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I Tried Drinking Wine from a Pringles Can

Nov 07, 2023

After a woman was banned from Walmart for concealing booze in a potato chip container, I had to know...

Mike Pomranz has been covering craft beer for nearly two decades and trending food and beverage news for Food & Wine for 7 years.

If you saw the news coming out of this weekend, you inevitably saw this story: Last Friday morning, a woman was banned from a Walmart in Wichita Falls, Texas, for drinking wine out of a Pringles can while driving around the parking lot on an electric shopping cart at about 6:30 a.m. in the morning.

Clearly, this viral story comes with a lot to unpack, so is it wrong that my first instinct was, "Wait… Can you really drink wine out of Pringles cans?" Obviously, there's only one way to find out. And thankfully, I had a can of Pringles Wavy Fire Roasted Jalapeno at the ready and a half-drank bottle of Graffigna 2016 Malbec from the night before… because if you’re drinking wine out of a Pringles can, you definitely don't want to crack open your best bottle.

In testing the viability of Pringles’ packaging as a wine vessel, I decided on a scientific approach, so let me walk you through my key findings…

You should definitely dump out the chips, but you don't need to rinse out the can — because it's going to smell like Pringles regardless.

A Pringles can would appear to be, first and foremost, a wine disguise — and a hasty one at best. So for my first taste test, I tried pouring the wine in the can unrinsed. Though I expected the results to be gross, only the aroma was really destroyed by that scent of Pringles powder. Once the wine hit my palate, I was startlingly unoffended (all things considered, of course). In fact, though rinsing out the can helped get rid of some little powder bits, the scent of Pringles remained strong regardless. You could probably clean the tin further to try and get the smell out, but at that point, you’ve way over committed.

A Pringles can is actually the perfect size to hold an entire bottle's worth of wine.

Intuition tells you that a Pringles tin is about the size of a bottle of wine, but the reality is almost too perfect. The 750 milliliters of liquid found in a bottle of wine fills a can of Pringles to the point where you’re left with about two inches of room at the top… the perfect amount of space to start sipping from. It's practically uncanny (pun intended).

A Pringles can is waterproof — and the top will hold in liquids surprisingly well.

So we’ve proved that a Pringles can can hold wine, but how does it work as a wine transporting device? After leaving my can filled with water for the duration of this writing (about an hour), it showed no signs of leaking. Even more miraculous, if you put the plastic top back on, you can turn the tin upside-down and even giving it some light shaking without much spillage at all. Would I bet my life that after a few hours or a bumpy ride you wouldn't end up with red wine stains on your pants? No. But if you’re wearing an old pair of jeans, the Pringles can doesn't seem like it would let you down.

Overall, I wouldn't recommend drinking wine out of a Pringles can — but the choice was actually quite inspired.

Look, I am not going to tell you to drink wine out of a Pringles can: The aroma alone is off-putting enough that it's truly a last-ditch solution. That said, as last-ditch solutions go, a Pringles can has suddenly and unexpectedly shot up the mental list I didn't even know I had of things to drink wine out of in a pinch: It holds the right amount of liquid, doesn't immediately leak, and is even somewhat re-sealable. I’m also not going to say someone riding around in a Walmart parking lot at 6:30 a.m. drinking wine out of a chip container is a genius, but clearly, she knew something that many of us had never even considered before. That's gotta be worth something, right? You know, other than a lifetime ban from Walmart?