Shooting From the Hip: Underwood Wine in a Can
Wine in a Can
Oh, the irony. Is that what we’ll think 30 years from now?
Each generation has a group that behaves like a cultural catalyst and in the dawn of the 21st century, the hipster has that crown firmly atop it’s head.
The basis of modern hipster living has long carried a thread of being arguably anti-establishment. Between gentrifying forgotten neighborhoods, sporting lengthy beards while arguing the semantics of gender and feminism, creating Instagram ‘stars’, supporting the local food co-op or urban farm, or glorifying the latest superfood trend – this lifestyle extends far beyond glasses, thrift store couture and GMO-free food.
Union Wine Company, an Oregon based company, is keen on breaking a few rules. Their brand, Underwood features wine in a can proudly toting the hashtag mantra, #pinkiesdown.
The wine glass is central to the identity of wine culture. The act of swirling, sniffing, and sipping hovers around your choice of glass and even how you hold your glass has reached levels of mild controversy and conversation. Underwood isn’t the first to embrace wine in a can but their product defies the need for the most prevalent symbol on wine culture: the glass.
Wine in a can limits the act of engagement, so many wine lovers adore. Crack open a can and the compulsive need to swirl and aerate is challenged. And the nose? Well you can only shove your face into an open can but so much. So what’s left? If you can’t sniff and swirl, what is there?
Well. There’s you. And the wine in a can. This is the part where you just drink it. Underwood is approachable and ready to travel presenting a Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and a Rosè for consumption in a 375 ml (roughly 2 glasses) silver can toting signature block lettering. Perfect company for precisely distressed grandfather sweaters (read: HAVE HOLES IN THEM) and broken in, mildly soiled Chucks.
The rosè is full and fruity (featuring strawberry, peach and watermelon) – a flavor that is straightforward and unsurprising when compared to other rosès in its price point ($24 for a 4-pack). The Pinot Gris is also quite satisfying and very refreshing with its notes of apple and sweet pear. It was the Pinot Noir I took issue with the most. Reds can be vastly more complex than white wines and with flavors like bacon, plum and ripe cherries, at first sip I was unimpressed and worried that the can itself was a hindrance to the wine’s flavor. After spending some time with an open can and (gasp!) transferring some to a glass – the flavors opened up remarkably. Here comes that irony I mentioned earlier: a wine company who is determined to keep it simple, and a wine that is determined to hold on to its complexity. You can’t reinvent the wheel. Even with the greatest of efforts.