Our great big list of the best canned wines

Canned wine is better than ever — and these 21 brands prove convenience and nuance can go hand in hand

By Valerie Stivers - Hank Zona
Published June 26, 2021 4:25PM (EDT)
Food stylist: Anna Billingskog. Prop stylist: Megan Hedgpeth. (Julia Gartland / Food52)
Food stylist: Anna Billingskog. Prop stylist: Megan Hedgpeth. (Julia Gartland / Food52)

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Canned wine is a huge growth category that has gone mainstream, and the quality can be excellent. That it's caught on makes sense because it's easily portable for parties and picnics, doesn't require the commitment of opening a whole bottle, and the packaging, which is lighter than bottles, is better for the environment. These businesses are also different for the wine industry, and offer new kinds of distribution, community, and social features. Think: direct shipping, wine clubs, and community parties and Zooms, for those who want not just a drink but new friends to drink with.

The following are our picks for the best cans that are pretty widely available at wine retailers, including some supermarkets. Many are from independent producers using smaller-batch grapes and more environmentally friendly production methods. When thinking about the price, know that the 250-ml size cans are a third of bottle in volume; a four pack of them is a bottle plus one heavy pour, which is often a good deal. Here are 21 brands to choose from — try them all and you'll have a great summer.

A quick note: All of these are great makers whose wines are good across the board; that is why it's the name of the brand in the headline, but not a specific can. We'll leave you to make your pick based on what's available in your local store and the wine you like to drink.

1. Spanish: Ah-So

$4.99 for a 250ml can

Colorado-based Ah-So's grapes come from a single family-owned estate in the becoming-trendy wine region of Navarra, Spain, allowing for the haute-wine experience of terroir (tasting the land and climate of a particular place), and in a can, no less. Production is all organic and uses traditional methods and native yeast, and the results are bright, clean flavors — citrus, sliced fruit, French oak. Fancy and fun.

2. One Way Rosé: Amble + Chase

$15.96 for a 4-pack of 250ml cans (equivalent to 1 1/3 bottles)

You don't need to read the fine print while filling up the cart for the summer house. Amble + Chase makes rosé and only rosé, and from what many consider to be pink wine's best appellation: Cotes de Provence. It's the house canned wine of one of the elite wholesalers, and tastes just right for its genre, like sun-washed limestone and summer fruit.

3. Good Celebrity: Archer Roose

$49 for a half case (3 (4-packs) of 250 ml cans; equivalent to four bottles)

The smart and funny Elizabeth Banks has just become the CCO and tongue-in-cheek spokesperson for this luxury-hip canned wine brand. Archer Roose offers rosé, Sauvignon Blanc, Malbec, and a sparkling white blend, and incorporates neat touches like skin-contact fermentation, low interventions, and atypical grapes from niche regions in France, Greece, Argentina, and Chile.

4. Sangria: Begonia Sangria Tinta

Staring at $12 for a 4-pack of 330ml cans (equivalent to 1¾ bottles)

Begonia is an affordable, organic canned sangria produced in Spain, that's not too sweet and has notes of florals, orange, fresh red berries, and lime. The winemaker uses a family recipe that goes back two generations.

5. New California: Brick & Mortar; $6 For A 375ml Can

Behind the brick wall on this label are better-made wines, mostly blends, all sustainably farmed and minimally intervened, from some of the best California grape-growing regions. The wine's made by a Napa couple whose innovative bottled wines are highly regarded. A "California Rosé Bubbles" has tasting notes of white raspberry and wild watermelon. A "California Blanc Bubbles" claims green apple, grapefruit and jasmine.

6. I (Heart) NY: Bridge Lane

$34 four a 4-pack of 375ml cans (equivalent to 2 bottles)

Bridge Lane is the second label of esteemed North Fork producer Lieb Cellars. Their canned wines, which all use New York State grapes from some of the best vineyard sites, are the same as what's in their bottles — and boxes, and kegs (there's a size for any gathering). The Sauvignon Blanc goes nicely with a Hamptons seafood cookout, but we also like the medium-bodied red blend made from traditional Bordeaux grapes, which tastes of red fruit, cedar, and spice.

