I first met Roberta Sergio at her home in Haggerston in the Spring of 2016. I tasted some remarkable Bag in Box wines from her 100cl (www.100cl.co.uk) range in a beautiful converted light industrial building, now replete with an exterior wall of glass, plus an imported (Italian of course) marble floor. We discussed the longevity of BIB wines, the importance of not compromising on the quality of the inner bladder and critically storage. Switch to opening what I thought was a cupboard door to reveal a magnificent temperature controlled cellar. Ok, there were some bottles too, BIB wine is not for ageing, but there neatly lined up were the 100cl range of mainly organic Bag in Box wines on stainless steel shelving happily resting at about 14 degrees. Time was moving on, Roberta’s son had (thankfully) finished his trumpet lesson and discussion moved to Quello. Literally ‘That’ – precisely. The talk moved to Roberta’s latest project which was to introduce a semi-sparkling white wine from Italy in a slim aluminum can. The wine itself was as good as ready, though in Italy still and the prototype of the can had just arrived. Slim, white background and for good measure the Boadicea alike is astride not just one but two galloping unicorns (or is it one with two heads?). Wine in a can? Fizz in a tin? #JustBubbles mused Roberta, though without the hashtag. I picked up my first stash of Quello, wine-in-a-can, just ahead of the Real Wine Fair www.therealwinefair.com. A seemingly dodgy pass of goods across the ticket barrier in one of those pristine new orange-line stations in the East of London.
How is Quello made?
The wine is naturally fermented from Trebbiano and the rare Pagadebit grapes grown in Emilia-Romagna and blended by Roberta. The second fermentation is in tank so the same as Prosecco, though the sugar content is lower than most Prosecco at 8mg/litre compared to a standard 12mg/litre. It is as natural as can be, a purist’s delight with no added CO2 or glycerin. Light, refreshing, zesty, quaffable and a mere 11% ABV. Perfect as an aperitif, straight from the can or use it as a cocktail base, the choice is yours.
The story so far
Quello’s first summer has been a bit of a blur. Immediately hooked, October Studios (@octoberstudiosuk) dealt admirably with repeated camping with our young kids this Summer solely on the basis there was always a ready supply of chilled Quello. The lightweight can has featured at the Hay on Wye festival; reached Glastonbury; Off Grid festival and fueled the set-up of Alex James’ Feastival. It is a quick to chill delight perfect for pop up bars at Bristol Night Market @brisnightmarket, The Sunday Project @sundayprojectbr and The Frome Independent @morethanamarket. Independent cutting edge restaurants have also been quick to embrace wine in a can. What to drink if you’ve got hip hop in your chip shop, Quello of course at the fabulous Soul Fish, Bristol @soulfishbristol, a perfect combo. If you need a chilled sparkling aperitif whilst waiting for your pizza then check out @zerozeroeaston.
The benefits of fizz in a tin
For events and event organisers the single serve fizz in a can means no wastage, no half empty bottles to go flat or to submerge themselves in the ice bucket. The weight of the waste is also vastly diminished, offering further savings. Aluminum is a great material to recycle. Its qualities never diminish, with only 60 days required to take from waste to a newly formed can, ready to go again; plus over 75% of all aluminum made remains in use today. (www.alupro.org.uk) The can format is already widely accepted in the States with for example www.unionwinecompany.com whilst premium www.wineincan.com is a big player from Australia. For now in the UK I’ll have some of that please – ‘Quello!’