Catherine Hester of Teller Wines



Perfect on the beach, the couch or at a picnic

When you pack a picnic for the beach, the last thing you need is extra weight. So oenophiles-in-the-know are discovering the new revolution of wines in aluminum cans, Tetra Paks (aka, adult juice boxes) and plastic containers — complete with their own wine “glass.” Egad! “Wine in a can,” you say?! “How gauche! How can that possibly taste good?” Well, yes it can if the wine actually tastes like it came from a regular bottle. Trust me; I’ve tried all of them.

Even the millionaire investors on Shark Tank rejected that guy’s first pitch (you know, the one who invented a wine in its own cup, encased in plastic with a foil top). Now he’s laughing all the way to the bank. At first, some wine snobs turned their noses up at bottles with screw caps; it has since been proven that screw caps are a better seal. Now, some consumers are suspicious of these new-fangled containers. Not to mention the cynics among us who think it’s all a marketing angle. However, the eye-catching, compact packaging, according to one U.S. environmental study, is actually more “green” because these containers can be recycled in a closed loop better than traditional glass bottles.

Tetra Paks have been on the market for over a decade. Mostly originating on the West Coast, where new ideas and innovation pop up as frequently as those creatures in a Whack-a-Mole carnival game. Now we, as the consumers, get to enjoy the convenience of good wine in alternative containers.

The Cal Naturale Organic Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon (from Sonoma) have been a staple at Teller Wines since 2012. It is 500ml, two-thirds of a regulation 750ml bottle of wine, so it contains three servings. They are super-easy to store in your cooler, backpack or picnic basket, and most importantly, they taste like their respective varietals without the oak. (For the truly gauche among us — myself included — you can even sip the wine through a straw for more aeration.)

Similarly, the Steelhead line of Chardonnay and Merlot (also from Sonoma) offers the same lightweight convenience without sacrificing quality. You don’t even need to bring extra cups because these 375ml wines come with their own wine glass-shaped plastic vessels. How cool is that?!

Not to be outdone, the new Alloy Wine Works’ (central California) canned rosés and Pinot Noirs are all the rage. We’ve carried them in our shop since they were first released last April. Customers tasted them at Half Full (restaurant in Lewes) and have since flocked to Teller Wines to buy them. Food & Wine magazine recently featured the rosé in a can as an ideal picnic wine. Believe me when I say that Kevin and I taste every wine before we buy it. The Alloy wines have surprised us with their quality and integrity. And no, you absolutely cannot taste the aluminum. If you closed your eyes, you wouldn’t know the difference.

Summer’s coming, and it’s the time to chill, relax with friends and family in the backyard, at the beach and by the pool. Just don’t forget to recycle the empties after you’re finished.

About the Author:’s ‘Chasing the Grape’ wine columnist Catherine Hester and her husband, Kevin, are the owners of Teller Wines on Savannah Road in Lewes. They share their travel and winery adventures while offering thoughts on why they order particular wines for their loyal customers.

Posted On: 5/2/17 12:49 pm
This article promotes drinking on the beach. Isn't bringing alcohol to the beach illegal? Not cool coastal style.