Wine al fresco is not always as easy as we’d like it to be. Whether it’s the beach, pool-side, or at a picnic, glass is usually not an option. Oh, and then there’s those times when you’re trying to drink your vino on the DL. (#DontJudgeMe) Enter, the canned wine. These have been around for a while now, but more and more are coming on the market. As I kept seeing the new options surface, I figured it was time for me to take the plunge (sacrifice)1and see what was what.
Disclaimer – while these were in cans, I poured all wines into my shatter-proof outdoor polycarbonate glasses.2 And lets be real, these aren’t high level, complex wines so if that’s what you’re after, don’t bother. These wines are meant to be easy drinking and appeal to the masses. And as an added bonus, these wines appeal to the little environmentalist in me 3with their smaller carbon footprint.4 That being said, don’t get it twisted – I’m still all about the classic glass bottle for my wine.
The Rosé Cans
Eufloria Aromatic Rosé Wine By Pacific Rim, WA ($5, 375ml)
As it name implies, this was quite the aromatic wine. Pineapple, peach, and floral aromas jump out of the glass. But this was just too sweet for my liking. I was initially excited that it was slightly fizzy, but all the sweet ripe fruit had very little acidity to balance it. It ended up just being heavy and sugary in the mouth.
Mancan Rosé Wine, CA ($4, 375ml)
Mancan is unique amongst many of the canned wine producers in that they only make wine in a can. This blend of unoaked California Zinfandel and Chardonnay provides lots of strawberry and melon fruit with a bit of lemon and lime. With very low acid and a hint of residual sugar, it’s definitely something to quaff on a hot day. But it just didn’t have much structure. It wasn’t awful, but I wouldn’t seek it out.
Ava Grace Rosé, CA ($5, 375ml)
Like many of the other canned Rosés, this one had some residual sugar. Strawberry, grapefruit, peach, honeysuckle, and a slight herbal quality. More acidity to balance out the fruit than many of the others but I still wish it was a bit more balanced. This is one of the few I’d buy again. Maybe.
Pop + Fizz Sparkling Rose, OR ($5, 375 ml)
This lively pink sparkler was a pleasant surprise. Yes it was a bit off-dry, but it had enough acid to not weigh it down. It is a blend of Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Riesling, and a touch of Gewurztraminer, all sourced from various Oregon AVAs. It offers up of strawberry, watermelon, and tangerine and is genuinely happiness in a can. Finally! One one I’d def buy again.
Sway Rosé, TX ($16 per 3-pack of 250ml cans)5
Unlike the other wines, these cans are smaller 250ml cans and come in a 3-pack. Crafted of 100% Texas fruit, this is the brainchild of Chris Brundrett of William Chris Vineyards and Andrew Sides of Lost Draw Cellars.6 Crafted of a blend of Mourvèdre, Carignan, Muscat, Viognier, and Malvasia Bianca, it has aromas of fresh strawberry and tropical fruit. In the mouth, its lively acidity was quite welcome given some of the others that lacked any sort of acid. So like the Pop + Fizz, this is the second canned Rosé I’d go back in for.
The White Wine Cans
Underwood Riesling Radler, OR ($5.50, 375ml)
Given that it was Underwood and Oregon, I had great expectations for this one. But my interest was also piqued in that it wasn’t just a can of wine. Yes, there’s wine in the can, but there’s also hops (as in beer) and grapefruit. And this in essence makes it a radler.7 The drink is meant to be a hybrid of sorts for both beer and wine drinkers. Peach, apricot, citrus, honey, and floral notes all abound. And with a very low 3% alcohol, it’s not hard to go the distance with this one. So yes, color me intrigued and pleasantly surprised.
Stella Pinot Grigio, Sicily, Italy ($13 per 4-pack of 250ml cans)8
Like the Sway Rose, this one comes in smaller 250ml can, but in a 4-pack. Not only did I love the lady on the can, I also liked what was inside. Fresh green apple, pear, citrus and a touch of salinity make this an easy sipper. A decent amount acidity lifted this one up and didn’t make it feel so heavy despite a touch of residual sugar. Another one I’d add to the list.
Tangent Sauvignon Blanc, Edna Valley, CA ($6, 375 ml)
So this wasn’t bad. I loved that it wasn’t sweet like so many other can wines. The grapes for the wine are sourced from certified sustainable Edna Valley vineyards in San Luis Obispo and had flavors and aromas of grass, green apple, lemon, and minerality. Great racy acidity that makes you crave some seafood. Cue the oysters! Would I buy it again? Sure would.
Pam’s Unoaked Chardonnay, CA ($3, 187ml)
So everything was going well with the white wines until I came to this one. It may have been unoaked (which I usually like) but this was almost like drinking fruit juice. I’m sure there’s a target audience for this one, but just not me. Sweet, heavy, fruity, no acid – I ended up pouring it down the drain. I’ll definitely take a pass on this one.
The Red Wine Cans
Underwood Pinot Noir, OR ($5.59, 375ml)
Having had the Riesling Radler under my bely, I felt better equipped to take this one on. As someone that loves the “process of wine”,9 I can also appreciate the #PinkiesDown approach of the folks at Union Wine Co. that craft the Underwood wines. They truly have a mission to make wine an inclusive beverage and I’ll never fault anyone for inclusivity in wine or anything beyond. This Willamette Valley Pinot was a great sipper offering up black cherry, raspberry, and a little spice. The only problem I encountered was just how easy it goes down. Don’t lose sight of the fact that these cans are the equivalent of a half bottle of wine!
We Are California Red Blend, CA ($3, 187ml)
Housed in the smallest of the canned wine at 187ml, this proprietary red blend is an easy drinking, fruity red. It’s a bit off dry, but it’s exactly the red you need on a hot day. Not much in the way of acid and tannins, but offers up lots of red cherry and raspberry fruit, along with vanilla. Quite quaffable and would hold its own at your next BBQ.
House Wine Red Blend, Chile ($5.50, 375ml)
I recognized these folks from their boxes I used to see in Target all the time but had never tasted their wines. This was another soft red with very little tannin (which you don’t necessarily want on a hot day). It’s a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Petit Verdot and other reds and is quintessential outdoor red wine quaffing material. Raspberry, plum preserves, and baking spice makes for a seriously easy drinker. I’m all over this with saucy smoked ribs.
So there you have it. My first deep dive into some of the canned wine on the market. While I didn’t start strong with some of the Rosé wines, I was pleasantly surprised by the white and red options. Let me know if there are some other (good) ones I need to try. Cheers!
- Cause it was a sacrifice y’all. I’m here for you!
- Even with the three times a year I consume soda, I never drink out of the can. It’s just not my thing.
- I rarely meet something I can’t compost
- Cans are a lot lighter than bottles which means they’re easier to transport. They also require less cardboard to hold and transport them. Finally, cans are made with significantly more recycled content than glass.
- Sample submitted for review. But opinions are all my own. I’d actually had this one previously and was more than happy to review.
- Apparently the idea came about when they got drunk and decided to create a canned Rosé – Yes We Can Wine. Well lucky us.
- A Radler is a German drink consumed in summer that’s half beer and half fruit soda.
- Sample submitted for review but all opinions are my own.
- You know, cutting the foil, taking out the cork, decanting, swirling…all that stuff.