Drink

The Canned Wine Taste Test

No corkscrew needed! I went taste-testing for canned wines and am sharing my reviews here.

I recently went on a canned wine taste test per several of your requests! Of course, I never mind doing this kind of research…

First, the cans: if you haven’t seen wine sold in cans yet, you probably just don’t spend as much time in the wine aisle as I do 😉 I got most of the wines in this article at Whole Foods! Canned wine still represents only a few percentage points of the market, but sales have exploded in the past few years, from about $2 million in sales in 2012 to nearly $15 million in 2016, and today, about $28 million. Canned wine has been marketed primarily for summer, because, well, obviously it’s a great pool and beach option. It’s also nice because it’s basically a single (or double) serving—easy to grab when you don’t want a whole bottle.

The strong growth of canned wine can be attributed in part to Oregon’s Union Wine Co., which recaptured consumer interest for canned wine after launching its Underwood label in 375-ml. cans—the equivalent of roughly 2.5 glasses of wine—in 2014. Though the brand’s canned range initially consisted of just Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris, the lineup has since expanded to include canned rosĂ©, white and rosĂ© sparkling wines, and more.  

My opinion? Cans are ideal for fresh, unpretentious wines, such as rosĂ©. I am a fan of canned wine when the occasion calls for it because sometimes it’s just not practical to haul around a bottle. But, canned wine is still best poured from the can into a glass, so you aren’t picking up all the tastes of the metallic can. And yes, even if you only have a plastic cup, still pour it in there! It’s the only real way to taste what you bought. 

Reviews below of the canned wines I tried:

Alloy Wineworks

Where to buy

Alloy Wineworks’ can design looks like a cool craft beer, but this is indeed everyone’s favorite summer drink—rosĂ©. This version is crisp and full of flavors like strawberry, grapefruit, and melon. It’s right at home at the beach on a summer day. This was one of my favorites, with mild notes of watermelon, guava, and grapefruit.

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Sofia Blanc De Blancs

Whole Foods

Francis Ford Coppola is a well-known movie director but he also owns several legit wineries. In an homage to his daughter, Sofia Coppola, the winery makes Sofia Mini Blanc De Blanc, a mixture of 70 percent Pinot Blanc, 15 percent Riesling, and 15 percent muscat. This one has been around since 2004, making Sofia very early to the scene! It comes with a cute little straw that everyone loves. It’s fizzy and fruity, and best served cold. If you’re going to drink sparkling wine out of a can, this is a great one to try.

Sofia-Sparkling-Canned-Wine

Ramona

Where to buy

I loved the retro label on this can! But this is more of a wine cocktail/wine cooler than true wine. It tastes like ruby red grapefruit and has a berry sweetness. For me, much too sweet. I did not try this at the time, but I had an afterthought to add some soda water to it, to cut the taste.

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Dark Horse Pinot Grigio 

Where to buy

Dark Horse is an inexpensive producer but I have always thought their bottled wines are a decent value for the low price. This Pinot Grigio is full of flavors of Granny Smith apples and also lemon zest. Light acidity, easy drinking—I liked this one.

Dark-Horse-Pinot-Grigio-Canned-Wine

Dark Horse Rosé

Where to buy

I picked this one up from Dark Horse, also, because I know many of you were specifically looking for rosĂ©s. This one was not too sweet—it had some fruit and minerality and a nice dry finish. Definitely not the most complex wine ever, but if you want something on the drier side, this might be a good option for you.

 

Dark-Horse-Rose-Canned-Wine

Mirabeau Pure Provence Rosé Wine

Whole Foods

This dry rosé had a nice balance of watermelon and strawberry, with a slight bite on the tongue. Rich and savory but easy and dry. Its has a slimmer can making it very portable, perfect for on the go. This was probably a favorite of the rosés I tried!

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Underwood Rosé Wine

Total Wine and unionwinecompany.com 

Underwood was one of the first wineries to enter the canned wine game and they have always been a crowd favorite for a reason. Their rosé is a classic, with notes of strawberry, watermelon and peach. It smelled sweeter than it tasted, and was light and refreshing.

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Underwood Pinot Gris

Total Wine and unionwinecompany.com 

Another one from the big can producer, Underwood. I know a lot of people out there are fans of Pinot Gris so I wanted to try this one. This one starts with aromas of pear and floral notes. There is a bit more of those tastes, some citrus, and a bit of effervescence to the taste. It’s refreshing although a touch on the sweet side.

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Underwood Pinot Noir

Total Wine and unionwinecompany.com 

The Underwood Pinot Noir is high on my list. This particular wine carries flavors like mulling spices, raspberry, black cherry, and chocolate and while I know people don’t love Pinot Noir in the summer it’s quite lovely on a not-to-hot beach day to me! This is not the rich, early, meaty Willamette Pinot Noir you’re used to from Oregon, BUT but the basic flavors certainly are along the lines of a solid, inexpensive Oregon wine and this is one of my top options for a canned red.

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Essentially Geared Rose 

Whole Foods

Essentially Geared’s RosĂ© was a fruit bomb. It was floral and sweet, with strawberry cream aromas and a deep color. Pink starburst is actually what the can note mentioned, so take a cue from that. If you like your wine sweeter, this is your go-to, but it was too sweet for me!

essentially_geared_rose_wine_2048x

Essentially Geared Chardonnay

Whole Foods

I picked this one up because I really wanted to taste a Chardonnay. This was crisp and fresh with notes of yellow and green apples, and if you like your Chardonnay aged in stainless steel tanks vs oak, this one is for you. I liked this one.

essentially_geared_wine_co_essentially_geared_wine_in_a_can_california_chardonnay_makers_grande

Porch Pounder Red Wine

Where to buy

Another good one from Paso Robles, and it is a big berry red. I don’t think I’d know this was from a can if it were served to me in a glass. This had great tannins and a smoky red berry complexity, it had a richness to it that you typically don’t find in a can. For summer, I’d slightly chill it. I’d drink this again!

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Hopefully this post helped if you are trying to navigate wine-on-the-go without your corkscrew. If you try any other good options, please let me know!

Cheers!
xx—BB

5 comments on “The Canned Wine Taste Test

  1. Kim Blackwell

    I’ve been waiting for you to do this post! I’m not sure why canned wine is so intimidating, but probably because I’m afraid it’s going to be bad, and I never know what to pick. Thank you for the great suggestions!

    • breebasham

      You’re welcome! Most were new to me, too 🙂 But I was pleasantly surprised by a couple of them.

  2. shawnmdevries

    You have inspired me to give canned wine another try.

    • breebasham

      Nice – well, I’d love to hear how what you think!

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