How Hollywood Helped Bring Canned Wine Back Into Modern Times

Beer says tailgate and tequila says party. But, if canned wine carries an air of Hollywood glamor in your mind, there's an actual reason why. The canned bevvy has enjoyed a long and public connection to the Big Screen. And in 2004, canned wine made its grand debut on the spirits market in a big way.

Canned wine has been around since at least the '30s and proto-offerings like The Wine Packaging Corporation of Stockton's beer-bottle-style line dropped soon after. But, these individually-packaged libations never really found an audience until around 70 years later, when Hollywood's Francis Ford Coppola changed the game forever.

Coppola is the son of a composer and is most notably known for "The Godfather" trilogy (which also inspired a knockout scotch cocktail). But, perhaps lesser-known is the fact that the Coppola created a line of wines in celebration of his daughter, who is also an Oscar-winning screenwriter and director. In 2004, the Francis Ford Coppola Winery released a line of sparkling canned wines called Sofia Mini Blanc de Blancs soon after Sofia's "Lost in Translation" won the Oscar for best original screenplay in 2003 (and, ironically, the protagonist is a movie star traveling to promote a whiskey brand). 

A fresh, playful offering for modern metropolitan sippers

Coppola marketed Sofia Mini Blanc de Blancs at younger female sippers, attempting to eliminate the "stuffiness" that hovered around wine drinkers like a haughty cloud. In other words, Coppola aimed to market the canned wine with all the fashionable sophistication of sparkling wine, add accessibility — and it worked. 

It's not dissimilar from the hero arc of the Cosmopolitan cocktail, which garnered its enduring fanbase and metropolitan reputation after appearing as the signature drink of onscreen Carrie Bradshaw in "Sex and the City." Canned wine is a "thing" now, and spirits fans everywhere largely have the Coppolas to thank.

If you want to try the phenom that started it all, Sofia Mini Blanc de Blancs retail for $5 a can via the Francis Ford Coppola Winery website, or a four-pack runs in the ballpark of $17.99 through Drizly. They pack an 11.5% ABV, a mid-range punch for today's standard canned wines. (André Brut Rosé clocks a 9.5% ABV and Obsession Symphony sparkling white hits 12%.) Incidentally, its "mini" size also makes them easy to stash in a designer handbag for fashionable sippers on the go, just as Coppola had in mind.