As you probably know, I receive lots of unsolicited samples for review. There are wine samples, spirits samples, I even got some sample dog treats recently (they were delicious). As I have reported in the past, it is easy to spot popular trends by just monitoring what comes in.

This way of taking the temperature of the marketplace is highly unscientific; it’s also very accurate. For example, after sleeping in the shadow of Cabernet Sauvignon for years, I started getting more and more Pinot Noir samples (thanks to “Sideways”?) some years ago. These days, I see more Pinot than Cab.

Over the past three years, there has been an explosion of rosés. This, after I have been shouting about rosé for decades, without anyone hearing me. Suddenly, everybody who has a fermentation tank and a garden hose is making rosé.

But that is not the latest trend, as evidenced by my UPS and FedEx deliveries.

A few months ago, instead of the typical wine shippers, we started getting smaller, more compact boxes. What’s going on?  The answer is: CANS.

Seems that everyone is putting stuff in cans. There are wine-based cans ( I enjoyed a spiffy mimosa recently that was in a 12-ounce can). There are lots of canned cocktails: gin and tonics, palomas, cosmopolitans, pina coladas, margaritas, gimlets even vodka and soda– some in 12-ounce cans, some in 8-ounce cans.

Then there are BuzzBalls – a line of 15% ABV  cocktails packaged in 200-ml. round plastic containers and made by a “Women Owned” company located in Texas. (They are really tasty: I’ve been drinking them with lunch the past few days.) Even Budweiser has gotten into the act with Bud Light Seltzer.

So, what do I think about this latest trend? I really like it. Everything I’ve tried so far is quite acceptable, often rather delicious and I like the idea of single-serving containers. Right now, the spirits products are outpacing the wine products, but I don’t expect that to last.

Can we expect vintage Mondavi Private Reserve in cans soon?

By Anthony Dias Blue