pop culture

Kick back and pour the wine— out of a can

by James Selby

This will be hard for some wine drinkers to swallow: Try wine in cans. Not long ago some diners would have sent back a bottle that had a screw cap closure. We’re (pretty much) past that, now. Time to think beyond glass bottles, too.

Canned wine befits a variety of lifestyles. Hiking, camping, picnicking, or poolside, cans hold an obvious advantage over bottles: they’re light and unbreakable, and travel well. Grab ’em and go. Aluminum cans are the most recycled package in the United States; nearly 75 percent of all aluminum ever produced is still in use today. And size matters. A normal bottle of wine contains 750 milliliters (ml)—just over 25 ounces, or roughly five single servings. Do you really want to open a bottle for just one or two glasses tonight, hoping the wine is sound tomorrow? Commonly, cans are packaged in 375ml, 250ml, or 187ml sizes, guaranteeing freshness at a pop. Though unquestionably a wine’s aroma and flavor will improve in a glass, wine, like craft beer, shows no metallic tastes and is enjoyable from a can.

Oregon’s Underwood brand from Union Wine Company is the leader of the canned pack. Their tagline, “Pinkies Down!” suggests a casual approach, but the company produces winning vintage wines, both sparkling and still, including a requisite Pinot Noir.

Canned wines easily go where you go, no matter the terrain. Underwood offers a full complement, from Pinot Noir to sparkling. Photograph by Union WIne Company.


If running with the bulls in Navarra, Spain, slip a slim can of courage in your pocket. No bull, the region is famous for its rosés, and Ah-So Winery cans a crisp version made from old-vine Garnacha.

It seems all the cool kids are drinking Ah-So Winery’s canned rosé these days. Photograph: courtesy Ah-So Winery


Sonoma’s Francis Ford Coppola Winery does several styles under the Sofia label, named for his film-director daughter. Their Blanc de Blancs is a zesty sparkling that’s fine enough to drink from Marie Antoinette’s slipper.

Sofia Blanc de Blancs from Francis Ford Coppola Winery is an effervescent white, perfect for sipping poolside on a hot summer day—with zero worries about breakage. Photograph by Francis Ford Coppola Winery.


Ramona is another enchantress making a splash. The brainchild of top-flight sommelier Jordan Salcito, this organic Italian wine spritzer made with ruby grapefruit is delicious, refreshing, low in alcohol, and very seductive. Take me, Ramona, I’m yours!


Ramona, an Italian wine spritzer, is a refreshing burst of grapefruity joy. Photograph: courtesy RAMONA.
James Selby has directed wine programs in New York, Portland, and Santa Fe, where he lives and works as a wine consultant and writer.