Skip to main content

Review: Winestar Premium French Wines in a Can @Winestar_FR


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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
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

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.


Popular posts from this blog

Review: Sho Chiku Bai, Unfiltered Sake

Last month in Seattle, I purchased a bottle of Nigori sake at Uwajimaya. Uwajimaya is one of the largest Asian grocery retailers in the Pacific Northwest. I’ve been visiting Uwajimaya for almost 40 years. When I was much younger, I’d buy model ship and plane kits, Japanese comic books (manga) and I never left without at least one steaming Humbow in hand. Today I buy the manga for my son; while I still enjoy the tasty steamed Humbows, now I never leave without at least one bottle of Sake in hand. Uwajimaya has a terrific selection of imported sake. This most recent visit, I left with a bottle of Sho Chiku Bai Nigori sake. Nigori sake is generally the sweetest of all sakes, with a fruity nose and a mild flavor, making a great drink to complement spicy foods or as a dessert wine. Typical sake is usually filtered to remove grain solids left behind after the fermentation process; however Nigori sake remains unfiltered, resulting in a cloudier beverage. Before serving, the bottle must

Spirit Review: Ole Smokey Tennessee Moonshine White Lightnin' @OleSmoky

Today I have crossed the line from wine to spirits. At 100 proof the Ole Smokey Tennessee Moonshine is definitely turning up the volume (ABV 50%). "Moonshine, white lightning, mountain dew, hooch, and Tennessee white whiskey are terms used to describe high-proof distilled spirits, generally produced illicitly...The word "moonshine" is believed to derive from the term "moonrakers" used for early English smugglers and the clandestine (i.e., by the light of the moon) nature of the operations of illegal Appalachian distillers who produced and distributed whiskey." Source Wikipedia My family is no stranger to Moonshine.  That is, my great-grandfather and grandfather were not strangers. Evidently the family occasionally produced their own spirits on their Oregon ranch. My grandfather told me about his younger brother getting into his dads stash with predictable results. Grandmother also told me stories about midnight runs and secretive deliveries d

A Special Oregon Pinot Noir with Eastern North Carolina Inspired Ribs #OTBN #winePW 10

Open That Bottle Night - A great excuse for a Wine Pairing Weekend.  February 28th was Open That Bottle Night - I selected a bottle of wine I helped blend using barrel samples of Pinot Noir from R. Stuart winery in McMinville, Oregon. I was saving this bottle for a special occasion and knew it was likely time to open and drink. I hoped it had improved. "Blending wine is no task for mere mortals."   - William Pollard Jr.  Our Wine Pairing Weekend group decided Open That Bottle Night would be an appropriate occasion to pair our selected bottle of wine with something special as well. After some consideration, I decided North Carolina ribs would likely pair well with my special bottle of Oregon Pinot Noir. For this post I'll review the wine first, then provide the recipe, and wrap up with the results of this wine + food pairing. *Note: What is Open That Bottle Night? Wife and Husband columnists Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher invented Open That Bottle