Canned Wine: Recent Fad or Here to Stay?
A Skeptic’s Guide to Canned Wine
Canned wine. Just the name feels like an oxymoron in my mouth. It conjures up images of the college game “slap the bag”, slamming beer at tailgates, or of Danny Davito in “it’s always sunny” pouring boxed wine into empty diet cola cans. Aka. Not classy.
Wine is so often synonymous with luxury, snobbery, showmanship… but those aren’t the things I love about wine. I love the story, the people, the way it brings humans together over a good glass. So I had to ask myself… could there not be a place for canned wine in my life?
With the Superbowl right around the corner, and people looking to casually enjoy a cold one, I thought it was time this article needed to be written.
As it turns out, after a few months, quarantined inside and sampling canned wines, I’ve found some that I actually love.
While a canned wine will never be luxurious or age in the same way that it can in a bottle, there’s a time and a place for it. And in our growingly busy lives, it’s nice to have an option “to-go” that isn’t beer. It’s nice to be able to throw a can of wine in a cooler for the beach, hike, or summer picnic. It’s nice that cans eliminate the fear of breaking glass bottles or needing cups or corkscrews. Again, I’m not advocating for taking this to your next anniversary dinner or buying a six pack to age… but there are some great-tasting options for drinking in the moment. The right moment.
I will say, I prefer whites or rosé in a can (dry reds somehow feel “wrong” and usually don’t fit the “moments” that I’d reach for canned wine like sipping on a hot beach day), and I loooove it when they have a nice “sparkle” or fizz to them. We’re used to drinking things like soda out of a can after-all, so it seems only natural to have some overlapping elements. Based on these credentials, check out some of my recommendations below!
Here are my top faves:
As stated on their site, Maker Wine features wines that are “under the radar” but have “over the top stories”. All wines are small batched and produced by independent, interesting people (as opposed to being some factory-canned wine from who-knows-where). The wines are actually high-quality and something I’d want to drink on a regular basis.
Maker Wines are canned wine that still has some of the artisanal, luxury vibes to it. I get the feeling that it’s the type of wine you pick up when you’re the only one drinking that night: a can is a perfect size to pour into a glass and enjoy solo.
I discovered Maker Wine while chatting with Alice Sutro, the woman behind Sutro Wines. A true artist in spirit and in practice, Alice crafts stunning high-end wines from her family’s vineyards in Sonoma County. I was shocked and delighted to learn she has some of her Cabernet Sauvignon canned with Maker -- and it’s absolutely delicious! Make sure to check out her wine as well as other artisans like her on the Makers site.
Just Enough Wines
Just Enough Wines was created by Jessica Herschfield out of necessity -- she saw a gap in the market for people who wanted quality and convenience when it came to wine. So many of the cans on the market were cheap, bulk wine she couldn’t imagine drinking. So she created her own!
Currently a lineup of three different wines (Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Brut Bubbles), all wines are sourced from premium vineyards, appellation and vintage specific, and personally approved by Jessica.
The name comes from the fact that one can holds “just enough” wine for one person -- 1.5 glasses, providing a practical serving size for all your wine needs.
Better Wine Co
With a background in sustainable farming and winemaking, Better Wine Co’s inspiration is nature, resourcefulness, and an active lifestyle. Combine these and BAM! They’re on a mission to re-imagine the wine spritzer.
What I really like about these wines are that they’re lower alcohol at 6%abv (so you can sip them all beach-day-long), have nice-feeling bubbles, and have no added sugars. They’re up-front on their labels about their ingredients and have super-cute packaging. My favorites are the dry rosé cider and white wine spritzer. They also offer a dry red spritzer which was quite tasty and easily would be a good late summer/early fall choice as the weather gets crisp (football games, anyone?) and a nitro rosé spritzer.
You can purchase here from their website and use code “WINEWITHPAIGE10” for 10% off your order!
They also list on their website where to buy near them.
California-made, Obsession wines just rolled out their canned wine last year. I love their White Symphony; offered in both a bottle or a can, this wine is made from Symphony grape which isn’t found as the main varietal in many other wines. It has beautifully seductive notes of honeysuckle, gardenia, and jasmine, followed by more tropical flavors such as pineapple, juicy peach, and honey suckle. It’s the perfect wine for summer pool-side sipping. I’m madly in love with this one!
Obsession Wines also rolled out a rosé just for their canned selections and also offer a red blend.
By far the most extensive lineup I’ve seen for canned wine, Bridge Lane offers something for everyone– a whole rainbow of wines! I’m in love with their packaging and they make beautiful wines produced in Mattituck on the North Fork of Long Island, NY. Their wines are offered in bottles, cans, boxes, and kegs. They seriously try to cover all their bases! My favorites from them are the White Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc.
As stated on their site… Bridge Lane produces 5 wines – a white merlot, unoaked chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, dry rosé and red blend – all in a fresh, light, dry, fruit-forward style. The wines aren’t meant to be studied and drunk in fancy glasses. They’re meant for casual sipping and sharing with friends.
Aka… perfect summer sippers! You can purchase from their website.
Other great options include the below wines. Click their names to head to their sites and purchase online or see where to buy in stores:
Drink Bev – Designed specifically for a can by an amazing woman entrepreneur, DrinkBev is a great dry rosé
Butternut Wines – With roots that stretch from Nashville to Napa and across generations (they have a 4th-gen winemaker!), Butternut Wines is dedicated to creating wine that is great tasting and affordable but doesn’t lack integrity. They’re a fun brand that offers wine in both bottles and cans.