go well with a demographic maybe somewhere in the intersection of people who like board games, like wine, and like “cute” cans. I’m also fine with their slogan, “Splendory Without Snobbery,” it kind of works for our approach to wine. Though one of my gripes is that splendory isn’t really a word and it sounds pretentious which contradicts with the rest of the slogan.

As for the taste of the wine itself, it’s pretty good. It’s an odd compliment to say, but it tastes like...wine, pretty good wine. And compared to everything else we’d tasted, wine tasting like wine and not nail polish was a blessing. Since it has a variety of staple wine flavors, and a bubbly that can be used for cordial cocktails, I’d like to say we found our canned wine. And hopefully when we open, we’ll serve a can if you want it. We’ll likely have other brands as we expand our wine roster, but Archer Roose will likely be the first, because it’s Tavern of Tales approved.