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Enjoying Wine and Beer in the Augusta GA area

Canned Oregon Offers Great Wine In Convenient Cans

Canned Oregon NV, Oregon

Cost: $7-9

You can buy many things in a can, including cocktails and beer. So why not wine?

Turns out you can buy wine in a can, including really good wine. And its popularity and availability are growing.

I first tried wine in a can about four years ago when I had a Coppola Sofia blanc de blanc, a sparkling wine in a can, at a wine dinner. The restaurant even served it with a straw. I loved the wine.

Since then I haven’t seen much canned wine in our market, even though there are about two dozen canned wine brands nationally. Like many wine trends, this started on the West Coast and moved its way east. If you look around your favorite wine shop or supermarket you will see more and more canned wine. We are tapping into this latest wine trend.

Sandy, Teri, Dorothy and Edith, members of the Puzzlers Guild, finish another jigsaw puzzle while sipping the Oregon wine.

I recently tried a terrific wine called Canned Oregon, from the folks at Stoller Wine Group. This is a company that prides itself on making great wine. They did it again with Canned Oregon, which debuted last year.

Wine in a can will never be mistaken for a great Bordeaux, meant to be laid aside, aged, and appreciated over time. This is a delicious wine meant to be enjoyed in the moment.

It’s easy to get carried away with the convenience, the clever packaging and the marketing aimed at a younger, active audience. But don’t overlook the wine. My friends and I tried five different varietals, and we loved them all.

Canned Oregon offers five flavors: white, pink, red, pink bubbles and white bubbles. The cans are not dated, and the wine is meant to be drunk young. This is not something to lay aside in your cellar.

Each pop-top can is 375 ml (slightly more than a 12-ounce can of beer), or the equivalent of half a regular bottle. At $8 or less per can, that makes for a real bargain for quality wine.

You can drink the wine straight from the can, as you would with a beer. But you need to be careful; a can of wine has roughly twice the alcohol of a can of beer. If you can pour the wine in a glass I’d recommend that, but there is nothing wrong with drinking from the can if you are packing it on a hike, or some other outdoor adventure, and don’t want to carry a glass.

Here’s what my wine posse, the Magnificent Eight, thought about these wines during a trip to the North Carolina mountains. I did not hear one negative comment about any of the wines. We had eight people drinking, so we poured wine into glasses; no chugging from the can. I chilled all of the wines.

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Oregon White: This is made from pinot gris, one of the varietals that thrives in Oregon. It is a full-bodied white, slightly off-dry. It has wonderful stone fruit aromas on the nose, with tastes of melon and citrus. Very refreshing.

Oregon Pink: This rosé is made from pinot noir, another Oregon classic. There were fresh fruit aromas, with lots of bright, juicy cherry flavors. It is a soft, supple wine, with a long, smooth finish. Yummy.

Oregon Red: This pinot noir is filled with notes of cherry and red raspberry. This is a great example of an unpretentious pinot, the state’s iconic grape. The color is a beautifully bright red, so it benefits from pouring it in a glass. It has firmer tannins and more body than the rosé. Lip-smacking good.

Oregon White Bubbles: Primarily chardonnay with some other white varietals, this is a beautiful sparkling wine with pleasant tropical fruit aromas. It has a crisp finish, but is not bone dry, so it is easy to sip by itself while also pairing with all kinds of food. It has flavors of apple and lemon with yeasty notes. Party in a can.

Oregon Pink Rosé Bubbles: This was a delightful wine, possibly the favorite of the group, although that would be difficult to narrow down. It starts with fresh red berry aromas that lead to watermelon, apple and pink grapefruit flavors. Seductive.

These wines are perfect for summer picnics, camping trips, boat rides and other outdoor activities. They would be great to take to your next tailgate party in the fall. And they are fun to just pull out of the refrigerator at home.

If it weren’t for rampant wine snobbery, wine cans would have caught on long ago. They’re easy to pack and carry, they keep the wine fresh for a long time. There is no metal taste from the can. You don’t need an opener. They are lighter and easier to recycle than glass bottles.

If you are like me and have aged like fine wine, don’t be put off by Canned Oregon’s website or its marketing. They are clearly going for the young market with lots of photos of skinny young people on paddle boards, or skiing, or hiking or surfing.

But we older folks can enjoy the wine just as much as they do. And we can enjoy the convenience of having this nice wine in cans.

The attractive cans have cute little icons on them depicting things active Oregonians do, such as hike, fish, boat, camp or ski. I hope they will add an icon of a geezer in a rocking chair, sipping the wine. With a huge smile on its face.

 

Winery: Stoller Family Estate launched Canned Oregon in 2018 with a marketing campaign showing that you can bring quality wine on all of your adventures.

The Stoller empire started with Bill Stoller, who has deep roots in the vineyards. He was raised on the family farm outside of Dayton, Oregon.

In 1993 he and his late wife Cathy obtained part ownership in Chehalem Wines. Later that year the family turkey farm that had been established in 1943 by his father and uncle ceased operation. The Stollers bought the property from Bill’s cousin and decided to plant vines.

The Stollers built the winery with conservation and preservation in mind. The winery features gravity-flow technology, and it was the first in the world to receive LEED Gold certification, which means it is sustainably built and environmentally friendly.

The 4,000-square-foot tasting room is a stunner, with floor-to-ceiling glass garage doors that are opened in nice weather. You feel like you’re sitting in the vineyard. The south-facing roof is covered with solar panels. As you sip your wine you look out to the hillside vineyard.

Three years ago my wife and I visited the property with the friends we joined in the mountains and rented one of the Stoller guest houses set among the vines. So these folks are familiar with and love Oregon wine. The guest house we stayed in is one of three available to rent. All are set in the vineyards and provide a memorable wine experience.

The winery was named 2014 Northwest Winery of the Year by Wine Press Northwest, Oregon’s Best Tasting Room by USA Today, and one of Oregon’s Most Admired Companies by the Portland Business Journal.

Last year Stoller bought out his partner at Chehalem and runs both wineries. The company also added Chemistry, History and now Canned Oregon.

We had some of the Oregon wine with a dinner of grilled hamburgers and baked beans. We all enjoyed the food and wines. From left, Edith, John D, Sandy, Steve, John B, Dorothy and Teri.

Goes with: We had these wines while sitting on the mountain porch of our friends John and Edith while we gazed down Maggie Valley. Some of our group sipped while working on a jigsaw puzzle. We had snacks like popcorn, nuts, chips and fruit.

We even saved some of the wine to have with grilled hamburgers that night.

All the wines were very good with the food but were a delight on their own.

If you have questions about wine you can email Dennis Sodomka at dennis@bottlereport.com

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