Friday, 23 December 2011

Wine in cans selling out Stateside

Young Americans are developing a thirst for wine in cans, according to Ben Parsons, owner of hip Denver-based urban winery The Infinite Monkey Theorem. Local retailers have been selling out of Parsons’ US$6.99 Sparkling Black Muscat in a 250ml can, emblazoned with the brand’s eye-catching monkey logo. The British-born winemaker launched the can last July with a reworking of the iconic Barack Obama blue-and-red “Hope” poster, with the tag line: “Yes, we canned.”

“I’ve always wanted to put wine in a can,” Parsons told “They’re user-friendly, recyclable, and cut through the pretension of wine. It’s a perfect fit for the brand.” Targeting the can at Millennial drinkers and generation X’s aged 21 to 40 has paid off. “It’s ideal for music venues, and I’m in talks with Virgin Atlantic to try and get it onto their in-flight wine list,” says Parsons, who admits the wine won’t age: “It’s got a one-year shelf life like any other can.”

The entrepreneurial winemaker is planning on going national and would like to take the can internationally in the near future, saying: “I’d love to see it in London nightclubs and vending machines in Tokyo, why not?” The stumbling block is its 250ml size, which is an illegal size for selling alcohol in some US states. “I’m petitioning to allow 250ml cans in all US states, it’s a crazy law,” says Parsons, who is about to unleash a canned sparking Syrah and Pinot Gris onto the market.

Surprisingly, given its peony pink colour and sweet flavour, Parsons has found the wine to be a huge hit with men, much to his delight. “I want to change people’s perception of wine and make them see it as an everyday drink. I’d like to see more producers put their wines in cans so it becomes more acceptable,” he says. The first US winemaker to offer wine in cans was forward thinking film director Francis Ford Coppola, who started selling sparkling wine Sophia Blanc de Blancs (named after his daughter), in hot pink 187ml cans in 2004.

Having enjoyed success in the US, Parsons is considering upping sticks and heading back to London to set up an urban winery somewhere suitably hip like Hackney or Shoreditch. “I could source top quality fruit from all over Europe and make a bunch of different wines. I’d like to open a casual dining restaurant beside the winery selling my wine on tap from kegs,” Parsons enthuses. If anyone can get Londoners drinking wine from a tap, he can.


  1. Getting so much attention for cheapening the industry with chemically aged juice and mediocrity... shows how powerful marketing is. Ben throws this in the face of consumers and brings their herd mentality to the surface and sells it back to them for a premium. The sad part is that people are feeding into this nonsense.

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