8 Crowd-pleasing Canned Wines to Pack for the River
We taste-tested a ton of canned wine so you don’t have to…
The canned wine craze is here—and yes, it’s the perfect glass-free option for river trips—but is any of it drinkable? As OARS’ resident wine snob, I headed to the river with some friends (including the winemaker for Boyle MacDonald Wines) to find out. The verdict? Push any preconceived notions you have about metallic-tasting wine aside, because there really are some quality canned wine options out there.
Not all of the brands get it right, but we found plenty of examples of canned wine with varietally-true flavors, or at the very least, intriguing and complex flavors that may not be what you’re used to, but you can definitely enjoy. Below are our top picks. Guaranteed you’ll find a favorite among them. We did.
White Wine in a Can Worth Drinking
Backpack Snappy White
As its name implies, Backpack Snappy White is the ultimate grab-and-go beverage and a refreshing finale to any outdoor activity. A Washington State Riesling-based blend, this easy-drinking, mid-day sipper has a sweet finish with hints of pear and lemon. $15.99/4-pack of 250mL cans
Tangent Sauvignon Blanc
If you love herbaceous and lively Sauvignon Blancs, Tangent’s canned version won’t disappoint. Harvested from a cool climate vineyard in California’s Edna Valley, this wine is the same Tangent Sauvignon Blanc you’ll find in the bottle, with flavors of grapefruit, green apple and a hint of grass, but in a can that’s equivalent to a half bottle. It’s crisp, acidic and gets more complex with each sip. $7.99/375mL can
Jaqueline Leonne Brut
Real deal bubbles! Reminiscent of a French champagne, Jacqueline Leone Brut, which is made by New Mexico’s Gruet Winery, has a depth and flavor that you definitely don’t expect from a canned wine. It’s creamy and toasty, almost like a roasted marshmallow, which is exactly why it’s perfect for sipping by the campfire. $13.99/4-pack 187mL cans
Canned Rosé All Day
Babe Rosé with Bubbles
A blend of Primitivo and Pinot Grigio, Babe Rosé is full of unexpected flavors. Off-dry, with notes of honey dew melon and toasted sugar, one of our tasters called this slightly-effervescent and fruity wine, “A surprise in a can.” Reach for this one after a cold plunge in the river or while lazily floating the afternoon away in a tube. $16.99/4-pack of 250mL cans
Dark Horse Rosé
For rosé fans who want a canned version that tastes like it could have been pulled from the bottle, this nails it. Dark Horse Rosé has fruit-forward flavors of strawberry, raspberry and tart cherry with a hint of honey and a lingering finish. One taster summed it up perfectly, “Tastes like a rosé. Drinks like a rosé. That is rosé.” $6.99/375mL can
Infinite Monkey Theorem Rosé
Effervescent with strong flavors of lychee and strawberry, there’s nothing serious about this slightly sweet wine and that’s exactly how it’s meant to be. Infinite Monkey Theorem Rosé is just a fun, refreshing and lively afternoon sipper, especially since its alcohol content lands lower than most at 9.6%. $15/4-pack of 250mL cans
Red Wine in a Can That Tastes Like it Should
Underwood Pinot Noir
For a canned red wine (there’s that bias again) this is a really nice drinking red wine. With flavors of raspberry and boysenberry, or as one taster pointed out, “all the berries,” this one surprised us mostly because it’s just a nice Pinot Noir for its value. Honorable mention also goes to the Underwood Pinot Gris, which is true to its varietal and makes for a great option if you prefer white wine. $7.00/375mL
The Great Oregon Wine Company Pinot Noir
This is the canned wine that will change your mind all the way. Medium-bodied, with cherry and black pepper and a touch of nutmeg, The Great Oregon Wine Company honors the flavors of its region with its Lil’ Rascal Pinot Noir. Pair it with dinner at camp, or unwind under the stars, this canned wine is the grand finale to any day outdoors. Honorable mention also goes to their canned rosé, which has quickly become my personal go-to riverside sipper. $13/4-pack of 187mL cans
One final thought – we tried to pour all of these wines into a plastic govino, as well as a stainless steel wine glass, to see if it made a difference in quality and we were actually disappointed. Turns out, when it comes to canned wine, can really is best. And more fun!
Photos: Tasha Unninayar (top); Cari Morgan
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