To the question “Would you be ready to drink wine from a can?” », 72% of French people answered yes. If the answer may come as a surprise in a country where wine is an integral part of culture and heritage, the young people polled are even more likely to want to risk it: 85% of 18-24 year olds answered in the affirmative to this recent survey conducted by OpinionWay for ”the Master Winegrowers of Saint-Tropez”. Precisely, the 20-35 year olds are the target.
So why such interest today, when canned wine (about 13% alcohol) has been trying for ten years to establish itself in France, without success? Well, firstly for practical reasons: one in four French people sees it as an aluminum container (recyclable!) suitable for take-out catering, whether for a night out or for the beach. Nearly half of them (45%) also consider themselves curious to discover cans of wine during their next trips, by train or at the hotel.
Another element in favor of the can: its size. Able to contain 25 centilitres, which is equivalent to two standard glasses, the can seems more suitable for individual and controlled consumption.
A cultural problem
But it is precisely this aspect that surprises more than one: “It’s a pity for the noise of the cork, for the ceremony. I also have social and cultural reservations because wine is the culture of sharing. We open a bottle while the can is drunk alone or in pairs”, comments Cédric Saucier, professor of oenology at the University of Montpellier, interviewed by France 3.
On the conservation side, what does it give? The expert explains to our colleagues that there is nothing to worry about: “The wine is sheltered, in the dark. The can is not the best container, but not the worst! » The worst, precisely, would be the plastic which would let air through and harm the quality of the wine.
It is in this context that the Wine Paris & Vinexpo Paris trade fair was held two months ago, where cans of wine made their comeback among the exhibitors. And on the spot, if we could fear the worst, the opinions were not so negative. Several people interviewed by The Parisian, of all ages, even confessed to having enjoyed drinking from a small cylinder. A few young people have even tried the ”wine seltzer”, a sparkling water with a low alcohol content (5%).
However, professionals remain lucid: in France, the can of wine will have difficulty finding a place: “Export represents 80% of our sales” estimates Jean-François Chabrier, manager of the Le Star house.
For Pierre Desprat, managing director of Desprat Saint-Verny, “the wine market in France is still reticent. It’s a reality. For several reasons: it hurts to see wine in a can. And then there is this very word of bobbin which is definitely not returning the correct stimulus. Finally, the gesture itself poses a problem,” he explains to The mountain.
A trend from elsewhere
In the United Kingdom or Israel, for example, where canned wine is already present, sales are booming, as in the United States. “Drinking wine from a can? It didn’t pose a problem for the Americans,” comments Pierre Desprat.
At the Modat estate, in the Pyrénées-Orientales, we brought this absurd idea in a luggage from New Zealand, also a country that is a fan of the concept. The bosses, two winemaker brothers, have just made no less than 8,000 cans with part of the harvest from last fall.
They too intend to offer a more nomadic approach to wine. After all, it’s like beer: the whole thing is that it stays fresh. And if converting purists to wine in a can will not be an easy task, there is however a definite advantage: the absence of a corkscrew is no longer to be feared.