Review: Winestar Premium French Wines in a Can @Winestar_FR

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What's wrong with the title and the picture?

Really? Premium wine in a can? What is the first thing you think of when you read that phrase? "Yeah right." and "Why bother?" Among others.

Fair enough. I was asked by Winestar to review their new wine products, a selection of Premium AOC French wines in a single-serving package. Hey I'm game and curious too.

It took me a few years to accept screw cap closures, I like cork. Last year I even came around to accepting Nomacorc synthetic closures. Box wine? That's a different discussion. But wine in a can? Really? Do we need that?

Winestar markets their wines in a can as:
  • Easy to carry, non-breakable, light and 100% recyclable.
  • Enjoy premium wines in small quantity.
  • Ideal for outdoors, snacking, hotels mini bars, catering, transports (trains, planes, yachts).
  • Trendy and ecological packaging.
  • "Drink less, but drink better."
I will address those bullet points below. First, where are these wines from? The samples I received were from the Languedoc region of southern France, specifically the Corbières AOC. I received a red wine, white wine and rose' wine. Curious?

I'm listing the wines in order of personal preference.


Winestar Red Wine 2011 Chateau de l'ille Cuvee Andreas
 
Blend: 40% Syrah, 30% Mourvedre, 20% Carignan, 10% Grenache noir.
ABV: 13.5%. 
SRP: $4
Color: Really dark, purple-black.
Nose: Forest floor, clove, blackberry, pine resin.
Palate: Full in the mouth, medium body, tar, bright, dark fruit, boysenberry, acid and tannin on gums kept it interesting. After 15 minutes truly interesting wine, earthy, touch of funk, nice grip on teeth and gum, bright mid-palate, espresso, blackberry, lovely brambly finish.

Thoughts: Of the three wines in a can, this delivered the most oomph directly out of the can. It was perfect with BBQ baby back ribs. Recommended.
 
 
Winestar White Wine 2011 Chateau de l'ille Cuvee Emile
 
Blend: 55% Blend Malvoisie, 25% Rolle, 20% Grenache blanc.
ABV 12.5%. 
SRP: $4
Color: Straw, green highlights.
Nose: Pineapple, melon, kiwi, lemon, grapefruit skin. Cinnamon with air.
Palate: Grapefruit rind, honey, medium body, creamy, off dry, mild acidity, honeyed finish. With air toasty notes and candied ginger. Lovely finish at 20 minutes.
Thoughts: Seafood a good paring choice, fish tacos, fish and chips, poke, crab or shrimp salad. I liked this wine, especially after 20 minutes.
 
 
Winestar French Rose Corbieres 2012 Chateau de l'ille Cuvee Alexandre

Blend: 80% Syrah, 20% Grenache Noir.
ABV: 12.5%.
SRP: $4
Color: Orange-pink, call it pale melon.
Nose: Light cherry, strawberry, citrus. After 15 minutes more focused, candied and slightly floral.
Palate: Cherry, light body, modest acidity, flat mid-palate, most of the action was on the finish at front palate. Pleasing watermelon on medium finish. Gains in intensity after 15 minutes with a nice spike of red fruit mid-palate and an even longer dry finish.

Pros and Cons

Thoughts about the packaging and bullet points.
Pros:
  • Color ring at top of can is a good indicator of the color of wine in the can.
  • Easy to open. Pop and pour.
  • Just  enough wine if all you want is a glass pour.
  • All three were enjoyable after 15 minutes. The red wine delivered at open.
  • Quality wine in a small, durable, portable, light package. Yes.

Fine print tells you what is in the can.
Cons:
  • Only 187 ml. I wanted more.
  • You have to read the fine print to tell what is in the can. Labeling could use improvement. You have to know that the color ring indicates what is in the can.
  • Took 15 minutes for the white and rose' wines to open up and show how good they were. Most people will open, pour and drink. Most will miss out on the true quality. If you wait for the wine to open, they will likely be too warm.
Summary
 
Is this really quality French wine in a can? Yes. I liked these three wines. The red wine especially was delicious. I'd love to have full bottles of any of these three wines.
 
Does the packaging perform as intended? I believe it does. The wines tasted good. There was no weird taste from the can. If you are looking for quality, taste, convenience, portability, durability and recyclable packaging - this delivers.
 
Is this a product for any occasion? No. This is a niche product. If I were an airline or hotel, I'd jump on this product. Less mess, no fuss, not too much, tasty, and recyclable. A convenient size for lunches, if you enjoy a glass of wine with lunch.
 
After some thought, these products would be perfect for those new to wine or those looking to have just a glass of wine with dinner. And Winestar is going to offer wines not only from the Languedoc, but also from Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhone Valley, Provence, Beaujolais and the Loire. You could explore many different wines without having to open a full bottle. Now that would be an inexpensive way to sample the wines of France, premium wines of France. Hmm...
 
After all, you can buy small cans of beer or juice. So why not wine too?
 
Just don't drink the wine straight from the can. Please, use a glass, or cup, please.
 
Let me know if and where you see these products.

Samples provided by Winestar
120 Boulevard Camelinat
92240 Malakoff, France
+33(0)1 83 62 33 11
 www.winestar.fr

Languedoc FYI:

The five best known appellations in the Languedoc include Languedoc AOC (formerly known as the Coteaux du Languedoc), Corbières AOC, Faugères, Minervois AOC, and Saint-Chinian AOCs. The vast majority of Languedoc wines are produced by wine cooperatives. This region spans the Mediterranean coastline from the French border with Spain to the region of Provence. With about 700,000 acres (2,800 km2) under vines and is the single biggest wine-producing region in the world.


Cheers!

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