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Canned Wine is Classy: Don’t Believe Us? Just Ask History

Heading to the beach this summer but feel ashamed about picking up a pack of canned wine? “Don't be!" exclaims Archer Roose Co-Founder, Marian Leitner-Waldman. “The idea that all wine should be in a bottle is a modern concept. The history of wine drinking is actually all about convenience. It's time we lose our boxed and canned wine shame." Archer Roose is an alternatively packaged wine company, dedicated to bringing dangerously delicious wines to consumers in a box or can.

“The inspiration for our company is actually rooted in history. Since wine was first produced over 8,500 years ago, wine has been carried in wineskins by explorers across Europe or in other portable vessels. Wine was the drink of the people, Roman soldiers were given wine as part of their rations, and it was drunk out of whatever container was most convenient."

While wine has been crafted for thousands of years (earliest archeological evidence points to wine being first made in the Republic of Georgia in 8,500 B.C.) the notion of putting wine in bottles is a relatively modern concept. For thousands of years wine was produced in clay amphorae or oak barrels and poured straight into carafes to be enjoyed. This practice is still in place today in most wine producing regions from Tuscany to Bordeaux.
Only the finest wines were put into bottles for aging. Collectors such as Thomas Jefferson would actually get their own bottles made and send them to wineries to be filled only in years where the wine was deemed worthy to be a “vintage year." As a result there was no standard size for wine bottles – which ranged, depending on the collector's preference, from 500ml – 1 liter in size. As the science and technology behind winemaking evolved, and aging wine became a more widespread, wineries took the process into their own hands by bottling wines during particularly great years. But it didn't happen every year. In fact, Rudy Kurniawan, one of the greatest con artist of the wine world, was exposed when he sold vintages from the world's great wineries from years when wine was not bottled!

So where does the idea that all decent wine should be bottled come from? In 1979, the United States Congress created the standard of the 750ml bottle for taxation purposes when demand for European wine began to grow among post-World War II consumers. European winemakers saw an opportunity to make a tidy profit by selling Americans inexpensive wines in a bottle to make them seem better quality than they were. Because of the strong American demand for wine, and the nature of standardization in global packaging, bottling wine meant to be drunk immediately, became the norm, and customers turned up their noses at wines sold in alternative packaging.
“Because of this, consumers pay more for the shipping and the packing than the wine inside the bottle. This is exactly the dynamic that Archer Roose strives to change." Well, that, and the fact that suddenly wine was relegated only to occasions when corkscrews and glasses were handy. “With Archer Roose cans and boxes, wine can be a part of whatever occasion you want it to be."

With convenience doesn't mean you have to sacrifice quality either. Archer Roose wines are single estate sourced, sustainably produced and dangerously delicious. They produce high quality wine around the world – whether that be their crushable Rose' from Provence, France or crisp Sauvignon Blanc from the Central Valley in Chile.

So going to the beach, mountains, park or music festival this summer? Skip the beer and grab a four-pack of your favorite canned wine.

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