Canned wine is nothing to scoff at anymore. While Australia’s Barokes Wines was among the first to package its wine in cans all the way back in 1996, the trend has grown so much since that sales totaled $28 million in 2017 alone, according to Wine Spectator. Now, some of the best winemakers in the United States are making canned wine, including NoMad's wine director and owner of Empire Estate winery, Thomas Pastuszak, who just released a bubbly white wine called VINNY from New York’s Finger Lakes region earlier this summer.
All in all, this is great news for oenophile travelers. Not only are cans easier to pack and better for the environment than heavy glass bottles, but they also don’t require corkscrews and wine glasses, making them ideal for camping and beach trips. Because there are so many different kinds of canned wines these day, AFAR’s editors tasted several dozen white and rosés in a can to pick the ones that we think deserve space in your weekend bag this summer. From dry Sonoma rosés to crisp North Fork white merlots, here are our seven favorites from some of the best-known U.S. wine regions.
Note: Before you crack one open, keep in mind that a 375ml can of wine is the equivalent of half a bottle of wine or about two glasses, so share these with your friends (or not).
UNA LOU ROSÉ
If you were to judge a canned wine by its packaging, this rosé from Sonoma’s Scribe Winery (pictured above) would win top marks. But what’s inside is even better. Made from organically farmed pinot noir grapes, Una Lou Rosé has notes of wild strawberry, grapefruit, and sea salt. Another plus? A percentage of the proceeds goes back to The Edible Schoolyard and The Center for Land-Based Learning, two organizations that promote agricultural education in California. $40 for a four-pack, unalourose.com
The first company to solely make wine in a can, ManCan used a blend of Sonoma County viognier and chardonnay grapes to make ManCan Fizz, a slightly fizzy easy-drinking white wine that our travel guides editor said reminded her of vinho verde. Wine Enthusiast also gave it a score of 87/100, calling it “the best of ManCan’s three new canned offerings.” We have to agree. $25 for a four-pack, mancanwine.com
UNDERWOOD RIESLING RADLER
The gorgeous Gauguin-inspired artwork on Underwood’s summer 2018 release won us over immediately, but the unusual list of ingredients also caught our attention. Made with Oregon riesling, grapefruit, hops, and sea salt, this one is perfect for beer and cider lovers who want to try the whole wine in a can trend. $24 for a four-pack, shop.unionwinecompany.com
Finger Lakes, New York
VINNY NEW YORK BUBBLY WINE
NoMad’s sommelier Thomas Pastuszak has been making wine at Empire Estate in New York’s Finger Lake region since 2014, but this summer he’s releasing his first canned version. VINNY is a dry bubbly white made from a blend of gewürztraminer and riesling that gets its name from a combination of the words vin (wine) and NY (New York). While it is currently only being sold in New York and New Jersey, there are plans to release it California this September. $20 for a four-pack, vervewine.com
BRIDGE LANE WHITE MERLOT
Despite being made from merlot grapes, this canned wine by Lieb Cellars, a small winery on the North Fork of Long Island, has no skin contact, making it white instead of the usual red. The result is a pale white wine with crisp notes of citrus and apples that can be enjoyed anywhere from an outdoor concert to a day out boating on the water. $34 for a four-pack, shop.liebcellars.com
OLD WESTMINSTER CRUSH
Wine from Maryland? Yes, really. About 40 miles northwest of Baltimore, Old Westminster Winery is producing a variety of inventive wines like Crush, an off-dry unfiltered white wine made with a blend of chardonnay, vidal blanc, and muscat grapes that comes in a bright and summery can. This sparkling wine is easy to drink; taste-wise, it falls somewhere in between cava and prosecco. Unlike the other wines on this list, Old Westminster doesn’t sell its wines online. But you can try it for yourself by either visiting the winery in Carroll County, Maryland, or contacting one of its distribution partners across the United States to find out where they’re sold.
ALLOY EVERDAY ROSÉ
Alloy Wine Works—an offshoot of Field Recordings Winery on California’s Central Coast—makes this dry, pale-peach colored rosé that AFAR’s digital content director praised for its nice minerality. You're going to want to throw this one in your picnic basket or your beach bag since its light, crisp flavor is basically made to be enjoyed outdoors. $30 for a four-pack, fieldrecordingswine.orderport.net