From tailgate parties and camping trips to cookouts in our own backyards, our beautiful state offers seemingly endless opportunities for outdoor dining. But glass bottles and the great outdoors do not go hand-in-hand. Which brings the question: What is my take on canned wine?
I will start with a simple observation: there are great wines and horrible wines, both can be found in bottles, boxes and cans.
Canned wines are one of the most underrated of wine packaging. Convenience is often considered canned wine’s biggest advantage over the bottle. Cans cool quickly in coolers alongside other beverages, no corkscrew is needed, they’re lightweight and easily recycled. And cans don’t break and send shards of glass flying when accidentally dropped.
The most important thing to remember when popping open a can of wine is the serving size. Most cans are 375 milliliters. It’s easy to forget this is equal to half a standard bottle of wine. Many brands make their packaging size look and feel like craft beers, but remember most wines will have much higher alcohol content.
This brings us to the question, does wine in cans taste as good as in the bottle? A few years ago, I did an experiment with friends where I had them taste a canned wine I had already poured into a wine glass. The outcome was expected — I already knew the wines were fantastic — but most were shocked to learn wine was from a can. This time I changed up the tasting by asking them to taste the wine in the can first. In general, everyone agreed it was a good wine and they would consider drinking it in a pinch outdoors. But, when I poured it into a beautiful specified wine glass the feedback went from “in a pinch” to “this is a great wine.”
So here’s my tip: Buy the canned wine to take on your camping trip or tailgate party, but include a few of your favorite shatter-proof wine glasses in the picnic bag for serving.
- The Great Oregon Wine Company Lil’ Rascal Pinot Gris, Oregon (about $14 retail — 4 pack)
- Dark Horse Rose, California (about $5 retail)
- Underwood The Bubbles, California (about $ 8 retail)