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Food & Drink

Three Sheets to the Wine

Local yacht rockers Three Sheets to the Wind aims to become local yacht wine stockers with their new venture Steely Can Wine




It started as some post-gig riffing, naming wines after songs in the band’s repertoire, and now it’s turned into a new business venture for the members of Three Sheets to the Wind.

This month, the band’s wine business, Steely Can Wine, officially launched its online store, where thirsty visitors can purchase cans for local delivery or get them shipped throughout Virginia. The Steely Can team offers free delivery within a 15-mile radius of their Scott’s Addition warehouse, plus some surprise perks for special customers. The brightly-colored cans contain 375 mL — half a standard bottle of wine, sourced from California and canned in Ashland, VA in partnership with Wine & Beer Supply.

“There’s no shortage of canned wines with clever, humorous names, but we looked out at our crowd and saw a market for wines that would have been just as appropriate to drink on a California beach in 1978 as they would be to drink poolside, on the river or by the firepit in 2022,” says Gregg Brooks, whose job as a private label wine brand developer was a catalyst for this endeavor. “We knew we needed to put easy and approachable, yet delicious wine in these cans.

With the band’s immersion in the 70s and 80s California lifestyle, we also knew that a Chardonnay was going to be one of the products.” Brooks had the wine industry knowledge, and other bandmates brought their own expertise as creative directors, digital marketers and sales professionals, so all of the pieces naturally fell into place.

As for how it all began, Brooks says they were relaxing after a gig at a mountain resort in Pennsylvania when they challenged each other to name a hypothetical wine referencing bands on that night’s setlist. Bandmates blurted out ideas that name-checked artists whose songs were favorites of the fans who had kept Three Sheets to the Wind going for more than a decade, playing shows all over the country and garnering numerous “best band” awards.

It wasn’t unusual for these musical collaborators to come up with offbeat business ideas. By this time, the unconventional band had already evolved into a tongue-in-cheek lifestyle brand, offering branded plastic tumblers imprinted with the rallying cry, “Let’s get Sheetfaced!” (The band and the brand-new wine business would like to kindly remind everyone to please drink responsibly.)

As it’s often said about the best wines, it didn’t take long for the bandmates to realize their canned wine idea had legs, and that their pandemic pivot would be from vintage California smoothness to smooth California vintages.

About the wines:

The inaugural lineup includes three wines: Rosé Darling, Kid Chardonnay and Deacon Red —
names that pay sly but entirely earnest tribute to one of the Steely Can team’s favorite bands.

Tasting notes:

  • Rosé Darling: Central Coast CA / 13% ABV / 2021 / Aromas of fresh strawberries andtropical fruit, with slight citrus notes. Some slight floral notes, with bright fruit flavors andminerality. A clean finish with crisp acidity.
  • Kid Chardonnay: Central Coast CA / 13% ABV / 2021 / All steel fermentation. Tropical fruitwith hints of pineapple on the nose, crisp palate with lingering acidity and white peach notes.
  • Deacon Red: Lodi CA / 14% ABV / 2020 / Dark garnet color, intense blueberry aromas withhints of cassis and dark cherry on the palate. Full-bodied and well-balanced with a longlingering finish.

And now for some yacht rock since Thursday is really just a baby Friday.

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.