7. Easily Available: House Wine

$32 for a 6-pack of 375ml cans (equivalent to 3 bottles)

Chances are you've noticed the striking label on see-it-everywhere House Wine, the creation of Charles Smith, the visionary behind Kung Fu Girl Riesling. House Wine is now owned by a large winemaking group, and for a wine produced at this high volume, the quality is good. The Chardonnay evokes creamy apple backed by citrus; the red blend boasts red currant aroma, juicy red fruit, and a velvet finish. It's also the only wine we know that has a collaboration with Cheez-Its.

8. Genuine Napa: Larkan

$12.99 for a 375ml can

Lar-kan, get it? Maker Sean Larkin is the kind of iconoclast to make some highly rated Napa Valley wine, and then decide to can a version of it. His three offerings, the only canned wines to use only grapes from prestigious Napa, are "white wine" (Sauvignon Blanc), "pink wine" (rosé of Pinot Noir) and "red wine" (mostly Merlot). This is premium wine at amazing prices, and arguably the highest-quality canned wine on the market. Larkan even made a special can for the French Laundry's 25th anniversary party.

9. Fashion Classic: Lorenza Spritz

$24 for a 4-pack of 250ml cans (equivalent to 1 1/3 bottles)

Twelve years ago, a California wine industry professional and her fashion-model daughter decided to make true Provence-style rosés using grapes from some of the most storied California vineyards. The always-in-style results are now also available in a lower-alcohol, softly fizzy canned version, using chic old-vine Carignan and Grenache grapes.

10. Socially Conscious: Lubanzi

$20 for a 4-pack of 250ml cans (equivalent to 1 1/3 bottles); $30 for a 4-pack of 375ml cans (equivalent to 2 bottles)

Two American students traveling in South Africa hit upon Lubanzi, a line of bottle- and-canned wines with a strong ethical component: In addition to being fair trade, carbon neutral, and a B-corp, the company sends 50% of its profits back for the healthcare and education of vineyard workers. What's in the cans is the same luminous, vibrant wine that's in the bottles, including some less-usual offerings like a Chenin Blanc that tastes of clean minerality, pear, white peach and lemon peel, and a Rhone blend with notes of blueberry, plum and black pepper.

11. Cool People: Maker

$8 for a 250ml can and starting at $42 for a 6-pack of 250ml cans (equivalent to 2 bottles)

Two female Stanford Business School grads pulled in a third alum, cult winemaker Chris Christensen, to create this line of personality-driven cans: Each one has a different industry-insider "maker," whose names are on the labels. There's a compelling line-up of red wines, but we jump at the opportunity to get the canned version of Christensen's highly regarded sparkling Sauvignon Blanc — it's what hard lemonade should really taste like. Maker also prioritizes customer connection with a can club, virtual gatherings and one-on-one community building via SMS.

12. Environmental Leader: Chateau Maris

$5.99 for a 250ml can

Chateau Maris makes some of the best wine in the Languedoc in southern France, wines which "taste like they are supposed to" as wine-professionals say. The company was the first European winery to get B-corp certification for being at the forefront of sustainable environmental and business practices. The design on the currently available canned rosé is as beautiful as Maris's vision, and the contents are certified organic, direct-press (a more thoughtful and intentional method of making rosés), and 100% Grenache. Look for bright, fresh citrus and melon flavors, and more body than is usual in a canned wine.

13. Black-, Female-, Family-Owned: McBride Sisters

$91.08 for a 12-pack of 375ml cans (equivalent to 6 bottles)

Sisters Robin and Andréa McBride have the largest Black-owned wine company in the United States. Their well-made lines of wine include "Black Girl Magic," their personal ode to Black culture and history, and "She Can" which funds professional development for other women to do as the sisters did and become leaders in male-dominant industries. Black Girl Magic has a "Bubbly Rosé" and a "Bubbly Red." The latter, intended to be served chilled, tastes of pomegranate juice and blackberries with a sprinkling of black pepper. She Can offers a dry California rosé and two dry fruit-kissed spritzers — Island Citrus and Coastal Berry.

