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Canned momentum grows with competition launch

Published:  30 March, 2023

Picking up from the success of canned cocktails, G&Ts and hard seltzers, canned wine is here to stay, and the inaugural Independent Canned Wine Awards (ICWA) is a further testament to that.

Launching in May, the new competition is open to all canned wines and spritzers currently available on the UK market, regardless of country of origin. The results will be announced in June and flights will be organised according to style, assessment and medal classifications, where awarded, will be arrived at by medal, without reference to a points scale. 

Alex Taylor, founder of the ICWA, said: “Canned wines are having a ‘moment’. This outwardly colourful, innovative, vibrant single-serve category has been available on selected shelves for a number of years now, but latterly it’s like the media dial has been turned up on the category by several notches. 

“As well as a huge uptick in quality in the past couple of years, the styles of wines now available in cans is so broad that it caters for almost all different tastes and preferences; red, white, rosé, orange, natural, sparkling, single varietals, blends, spritzers and low alcohol – there is a canned wine for everyone.” 

The competition will be judged in May in Bristol with Liam Steevenson MW overseeing the panel 

“Summer 2023 in the UK really does look set to me to be a breakthrough season for canned wines, and we hope the ICWA will help guide consumers to the best-tasting examples available,” added Taylor.

The recent success of canned wine can be largely put down to its sustainability credentials. According to Marieke Hammes, sustainability and operations manager at the Canned Wine Company, cans have a 72% lower carbon footprint than traditional bottled wine, based on the assumption that cans contain 70% of recycled content – a common level in Europe for aluminium cans.

It is these savings and an increase in demand that led the likes of Kingsland Drinks, Accolade Wines and Broadland Drinks to invest heavily in canning over the past five years.

There is also the issue of portion control – most cans are the equivalent of half a bottle of wine or less. Simply put, smaller, more convenient formats means less commitment; and less commitment means potentially more exploration and less wastage. 

Smaller portion sizes also appeal to a millennial market concerned with moderating their alcohol content. 

Competition entries for the ICWA in May can be made at