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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. Neither of those assumptions is true, and there are some impressive options that will quickly get you on-board with this 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. Portability is the biggest advantage: there's no fear of broken glass, forgetting the corkscrew, or avoiding beaches and parks that ban glass. You do, however, need to keep serving size in mind when enjoying this easy-to-pack beverage.
Canned wines are typically sold in four-packs of 12-ounce cans (some are smaller); one can is 375 milliliters, which is half a normal wine bottle. Since wine is typically at least twice the strength of beer, you'll want to avoid drinking it with a beer can mentality because you may become unexpectedly drunk! If it helps put you in the right mindset, take some cups on your journey and share.
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’s 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. At 12 percent ABV, it’s the perfect single size as well: 250 milliliters or 8.4 ounces—a third of a bottle of wine.
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 that’s equivalent to two glasses, or a smaller 187-milliliter can for that single-glass serving.
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’s perfect for chicken and veggie kebabs. Everyone will fall in love with this rosé, even so-called tough guys who usually pass on the pink!
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 serving 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 are an ideal serving size and an excellent pairing for fruity entrées like seafood mango stir-fry and chicken pasta salad.
Most Unique: 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!
It’s not just a marketing ploy because these are some very good wines. The dry-hopped sauvignon blanc (13.1 percent ABV) is particularly enjoyable when you’re craving something truly unique 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.
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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.”