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Canned wine may seem like a gimmick to sell wine in convenient packages. You might even think that cans are reserved for poor-quality wines, but there are some impressive options out there that will quickly get you onboard with the trend. The aluminum cans impart no residual taste, and really good canned wines are nearly indistinguishable from their bottled counterparts.
You can find red, white, rosé, still, and sparkling canned wines, and they're typically sold in four-packs of 12-ounce cans (some are even smaller). Portability is the biggest advantage here: There's no fear of broken bottles, needing the corkscrew, or avoiding beaches and parks that ban glass.
Here are our picks of the best canned wines available.
Best Overall: Underwood Pinot Gris
One of the first canned wines everyone should try is Underwood Pinot Gris. If you were to pour this Oregon white into a wine glass and hide the can, most people would guess that it came from a bottle. It is the same 13 percent ABV wine you’ll find in Underwood’s bottle, made with locally-sourced grapes, but in a convenient 375-milliliter can.
This is a classic example of pinot grigio: dry, crisp, bright, and silky, with a wonderfully fruity bouquet of apples, lemons, and pears. That makes it a perfect picnic wine, pairing wonderfully with any of the typical foods you'd pack for the park.
Best Red Wine: Nomadica Red Blend
If you enjoy red wine, you're not left out of the canned wine scene. The options may not be as numerous, and it can be difficult to find a single-varietal red wine, but reds are out there. One you’ll definitely want to sip is Nomadica Red Blend. Made primarily from Sangiovese grapes with a hint of grenache and old vine zinfandel, each wine in the blend is made in small batches and aged before they’re married.
A surprisingly complex taste, the Mendocino County red is a delectable contrast between sweet cherries and strawberries, and spices like anise and sandalwood. It’s simultaneously dry and fruity and the exuberant wine begs to be served with a perfectly grilled steak or a basic burger. This 250-milliliter (8.4 ounces) option has 12 percent ABV.
Best White Wine: Dark Horse Pinot Grigio
As you might imagine, white wines are popular selections for cans. They’re light and refreshing, and excellent when served slightly chilled. It’s also common for wineries that specialize in budget-friendly wines to repackage their most popular expressions. Those two elements come together in the California pinot grigio from Dark Horse.
Available in 375-milliliter cans, the 13.4 percent ABV wine includes viognier and riesling grapes, along with the featured pinot grigio varietal, and is blended with unoaked chardonnay. It’s an approach that results in a bold apple and lemon fruit flavor and subtle creaminess and minerality packed in a light-bodied white wine. Enjoy it with seafood and bright summer foods when you’re cooking at home or pack a cheese platter to go for a sunset snack.
Best Sparkling Wine: House Wine Brut Bubbles
House Wine Brut Bubbles is an excellent choice for a sparkling white wine on the dry side. It's a blend of white grape varietals from Washington and is the same wine you'll find in the winery's bottled Brut Bubbles (11.75 percent ABV).
The bright, light-bodied wine has crisp notes of green apple infused with citrus, and the perfect amount of fizz. It can pair well with nearly any food, but give it a try with simple, fresh dishes like feta avocado toast or a Caprese sandwich. Best of all, your canned wine options include a 375-milliliter size or smaller 187-milliliter can.
Best Rosé: Mancan Rosé
Mancan is a name that should bring a smile to anyone’s face. It’s fun, funky, and sets aside all pretentious notions traditionally associated with wine. As the cheery pink 375-milliliter can implies, you'll find an easy-drinking rosé inside. It’s made from a blend of California chardonnay and zinfandel grapes with the sweet touch of riesling.
The 12.5 percent ABV wine features summer-kissed strawberry and watermelon flavors with lovely floral notes. It pairs well with chicken and veggie kebabs.
Best Chardonnay: Porch Pounder Chardonnay
There are many appealing aspects to canned wine, including the fact that you get the flavors of your favorite bottles without the stuffy attitude. Porch Pounder Chardonnay is an excellent example. The can has a fun vintage-style label that's as laidback as the single appellation California chardonnay within.
