Sustainability. We are all talking about it, but it’s often a struggle with our need for convenience. We spoke with Herb Quady of Quady North in Southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley about this very topic earlier this year.
Bag in Box & Kegs
Herb has restaurants locally that are carrying bags & kegs of his Quady North wine which is great for sustainability in by the glass programs. The “bag in box” he says is a local phenomenon, which works great for restaurants. They can get a 3 liter bag, which equals 4 bottles of wine for a by the glass program.
The cost is less for packaging and there is less waste. (BTW, you can get these too, they are available on his website). Kegs work for restaurants, or stores that have growler programs. Good stainless steel kegs are reusable and save a ton of glass.
Then there are cans. You may have been skeptical of canned wine, and quite honestly, rightly so. The trend started with lots of bulk wine being pushed into cans for convenience. The taste of the wine wasn’t the can’s fault, it was just bad wine.
These days more and more wineries are getting good juice into a can.
It’s the democratization of wine.
Herb Quady, Quady North Wines
Herb puts his GSM Rosé into can. He tells us one of his best clients is a drive-thru Mexican fusion restaurant. You can get beer by the bottle or his rose in a can to go with your order. There is also a high end restaurant in Seattle that has added a weekly laid back patio party and serves hard seltzers, sangria and the Quady canned rosé.
People that were going to drink something else, now have wine as an option. It’s an opportunity for the industry.
On a Economic level…
There are canning trucks, just like the bottling trucks that many wineries employ. On the subject of cost… Herb says, that they have accepted the fact that they will not live an extravagant lifestyle and focus more on wine and cheese, than trappings and cars. In their mind…
We can offer good wine in a can at an affordable price. We are just doing a service for the people.
Herb Quady, Quady North
Got to love that.
Taste testing, in case you need that
We picked up a 3 pack of the canned GSM Rosé at the tasting room. It got up to 85 degrees today in Vegas (I know…fall in Vegas right?). So we popped a can in the backyard in the sun, and downed it with some lo mein and thai style lemongrass chicken rolls.
The wine has great acid to pair with the fat and flavors of the food, and the color is a beautiful light ballet slipper peach/pink . On the nose I got tart strawberry, peach and wet stones. In my mouth it is dry and tart with citrus, zest (Herb mentions that picking the grenache early gives it the citrus skin notes), mineral and stone fruit flavors and it has a surprisingly long finish.
The blend is led by Grenache, followed by a big dollop of Syrah and finished off with a bit of Mourvèdre and a pinch of Cournoise. The exact percentages vary by year, with some years a splash of Vermentino tossed in.
The grapes for this rosé were “specifically planted and grown for Rosé”. They wanted to make a Southern French Style Rosé and found sites to grow the different varieties to have higher acidity.
So…can you get this?
You can pick up a 3 pack of his canned Rosé at the tasting room or on the website for $16. (that’s 3 – 250 mL cans, which would be equal to a bottle of wine). Abv sits at 12.4% . Wine Enthusiast & Vinous gave it 90 points, and Wine Spectator gave it 89, so, if you are into that kinda thing….
Back to sustainability
All in all, I highly recommend looking out for the planet with these new sustainable ways of enjoying wine. It is good for the planet. We vote often with our wallet.
Look for cans for convenience and environmental sustainability, aluminum is much easier and cheaper to recycle than glass. I’ll leave you a link to a VinePair article on the subject by Nick Hines… Cans or Bottles: What’s Worse for the Environment?
I also hope we can all encourage local restaurants to look into keg wine! It’s so much more affordable for the winery (and as such for the restaurant and us) and this packaging is reusable! This kind of sustainability is good for everyone.
Keep the sustainability conversation going!
Share with us your experiences with other sustainable wine packaging and the changes you are seeing. Do you have a winery or bar locally that does growlers. What about wineries, switching to different glass to leave less of a carbon footprint, or changing from using capsules on the top of bottles. Have you had wine from a keg? Have you seen bag-in-box programs with higher quality wines (not just grocery store)? Let us know in the comments or visit us on social media. Let’s keep this conversation going!
Visiting Quady North
If you are in Southern Oregon, stop by and visit the Quady North Tasting Room at 255 E California St. Jacksonville OR. They are open Wednesday -Sunday 11-6 and Monday’s from Noon to 5.
I’m all for sustainability and I definitely like to support wineries that make it a priority in all aspects. We haven’t had wine in a can yet but it definitely makes me consider it more…
It all depends on the quality of wine in the can. Oregon has plenty of good quality wine being put in can, find a reputable winery and give it a try! I’d avoid the BIG houses as they are probably canning their plonk.
I don’t know if I can get behind canned wine. I can’t imagine it at all! There is no one bottling wine in a can in Bordeaux where I live. It just feels kind of wrong, but that is the European that has rubbed off on me after all these years living in Europe. I’m sure there is perfectly good canned wine, but I’m not convinced the trend will catch on in Europe. Even so many beers come in glass bottles here.
With the glass shortage in Germany…they might start thinking about it there! I don’t know that it is for all occasions, but white and rosé wines can be packaged this way. Again, the quality of the canned wine, depends on the quality of wine that you put in the can. Getting away from bottles may be tough, but so is getting away from corks and the Aussies, as we saw on our recent trip have definitely done that. The new caps can allow minute percentages of air to allow wines to age as they would under cork.