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We all prefer a plop to a pssst!  Or did.

When you go to the Radiography Unit  you usually come back with some X-rays or scans and some good or bad news for someone. I had some good news this week.

That canned wine isn’t anywhere near as bad as you might.

The girl I know in Radiography swears by canned wines. And told me all about them. She showed me pictures on her phone. She is more interested in tannins than gamma rays.

Canned wine has had a refresh.  The UK market  alone is now already worth over £3.5m and has grown 125 per cent over the last two summers.  And the sector has produced easily chillable, premium quality young wine in infinitely recyclable aluminium cans – some with corn starch labels – have come of age and are drinking well. And not just on trains or at festivals.


My friend in radiography is a big fan of Uncommon.

Rather than Rontgen.

“The Uncommon” , who are sponsoring this year;s Picnic Week ( June 18-26) , uses grapes are grown and hand-harvested within fifty miles of its Peckham HQ, from vineyards in Surrey, Kent and Hampshire.  Henry Connell and Alex Thraves up their corporate jobs to head the CW Movement, making their first 150000 cabs after buying 65 tonnes of grapes. Their canned sparkler was the first to be stocked by a supermarket. They followed the American model.

Says Connell : “ Coppola’s audacity to put really high-quality wine in cans was a real inspiration, as is Underwood’s proud storytelling of their Oregonian heritage and marrying of wine with a love of the outdoors and adventure.” 

Why ‘The Uncommon’ ? Explains  Thraves. : Our brand isn’t targeted at a particular audience, more a mindset – those with the common interest of exploring and experiencing the unusual and unexpected. The name was born out of that– never wanting to toe the line producing something that is already out there. The design emerged from that thinking. We want to take people to an uncommon world visually, one that is distinct from the cut and paste design language of the vast majority of bottled wine. One that is beautiful, eye-catching, implies quality, but still has a bit of a cheeky twinkle in its eye.”


Canning quality South African Cape wine is  Cambridge’s Copper Crew – named after it two  ginger-haired founders and school friends – Oli Purnell and Theo Gough. While studying at

Harvard, Oli discovered American canned wine. .

“Larkins made some for the French Laundry -the  Michelin 3 star restaurant in San Francisco)-for their picnics options and al fresco dining. That the States didn’t just have wine in cans and they were normal but that there were some really fantastic wines in cans, that’s what excited me. “

In South Africa Theo, who worked in management consultancy, met winemaker Sam Lambson. “Their  first wine was a Sauvignon Blanc sourced from the Elgin Valley.  Their core range now comprises rose, Merlot and Sipful and Leslie Owensbury’s Defy are part of the growing CW market.


Kent’s Balfour  winery estate offers a 200ml Pink Fizz semi-sparkling. Says head winemaker, Fergus Elias :  “This is serious wine. A lot of research went into the subject and the resulting methodology is unlike anything else used in English wine. It’s really trail-blazing stuff. This is genuinely a product which could not have been made in England eighteen months ago”

Research by wine sellers Laithwaites reveals the Brits chuck away around two glasses of wine a week- the yearly equivalent of 17.3 bottles per household or 624 million bottles nationally.

Bath’s Canned Wine Co recommends fish and chips with its Niederosterreich Gruner Vibrant and Zesty. Says Simon Rollings who founded the company with wine journalist and founder of Novel Wines,  Ben Franks :“Our aim is to de-risk the discovery and enjoyment of premium wines whilst opening up wine to new occasions and customers.

““We are focussed on showcasing lesser-known grape varieties aiming to offer something truly exciting and unusual. We work with top European winemakers. All our wines are single varietal and vintage.” The wines are all shipped to the UK in ‘bulk’ and then canned at a site in Devon. Adding to their Old Vine Garnacha they from Aragon, are about to launch a new Austrian St Laurent Pinot-red style can, ideal with Greek meze and BBQ.

“Kiss of Wine” was created  “To create a product for the modern-day drinker who wants a good glass of wine without committing to a bottle,” says founder, Jennifer Browarcyzk. The collection of single-varietal cans, which includes an Intense Tempranillo, a Crisp Sauvignon Blanc , a Feisty  Nebbiolo and a Zesty Riesling.


Lucy Wright and Jeremy May’s Purley-based Nice ( “A Wine For Whenever”) offers  Sauvignon Blanc from Cotes de Gascogne, Pale Rosé from just outside Montpellier, and Malbec from Argentina.  Merchandizing includes sunglasses and a Perfectly Pink bucket hat!


Canned wine is “new format drinking”. “Uncommon” bubbly, as it says on the can “pairs perfectly with a stiff upper lip and rain stops play”. The contents are “grown and hand-picked at 51N, England.”

X-rays are revealing things.