Column: Wine in a can with a South Okanagan winery

First there was canned beer, then canned cocktails, and now there’s … don’t say canned wine! Call it “wine-in-a-can”.

As some B.C. cities are allowing consumers to drink alcohol in public places, wine-in-a-can’s time has arrived. Wines that come in aluminum cans are lighter than wines in bottles and they don’t smash. Broken wine bottles can put a damper on your picnic or day at the beach!

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I recently sampled three wines-in-a can from a small family owned winery in South Okanagan, Castoro de Oro."We love to be innovative!" said co-owner and assistant winemaker Stella Schmidt. “Our philosophy is to make handcrafted 100-per-cent B.C. wines at the best value possible, and our wine-in-a-can takes that dream one step further. We are so excited to offer elegant, convenient cans of our award-winning wines and look forward to seeing all the places they will travel to!”

The name Castoro de Oro translates as Golden Beaver. It’s a fusion of Oro (gold) because of its location on the Golden Mile and Castoro (beaver), a tribute to our industrious national animal that created a huge industry for explorers and trappers.

All three Castoro de Oro wines are 250 mL or one-third of a standard bottle. Wines-in-a-can are convenient but you end up paying for that convenience. Each varietal is $8.99, which includes tax and deposit. That works out to $27 if were sold as a regular bottle.

The 2017 Heart of Gold is a slightlyoff-dry white. It’s a unique blend of Pinot Blanc, Vidal (often used in Icewine), Siegfried (a clone of Riesling), and Viognier.

The Castoro de Oro’s Heart of Gold nose was a gentle and intriguing potpourri of flowers, grass, tropical fruit, and perfume. On the palate I detected gooseberry, apple, pear and pineapple, as well as a ripe lemon in the mid-palate. The finish, however was slightly bitter.

Switching to a beautiful salmon colour, the 2017 Pinot Duetto Rosé is an off-dry duet of Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc. There is cherry in the aroma and in the flavour, along with cranberry and strawberry. A charming wine for summer with a hint of chalk from the soil and a long fruity finish.

Finally, the 2017 Castoro de Oro Merlot. This was my favourite wine of the three I sampled. Enjoy a smooth personality with plums and blackberries and a dusting of chocolate and minerals to add complexity. Tasting it with a steak dinner was a perfect match to show off the wine’s assets.

Although some readers might prefer drinking wine right out of the can, I am a traditionalist and prefer a wine glass. It allows you to view the wine’s colour and it enhances its bouquet and flavour.

Right now you can only buy this trio at the Castoro de Oro Winery near Osoyoos on Highway 97, They’ll be on sale at B.C. private liquor stores in the near future.

Drinking wine-in-a-can? Yes you can!

Eric Hanson is a life-long Richmond resident, retired teacher and wine educator. Eric has also taught wine appreciation courses in Richmond and throughout Metro Vancouver for many years. He continues to be a journalistic ambassador for the enchanting world of wine through his weekly column.

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