On recent trips we’ve been enjoying a selection of canned wines from Off Track Wines at camp.
Being the fine wine connoisseurs that we are, we were sceptical about wine in cans, but we soon changed our tune once we gave them a crack.
We shouldn’t have doubted Off Track Wines. The product comes from a winemaker from McLaren Vale, South Australia, who was frustrated by carrying wine in glass bottles that rattled in the back of their vehicle when travelling and camping, let alone the bulkiness of the empty bottles that needed to be disposed of.
The winemaker knew there had to be a better way to carry quality wine in vehicles off road, and so started looking at putting wine into aluminium cans.
Cans are better than bottles for vehicle travels as they stack more easily in a box or fridge, they keep the product fresh and cold, and the empty cans crush down for easier disposal.
But it wasn’t as simple as just canning the same wine that is bottled. The characteristics of aluminium cans have a different effect on the wine to glass, and getting the formula right took some time.
Camping Buyers' Guides
Six years, in fact, before the winemaking team was confident that the wine in cans maintained the same taste and quality as bottle wine, and Off Track was launched in 2022. We’re told the same wine sells for around $30 a bottle in liquor stores.
The Off Track range comprises half a dozen different sparkling and blended red and white wine varieties to appeal to a range of palettes. They were selected to be the best examples to store and travel well in the aluminium cans, and with a mixed 12-pack to sample we gave them a try while camped on the banks of the Snowy River.
As predominantly red-wine drinkers, we were attracted to the blended red ‘Mountain’ cans. This is a Shiraz-like blend that went down with those in our crew who appreciate a hearty red.
The ‘Ocean’ Rosé was similarly well received and there were no complaints as we worked our way through the range over the ensuing days. All the wines in the Off Track range have names evoking the places that four-wheel drivers like to travel – Mountain, Outback, River, Island, Desert and Ocean.
Off Track Wines exceeded our expectations of canned wines and will be a welcome inclusion on future trips.
A single-style 12 pack (250ml cans) will set you back $98.50, while a mixed dozen costs $118.50.