You'll certainly appreciate the refreshing acidity of Porch Pounder's tropical fruit notes on a hot summer day. The 12.2 percent ABV white wine has the flavors of papaya, pineapple, melon, and tangerine rolled into one crisp, light wine. As the name implies, there’s no need to leave the house with these 12-ounce cans. Just mix up a summer fruit salad or toss some hot dogs on the grill, sit down on the porch, and enjoy.
Best Mini Can: Francis Coppola Sofia Mini Blanc de Blancs 187ml
Sofia Mini Blanc de Blancs is a smaller version of Francis Ford Coppola Winery’s bottled sparkling white wine blend, and you'd never know the difference. This lively wine is a pinot blanc, sauvignon blanc, and muscat blend from California that's as crisp and effervescent as its packaging.
This blanc expresses the sweet flavors of summer fruits, like mangos and peaches, alongside graceful orange blossom and honey notes. It’s delicately effervescent, off-dry, and 11.5 percent ABV. The small 187-milliliter (6.3-ounce) cans pair excellently with fruity entrées like seafood mango stir-fry and chicken pasta salad.
Best for Beer Lovers: The Infinite Monkey Theorem Dry Hopped Sauvignon Blanc
Craft beer meets canned wine in The Infinite Monkey Theorem’s Dry Hopped Sauvignon Blanc. It embodies the independent spirit of canned wine and the winery’s urban mentality and mathematical approach. Made in Denver, Colorado and Austin, Texas warehouses, they even offer the wine in kegs.
The dry-hopped sauvignon blanc (13.1 percent ABV) is particularly enjoyable when you’re craving something special for a warm-weather meal. Introducing Citra hops to the aromatic acidity of sauvignon blanc results in an intriguing dry white with extra notes of citrus (particularly grapefruit and lime), lychee, and passion fruit. It’s a fascinating taste experience that has crossover appeal to fans of fruit beers and canned cocktails.
What to Look for in Canned Wines
There's a wide variety of canned wine varieties available on the market. Canned wines can be still or sparkling, and come in red, white, or even rosé. Don't let the fact that they come in a can convince you that you won't find something that suits your style.
If a wine is in balance, the tannins, acidity, fruit, and alcohol components don't fight with each other for dominance of your taste buds. You shouldn't be able to feel the alcohol when you drink it, and it shouldn't be so fruity that it tastes like grape juice. There should be some depth, and it shouldn't be so bitter or tannic that it makes your mouth feel dry, or so acidic that your mouth feels wet and the wine tastes overly tart.
The age-old wine consideration is as follows: What will you pair it with? There's an abundance of white wines available in cans, but some reds, too. Canned wines seemed just made for drinking outdoors or in other situations that optimize portability or portion control (you want a little bit of wine but don't want to open an entire bottle), so they definitely favor lighter fare. However, it's not impossible to find a red that will go with steak, for example, and there's nothing stopping you from drinking a glass of wine all by itself if desired.
How do you drink canned wine?
You can drink canned wine right from the can—that's part of the convenience—or you can opt to pour it into a glass. The latter option will give the wine the chance to breathe, and for you to take in the aroma a bit more, just as you would when pouring wine from a bottle.
Do you refrigerate canned wine?
It's entirely up to your preference. If you like the wine chilled, irrespective of whether or not it comes in a can, then by all means, chill the wine before drinking it. (The sole exception is perhaps sparkling rosé, which tastes best if it's been refrigerated.) You can refrigerate leftover canned wine for a couple of days, but if you can, transfer it into an airtight bottle.
Does canned wine have an expiration date?
Some manufacturers will print a best-by date on the can somewhere (check the bottom), but not all will do so. The best rule of thumb is to consume canned wine within a year of purchase, provided it's been properly stored in a cool, dry place.
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Colleen Graham is a food and beverage writer with over a decade of experience writing about cocktails, beer, and wine. She is the author of two books—“Rosé Made Me Do It” and “Tequila: Cocktails With a Kick.”