14. Best Design: Nomadica

Starting at $50 for an 8-pack of 250ml cans (equivalent to 2.6 bottles)

The moody, organic, transcendental look of this hip, sommelier-founded line fits the taste-profile of the hazy, sensual and complex wines within. Nomadica is sustainably farmed, low intervention, vegan, has minimal sulfur, and is dry (with no sugar). The popular "Pink River Rosé" evokes taste comparisons such as "peak-of-season strawberry flavor" and "an ocean breeze running through a field of sage."

15. Kanpai!: Nomikai

$47.88 for a 12-pack of 187ml cans (equivalent to 3 bottles)

This California brand nods to the Pacific Rim with the name Nomikai, which means "drinking party" in Japanese. Its wines are notable because they're made by low-intervention winery Ryme Cellars, one of a new wave of California producers with fresh ideas. The Nomikai red is a blend of Merlot, Mourvedre, and other grapes, leading to a medium-bodied, black fruit flavor, with tannic structure and an acidic twang.

16. Natural & Local: Old Westminster

Starting at $10 for a 355ml can

A lot of local wineries like Old Westminster in Maryland have developed canned programs as a means of attracting new customers. These wines often employ natural winemaking methods and are experimental and inventive, using lesser-known grapes sourced locally (Old Westminster only uses grapes grown in state). We love their Seeds & Skins orange wine in a can, which has a hazy, soft-orange color and nose and flavor of apricot, hay and sage.

17. A Cooler Cooler: Ramona Wine Spritzes

Starting at $20 for a 4-pack of 250ml cans (equivalent to 1 1/3 bottles)

Flavored wines and blends are up and coming, thus it's no surprise that the former beverage director from NYC dining juggernaut Momofuku was ahead of the curve with these organic, sustainable Italian spritz-inspired fizzy drinks. There's a Sicilian white blended with a hint of Meyer lemon, one with a hint of blood orange, and a sparkling rosé from Abruzzo on the Adriatic.

18. Innovative: Sans Wine

$24 for a 2-pack of 375ml cans (equivalent to 1 bottle)

"Carbonic Carignan in a can" is catnip to the natty-wine crowd: Carignan is a trendy, lesser-known, older grape that's been lately rediscovered; carbonic maceration is an old-is-new method that coaxes out wild flavor; cans are better for the environment. California-based Sans Wine hits this and many other natural wine benchmarks, such as being dry farmed, foot-tread, unrefined and unfiltered, and having great packaging design.

19. Classy Italian: Scarpetta Frico Frizzante

$3 for a 250ml can

Look for the pig's hind-quarters on the visually striking label for Scarpetta, a respected Italian maker of bottled wines that offers just two chic cans: a red Lambrusco with tiny little bubbles meant to be served chilled, and a white from Northern Italy, made in the Prosecco style. Lambrusco is a personal favorite of ours with charcuterie or pizza.

20. Can Pioneer: Underwood

$28 for a 4-pack of 375ml cans (equivalent to 2 bottles)

Oregon producer Union Wine Company was one of the first to make high-quality canned wines, and has great distribution nationally. Underwood is its line of cans, with a core of five regulars and a series of special offerings, currently including "Riesling Radler" made with hops and grapefruit. The regulars are a Pinot Noir, a Pinot Gris, a rosé of Pinot Noir, some bubbles, and a pink bubbles, all striking a great balance of sophistication and easy drinking.

21. Historical Wine/Current Mood: Vina Maitia "Aupa" Pipeno

Average $6 for a 250ml can, $22 for a 4-pack of 250ml cans (equivalent to 1 1/3 bottles)

Pipeno is a low intervention, lighter style of red wine made for centuries in Chile, primarily using the Pais grape (brought to the Americas by Spanish missionaries, and also known as the Mission grape). Today, it might be called natural wine. As chillable reds, like canned wine, are becoming more of a "thing," this is the one in both camps you need to know about. Flavors of raspberry and cranberry combine with a hint of dried herbs to give a savory edge to this refreshing wine.


Valerie Stivers

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Hank Zona

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