Buzz: Canned wine? Yuck.
Marnie: Not really. It's true that canned goods used to come out tasting a lot like the can, but today's cans are lined with a food-safe polymer that protects flavor brilliantly. And, since cans protect from light and have a much smaller carbon footprint than glass bottles, they make just as much sense for wine as they do for beer.
Buzz: OK, but why put decent wine in anything but a bottle?
Marnie: Well, bottles are nice and will remain the main wine format for years to come. But, glass is fragile and heavy, and bottles don't stack. Cans are great for glass-free zones like poolside — they chill fast and are easy to recycle. Mini-cartons are, too. But, the best for summer parties is definitely the larger boxed wine with the bag inside.
Buzz: Yeah. I bet that extra "bladder" comes in handy.
Marnie: Very funny, Buzz. They're great for entertaining because they save so much space and so much money. Those 3-liter boxes of wine are much smaller and more compact than four 750-milliliter bottles would be, and may cost as little as half as much.
Buzz: You mean some of those box wines come in bottles too?
Marnie: Well, the big 5-liter boxes are typically bulk generics. But, the smaller 3-liter boxes that sell in the $15-to-$30 range are typically much better wines — the kind that sell for $8 to $12 when they're in a bottle.
Buzz: Now you're finally making some dollars and sense.
Marnie Old is Philadelphia's highest-profile sommelier. Check out her blog at sauceblog.marnieold.com. Buzz's musings are interpreted by Daily News City Editor Gar Joseph.