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I first stumbled upon Nomadica while hunting for sparkling wine for New Year’s Eve. My studio-art-minor heart fluttered when I saw the independent art adorning each can. The synesthetic part of me swooned when I scanned the QR code on the back that linked me to a DJ-curated playlist for each wine for an amplified drinking experience.
Everything about Nomadia screams experience, reflecting the deeply-rooted and intimate appreciation of wine by its founder, Kristin Olszewski.
First, Let’s Talk About The Packaging
The Nomadica cans arrive attractively, spelling out “your sommelier has arrived.” Inside the larger boxes nestle your smaller boxes of canned wines (in conveniently portable four-packs) with unique corresponding artwork splashed across the sides.
The cans themselves are narrow and neat, their slenderness embodying the same elegance we expect from a bottle of wine. The main focus is the artwork – which varies depending on the variety – with a QR code linking to the accompanying music and info about the independent artist responsible. The overall visual of Nomadica cans is extremely elegant. The team hopes that the art will amplify the tasting notes, bridging the senses of sight and taste in a unified and satisfying way.
The Origin Story
Kristin Olszewski has quite the origin story. After majoring in sustainable agriculture, she was enrolled in a pre-med program at Harvard when she decided she’d rather focus on wine. “Why get into half a million dollars worth of debt?”
Switching from medicine to wine makes a lot of sense for Olszewski: she brings the same precision, accuracy, and intelligence to her sommelier identity. It’s why she’s worked in the most elite cellars in the country, all Michelin and wine-focused restaurants like Hutch, Saison, and Osteria Mozza. Her current gig is Wine Director at Gigi’s Hollywood, the “hardest restaurant to get into in L.A. right now.”
Olszewski’s background in sustainable agriculture sparked her interest in canned wine. Glass is highly energy intensive (partly because it’s so heavy) and the shipping emissions are obscene; many places in the U.S. don’t even recycle glass. Most of the impact of wine comes from the bottle, not from the beverage itself.
She works with low-intervention, small producers who live up to her quality standards of sustainable processes and no chemical manipulation to create a beverage that’s natural, sustainable, zero sugar, and delicious.
The Taste Matters Most (And It Delivers)
Although I adore the presentation, only one factor truly matters in a canned wine: the taste.
The Nomadica palette is fermented completely dry, aiming for a ubiquitously pleasing flavor. It even beat the über high standards of a famous sommelier tasting blindly at Gigi’s. Kristin believes certain taste profiles appeal to everyone (“show me someone who hates barbera”) and built Nomadica on that philosophy.
Nomadica offers five core wines. Cans come in 8, 12, 24, and 36-can packs, or the choose-your-own Adventure Pack. Get 8 cans (approximately 2.6 bottles of wine) for $56 (about $7 per can.)
The White ($54 for 8) is an appealing chardonnay partially aged in neutral oak. Notes of green apple and lemon blossom harmonize with almond and vanilla. According to Kristin, it has “tertiary characteristics” – a shockingly elegant depth of flavor with a savory lingering on the backbone. My mom (a huge chardonnay fan) is reordering.
The Red Blend ($54 for 8) is an ode to barbera, the grape Kristin swears by. It’s fruity and herbaceous – and always a crowd-pleaser – while still being bright and fresh.
Rosé ($54 for 8) tends to be my favorite still wine. It tastes like summertime. The Nomadica rosé has peak-season strawberries and undertones of sage, rose petals, and violet, creating a light and floral experience.
The Sparkling Rosé ($58 for 8) is my favorite of the bunch. It also happens to have my favorite can art and playlist, a perfect storm of sippable joy. Its “zing” of raspberry is light but not sweet. Tasting notes indicate “bright, crisp rainwater.”
The Sparkling White ($58 for 8) is chardonnay-based with a touch of muscat. It’s lively, with citrus, nectarine, and hints of melon, along with a saline taste to finish.
Nomadica’s claim to fame is its limited edition batches, produced in quantities of 100 cases or less. The brand’s current offering is Wanderlust Red, a bold red containing Cabernet Sauvignon, Barbera, and Zinfandel in a rich blackberry-esque flavor ideal for midwinter luxury, though if you’re a longtime fan you’ll remember Piquette, Chardonnay, and Sparkling Barbera offerings.
The Details Make It A True Experience
My favorite aspect of the Nomadica experience is the intentionality in engaging other senses. I studied synesthesia – the psychological condition of experiencing a sensory stimulus through the prism of another, like tasting colors – in undergrad, and Nomadica taps into that blended experience.
Each flavor directly informs the artwork, which creative director Aiden Duffy hunts for based on textures, scents, places, and other abstract associations with the wine itself. (“Pink Body Study” by Rocío Montoya, for instance, just looks like the taste of Sparkling Rosé.) The accompanying playlists are curated by musicians and DJs using the same loose association.
The Club Is Expanding To New Frontiers
While Nomadica may feel pricey based on our perceptions of canned wine, the brand offers 25% savings through the Club Nomadica membership. Members can choose between monthly and quarterly shipments, receiving first access to limited edition wines and more. I’m a glassware fanatic, and Nomadica dropped some hints about steep discounts on some divine glasses…
The sheer enthusiasm the Nomadica team has for its wine is a joy to behold – and a sommelier-level multi-sensory experience offers each drinker a special sip of it. Pure delight and deliciousness packaged in a sustainable and convenient can – what’s not to love? I’ll drink to that.
5 More Reasons to Love Nomadica:
1. Cans are more sustainable than glass.
2. The accompanying art, info, and playlists add a divine touch that make each sip feel like part of a tasting.
3. Nomadica works with low-intervention producers to produce a sugar-free, dry, and accessible palette that appeals to just about everybody.
4. Club members have first access to small-batch, limited-edition blends for lower prices, each with their own signature touches.
5. The thoughtful packaging and elegant presentation live up to the gravitas we expect from a bottle of wine -- but the cans are significantly more convenient.