Tom's blog

Trader Joe's does it again

The store that made Two-Buck Chuck famous appears to have another hit on its hands: Simpler wines -- in a can.

Cases of this stuff is flying off the shelves -- some stores are reporting sell-outs by mid-day. The reason? The cans are cheap -- $1 each -- and are easily packed in coolers just before the July 4th holiday. 

I haven't been able to find any yet, but I've read that the wine comes in a sparkling white and rose. No grape varieties are identified on the labels. 

I get that cans are portable and cheap, but they aren't for me. No respectable wine enthusiast would be satisfied with a generic wine that is more like soda. What this says to me is that wine's quality is second to its convenience.

Frankly, it's a direction that goes well beyond canned wines. I'm seeing wines with chocolate, blue wines, labels with crazy names and other gimmicks that has demoted the care that historically has gone into the wine-making process.  Yeah, I know, I've lost touch with new generations. I never have been in touch with them. 

I can't imagine a time -- no matter how desperate -- that I would eschew a glass of an exquisite wine from a corked bottle for a chance to guzzle down some cheap plonk from a can.  OK, I'm an old troglodyte and not a Millennial who is as open to canned wine as he is to holy bluejeans.  But for me, it's not about the alcohol, but about the wine.

Still, I can't deny the financial success of Trader Joe's most recent venture.