Canned Wines Actually Worth Drinking, According to Buyers

The canned wine category has come quite far. It was once viewed as a quaint fashion or trend, but its meteoric growth has turned it into an established fixture on the retail shelves and menus for restaurants all over the United States. Even the most skeptical experts in the industry now accept that tasty, drinkable wine is available in a bottle.

With the recent shift towards high-end status, consumers are now faced with an array of brand-new brands to choose from, which makes it hard to differentiate between brands that merit attention from ones that are there to profit from the current trend.

With that within the back of your mind, SevenFifty Daily recently surveyed a group of the top sommeliers, beverage directors, and retailers to find out which cans of premium quality they’re looking forward to touring this summer. The result? A wide array of choices vary in aesthetics, style, grape varieties, and color, but all share the same goal of delivering immediate refreshments with the click of the tab. (All wines are listed with the price per bottle at the indicated establishment.)

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Right: Artomana Txakolina ‘Xarmant’ Txakoli 2022 (photo from De Maison Selections). Right Codey Foster is the director of wine at Ancona’s Wine and Liquors (photo courtesy of Codey Foster).

Artomana Txakolina ‘Xarmant’ Txakoli 2022, Arabako Txakolina, Spain; $6.99

Selected by Codey Foster, Director of Wine, Ancona’s Wine and Liquors, Wilton and Ridgefield, Connecticut

It’s challenging to think of any better option for canned formats than Txakoli, the refreshing summertime favorite from the Spanish Basque Country. “This is the house wine of San Sebastian, where it is quaffed locally with a diverse bounty of the sea,” says Codey Foster, the director of wine at the Ancona Wine and Liquors’ three Fairfield Country, Connecticut, areas. A long-time lover of the style, he was thrilled at the opportunity to showcase this natural, organically-farmed wine of the Artomana Txakolina estate located in the hills of the Sierra Salvada mountains. As per Foster, his wine’s “subtle prickle” makes it “a brilliant aperitif, and a perfect accompaniment for casual moments just the same: fried chicken, popcorn and a movie, or simply pool and patio.”

Left: Vinca Minor ‘Moonland’ Sparkling Carignan Rose 2022 (photo credit: Lindsey Shea). Left: Adam and Erica Dunn as co-owners and owners of Dunn & Sons Wine (photo credit: Derrick Zellman).

Vinca Minor ‘Moonland’ Sparkling Carignan Rose 2022, Mendocino, California; $11

Selected by Adam Dunn, co-owner of Dunn & Sons Wine, Yarmouth, Massachusetts

“We love cans because so many folks visiting in the summer spend most of their time on the beach or boat,” says Adam Dunn, the co-owner of Dunn & Sons Wine, who is working hard to shake things up in Cape Cod’s Cape Cod wines scene focussing on “small producers working with minimal intervention in the vineyard and cellar.” While Dunn & Sons Wine stocks a variety of canned wine, the most popular one is this sparkling tribute to old-vine Dry-Farmed Mendocino Carignan made by Vinca Minor‘s Jason Edward Charles. “Salty, fresh, and zippy,” with hints from “lemon rind, watermelon, and strawberry,” according to Dunn, who describes it as “a perfect summer wine for a hot day on Cape Cod.”

Right: Djuce Meinklang ‘Knusprig’ Gruner Veltliner 2021 (photo by Djuce). Right Jodie Battles, who is beverage director at JK Food Group (photo courtesy of Jodi Battles).

Djuce Meinklang ‘Knusprig’ Gruner Veltliner 2021, Austria; $12

Selected by Jodie Battles, beverage director, JK Food Group, Boston

At Bar Pallino Bar Pallino, an authentic speakeasy-style natural wine bar, the Director of beverages, Jodie Battles, is a fan of producers who adhere to a fundamental belief in natural farming as well as low-impact production of wine. This ethos led her to learn about Djuce, which is an eco-conscious canned wine company that teams with sustainably farmed organic wineries that are certified organic across Europe. In addition, their portfolio includes the renowned Meinklang Estate, which Battles has “regularly supported and showcased throughout our restaurants over the years.” An iconic version of wine from the Gruner Veltliner grape featuring “zippy citrus, white pepper, some herbaceous notes and a long mineral finish,” the canned wine was an absolute “no brainer” for Battles, who loves pairing with her bar’s famous Roman-inspired artichokes that are fried.

Right: Licence IV NV (photo from Licence IV). Left: Kilolo Strobert is the proprietor of Fermented Grapes (photo courtesy of Kilolo Strobert).

Licence IV NV, Loire Valley, France; $6.99

Selected by Kilolo Strobert, owner of fermented Grapes, Brooklyn

According to Kilolo Strobert, the owner of the Brooklyn-based Fermented Grapes, the canned packaging is an ideal option for customers who walk into the shop and request half-bottles. “As an industry, it was hard to accommodate that request in the past at a price point that made sense,” she states. On the other hand, about canned wines, she says, “th,e pricing, packaging, and quality now make it a viable choice for people that aren’t interested in having more than a glass or two at night.” Recently, she’s been stocking these “light, bright, super versatile” models from Muscadet made by Licence IV. It has sufficient quality to “keep you cool” during the summer months while maintaining “the presence of fruit that can pair well with heartier dishes.”

Left: Broc Cellars ‘Love Red 2022 (photo credit: Trinity White of Starr Gazers). Right Kevin Born, the wine director at Rich Table and RT Rotisserie (photo from Rich Table).

Broc Cellars ‘Love Red’ 2022, California$10

Selected by Kevin Born, wine director, Rich Table and RT Rotisserie, San Francisco

“RT Rotisserie is a casual counter service restaurant featuring rotisserie chicken, sandwiches, and salads where guests can choose to dine in, take food to go, or order delivery,” The restaurant’s wine director, Kevin Born. With this in mind, it’s no surprise that he’s joined the canned wine bandwagon and is recommending this classic Californian wine from Broc Cellars, one of the early category’s pioneers. It’s crunchy, sweet, and full of fresh raspberry. This iconic semi-carbon blend is made of old-vine fruits, such as Carignan, Syrah, Grenache, and a hint of Valdiguie. According to the way Born describes it, “It feels like California in a can.”

Right: Bodkin Wines ‘Where’s Linus?’ Orange Piquette (photo from Chris Christensen). Left: Chris Leon, the owner of Leon & Son (photo courtesy of Chris Leon).

Bodkin Wines ‘Where’s Linus?’ Orange Piquette NV, California; $7.99

Selected by Chris Leon, owner of Leon & Son, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Brooklyn

What more significant proof of the category’s diversity can you find than this delicious high-ABV, apricot-scented California piquette brewed by Chris Christensen’s Bodkin Wines in Sebastopol? The wine is derived from the rehydrated skins from the skin-fermented Viognier he makes to make this “Where’s Linus? orange wine (created by partnering with Jenny & Francois). The result is a form at its most innovative yet incredibly drinkable. The can’s experimental style perfectly aligns with the forward-thinking, out-of-the-box wines Chris Leon gravitates toward at his shop in Brooklyn. “I immediately think of those first small producers embracing and taking the chance on wine in cans when I think of growers represented in the shop,” Leon states. Leon’s answer is straightforward when asked what his preferred pair for this particular can is: “Prospect Park.”


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