I get why people buy wine in cans – I really do. If you’re going to a party or a picnic it can sometimes be a little simpler to take along a couple of cans than to cart around a full bottle of wine. Also the cans almost always seem to carry pretty or interesting designs – they look much cooler than boring old wine bottles and that is undoubtedly a deciding factor for many people. Unfortunately, just about every canned wine I’ve tried has been terrible, which is why I was keen to try this particular can of Innocent Bystander Moscato.
I’ve reviewed Innocent Bystander Moscato before. It’s the best Aussie Moscato I’ve tried and one of the better value finds at the bottleshop. So, how does it taste out of a can?
The sulphur problem
The full answer is below but in short: this is the same quality wine but shrouded in gross sulphur smells. Sulphur is a widely used preservative and can leave some wines a bit stinky on opening. Still, it’s worse here than in most cases.
The good thing about sulphur is that the smell disappears with 20 minutes or so in the glass. With red wines that’s less of a problem – all you have to do is put your glass aside for a bit and come back to it. Wines like this aren’t designed for that. If you’re opening one of these it’s likely you plan to drink it immediately. Most people who buy a can of this will be drinking the stinky version, not the quality wine underneath.
I’m not sure why sulphur is such a problem in cans but I’ve encountered it a few times now. If anyone has any ideas please let me know.
The Review: Innocent Bystander Moscato NV Can
On first pour this is a real disappointment. The nose is absolutely drenched in sulphur (it stinks, in other words) and there’s a distracting musty flavour on the palate. The bones of a good wine are there – like the other versions of this wine the balance between sweetness and acidity here is impeccable, but there’s too much gross stuff going on to enjoy it. Even at this stage, it’s still a damn sight better than any other canned wine I’ve tried, but still not something I’d drink or recommend.
Around 20 minutes later it’s a different story – the sulphur has mostly blown off, allowing the wine underneath to finally show itself. It’s much fruitier with strawberries, citrus and grapes – kind of a fruit salad thing. There’s more of those flavours on the palate, along with that balanced sweetness I talked about above. The finish is long and sweet-ish but not overpowering. It’s a very enjoyable drink.
This is undoubtedly a good wine so I’ll give it the same score I gave the bottled version. But if given a choice between this and the bottle, I’d take the bottle.
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Alcohol Percentage: 5.5%
- Dan Murphy's