Like boxed wine, canned wine is looked down upon by wine snobs, but that shouldn’t stop us regular folks from enjoying it. Canned wine is actually a much more convenient option for all your outdoor summer drinking than bottled, or even boxed, wine.
What Makes Canned Wine Great
Easier to carry: Cans, especially aluminum ones, are much lighter than glass so they’re better for taking on a hike or to a picnic. They also stack more easily in a bag or cooler than bottled or boxed wine. And you’ll appreciate their lack of heft when you go to take out the recycling.
Stays cool longer: The metal of the can cools the wine down faster, which is great if you’re tossing a six-pack in a communal cooler when you get to the barbecue. Refrigerate the wine before heading out, and the can will keep the vino cold for even longer.
Doesn’t break: Cans obviate the risk of broken glass, which is dangerous and can also get you in hot water with authorities that patrol beaches and parks.
Bring as much as you want: With a bottle of wine, you’re stuck hauling the whole bottle even though you might not end up drinking it all (I know, I know, there’s no such thing as too much wine, but still.).
What’s Less Than Ideal About Canned Wine
Price: Most of the canned wines I’ve come across are between $12 and $20 for a four-pack of 187 mL cans. A standard bottle of wine is 750 mL, so the four-pack is about a bottle of wine (748mL). Personally, I tend not to spend more than $10 on a bottle of wine because I really just want something inexpensive and decent tasting. So for me, most canned wines are more than I would spend on a bottle of wine, except for the Simpler Wines offered by Trader Joe’s, which are $4 for a four-pack. If you tend to spend a little more than I do on wine, than canned wine is a fine deal for your money.
Consistent availability: Your canned wine options will vary by store and where you live. If you live in a place known for wine, like California, you might find local canned wine brands in more stores.
Variety: I went to a few large chain stores, Target, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s, to see what was available and had about five brands to choose from between the three stores. Your local grocery and liquors stores may have more options, but your choices are going to be limited.
Canned Wine Options to Try
- Many canned wines are sparkling and white or rose (rather than red), since they’re best suited for warm weather drinking.
, Trader Joe’s, $4/four-pack: TJ’s has two sparkling options, a rose and a white. The cans are incredibly light and easy to hold, even with condensation. Very light flavor, great for mixing with liqueurs—try St. Germain or creme de cassis—or drinking on their own.
, Francis Ford Coppola Winery, $16/four-pack: These come with a straw, which I think is supposed to make you feel fancy, but just made me feel like a toddler with a boozy juicebox. Skip the straw and drinking straight from the can like a grownup. This one was my least favorite in terms of taste because it was quite sweet.
>Presto Sparkling Cuvee
, Whole Foods, $12/four-pack: This one is also available in single cans, but the pack is more cost-effective. Very light and refreshing.
These aren’t the only canned wine options out there, so visit your local grocery store to see what other brands are on offer. And be sure to tell us about them in the comments.