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Taste Test: Canned Wines

Canned beer has long held the lead over wine when it comes to portability, but winemakers are increasingly making the move to metal. Canned wine’s meteoric rise began in 2016, with annual sales reaching over $14 million that year, then doubling in 2017. Coated aluminum protects and preserves wine’s subtleties, and the can itself makes a smaller environmental impact. Today’s shelves are awash with canned wines—here are a few you’ll want on standby for relief from summer’s heat.

Companion Wine Co. Riesling
Made by Riesling devotee Ryan Stirm of Stirm Wines, Companion’s canned wine is packed with fruity layers of peach and citrus. The grapes are harvested from the family-owned Zabala Vineyard in California’s Arroyo Seco region and macerated with their skins prior to pressing. $36/4 pack of 375 ml. cans, companionwine.com

Free Public American Rosé Wine
A stylishly packaged collaboration from former players of Stumptown Coffee and Oregon’s Penner-Ash Cellars, Free Public draws on longtime industry connections to source top-tier grapes for its canned wines. Made from Syrah grown in Washington State’s Columbia Valley, this rosé is unbeatably fresh and loaded with vibrant fruit aromas. Juicy fruit flavors are backed by punchy acidity. $13.99/3 pack of 250 ml. cans, freepublicwines.com

Lubanzi Wines Red Blend
Finding a reliable red wine in a can pose a challenge, as most wineries tend to can their summery whites and rosés, but this blend hits all the right marks. New to the U.S. by way of Cape Town, South Africa, Lubanzi red is a Rhone-style blend featuring shiraz, cinsault, mourvèdre and grenache. It’s delightfully balanced with big ripe red fruit flavors and a crisp, clean finish. Bonus: the brand shares profits with The Pebble Project, a nonprofit that provides health and educational resources to people working on South African wine farms. A win-win. $30/4-pack of 375 ml. cans, lubanziwines.com

No Fine Print Lil Fizz
For times when the occasion calls for a sparkler with easygoing effervescence, the Lil Fizz white blend is one to grab. A California wine through-and-through, it’s made with Sauvignon Blanc from Lake County that was fermented in stainless steel, Chardonnay from Sonoma fermented in neutral barrels and stainless steel and Rosé of Pinot Noir from Sonoma-Carneros/Sonoma Valley. Soft, but still bright and crisp, it’s the crushable choice. $20, nofineprintwine.com

Sofia Brut Rosé
Filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola’s California winery released their first canned wine back in 2004 as an ode to Coppola’s director daughter, Sofia. The second addition to the line, introduced last year, is a brut rosé made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes in the style of a French crémant. A wonderfully creamy wine packed with strawberry and accented by pops of currant and a lively fizz, this mini can equipped with a straw makes for easy drinking. $20/4 pack of 187 ml. cans, thefamilycoppola.com

Tangent Sauvignon Blanc
Tangent’s Sauvignon Blanc captures the essence of the tropics. This juicy white, made with grapes harvested from cool-climate vineyards in California’s Edna Valley, is aged in stainless steel for about six weeks. It emerges full bodied and fresh, loaded with pineapple and lychee, making it an ideal companion for summer fare. $47.94/6 pack of 375 ml. cans, nivenfamilywines.com

Una Lou California Rosé
Beloved Sonoma winery Scribe captures the spirit of California casual with their canned Una Lou Rosé, first released last summer. The 2017 vintage is made from organically grown Pinot Noir grapes sourced from three Sonoma vineyards, and it’s packed with flavors of grapefruit and stone fruit. $40/4 pack of 375 ml. cans, unalourose.com

Underwood “The Bubbles”
Oregon’s Union Wine Co. was one of the first to promote the possibility of canned wine, tracing their initial efforts to 2013 with a movement they pronounced the “beerification of wine.” Made from mostly Pinot Noir grapes with added Chardonnay, this supremely sparkling sipper carries the sweetness of green apple balanced by tart layers of lemon. $28/4 pack of 375 ml. cans, unionwinecompany.com

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